To-day she is poisoned. The venom of politics continues to affect her badly. It is already widespread. Rightly administered and it will accelerate her death. She needs life and a saint. But they cannot afford either. There is malice in the wonderland. Of its own kind, it has always lurked. Only the tongue had gone missing.

In Pakistan, politics like liberal fascism is an indispensible phenomenon. Whereas it can be beneficial, it may prove to be curiously detrimental. If allowed to live a life of its own, it can be pernicious. The underlying method politics subscribes to, though seemingly democratic, can often be barbarian. To be barbarian is not a crime. Crimes require passion and ambition. Barbarians have none. Thus, if the occasion permits, and there is occasion always, she will witness how ugly the face of politics can be.

It is an unpardonable solecism to call politics dirty. Politics is immune to any semblance of purity or impurity, if you like. It is seldom altruistic, though disguised otherwise. That is its beauty, therein its perfidious charm. The ultimate goal of all politics is to defeat the popular will.

To Pakistan, the creation of Kalabagh Dam is rather imperative. This is a suggestion, the power of which must not be underrated. For suggestions are dangerous devices. They are an atypical breed turned genius. A symphony or cacophony–suggestions permeate the mental corridors relentlessly. They operate covertly to ripen only when the time comes. In the most subtle form, they deftly tinker with the innermost revolution of human psyche. The innermost revolution is for the pursuit of Truth. What is more impregnable than all forces combined is a suggestion un-rebutted which has run its course and matured.  

The opposition to Kalabagh Dam is a product of suggestions of distrust and misconception which offer frequent homage to our brethren in KP and Sindh. The opposition is not to Kalabagh Dam alone. It is to the credibility of Punjab. There is a serious inter-provincial trust deficit, which begs to be purged. Coupled with other technical misgivings and the vested interests of certain political actors, the issue has become more of a fallacy amid the wrecks.

The 1930s, despite political opposition and the Great Depression, saw the construction of the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River at the behest of US President Roosevelt. His predecessor, US President Hoover, found himself engulfed in the politics of water, hence unable to order construction of the dam. In the 1950s, Egyptian President Gemal Abdul Nasser, after having nationalized the Suez Canal was visited by enormous political opposition when it came to the construction of the Aswan High Dam. When the west declined to afford subvention, Nasser turned to the Russians for assistance. Aswan High Dam was built.

In similar vein, the Sardar Sarover Dam on the sacrosanct Narmada River in India, despite political and religious opposition, was built. Had consensus been sought, would these dams have been constructed? Where is our Roosevelt? Where is our Nasser? Will you really watch her die?

The writer is a practicing barrister in Lahore.

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