QUETTA - Political leaders of Balochistan have opposed the Lahore High Court verdict on Kalabagh Dam, saying that issues like Kalabagh Dam will propel the country toward disintegration as three provinces have rejected its construction.

Talking to TheNation on Thursday, Balochistan Irrigation Minister Sardar Aslam Bezinjo said that Balochistan Assembly had already adopted a resolution against the construction of Kalabagh Dam.

“More than 50 percent of Sindh population comprises of Baloch people. Sindhis are also our brothers and we would never want to cause damage to them by construction of controversial Kalabagh Dam,” he said, adding that the construction of Kalabagh Dam would provide no benefit to Balochistan. He insisted that resolutions passed by assemblies should be respected. Balochistan Awami National Party Joint Secretary Rasheed Nasir said Kalabagh Dam was a national issue, which should be resolved with the consensus of all the provinces. “Construction of Kalabagh Dam is a political issue. The country is facing serious threat in face of terrorism and disputes are not in the interest of the country,” he added.

He said that the interests of all ethnic groups living in the country should be respected and protected, instead of preserving the rights of a certain region. “It seems a plot to disintegrate the country by raising issues like Kalabagh Dam,” he said. “It is strange that acting on an individual’s application, the court ruled against the interests of three provinces.”

He said if the country was facing energy crisis, other dams which were not disputed should be constructed.

Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal) Information Secretary Agha Hassan Baloch said that before initiating any mega project or mega dam the oppressed ethnic groups should be taken on board.

“Construction of Kalabagh dam affects Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The provinces have solid reasons to oppose it and their views should be given importance,” he said.

Baloch said that he had respect for judiciary but decisions like construction of Kalabagh dam should be taken through consensus.

He said that Gwadar Port, Reko Diq and Saindak projects were initiated without taking the locals on board.

Technical experts say if Kalabagh Dam were constructed it will badly affect Sindh which will consequently affect Balochistan because the province gets water from Sindh.