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Punjab Forum asks int’l HR bodies to push Pakistan for KBD contruction

Rawalpindi: The Punjab Forum on Sunday asked the international human rights organisations to push Pakistan for early construction of Kalabagh dam (KBD) as delay is threatening the whole population of the country.

It appreciated the landmark decision of the Lahore High Court (LHC) in which it ordered the federal government to construct Kalabagh dam (KBD) terming it in the best interest of country and generations to come.

As per the observation of the Chief Justice LHC, Justice Umer Ata Bandial, who has emerged as hero of the people of Pakistan, the KBD can be renamed as Federation Dam, said Baig Raj, President of the Punjab Forum.

If name of a province can be renamed, the name of a dam critical for national survival can also be renamed, he noted.

Speaking at a meeting to review current situation, he expressed disappointment over statements of federal ministers against the LHC decision which indicate that the federal government is too much focused on politics and it will never abide by the decision.

Baig Raj said that Parliament has no respect for human rights which is contrary to their claims; he said adding that political parties which are against the KBD will lose public support in the upcoming elections in certain critical constituencies.

He said that time has come when provincial governments and so-called nationalists of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa and Sindh should realise that nothing can save them from remaining vulnerable to floods and becoming a desert if KBD is not built. A referendum is the two provinces can expose the claims of nationalists, he said.

Baig Raj said that patriot elements need to educate masses on the pros and cons of KBD mired in intense political controversy since decades, remove the cobwebs of ignorance, and save 200 million people from the hunger, thirst and poverty.

The federal government is constitutionally bound to start the project in the light of the Council of Common Interests decisions taken in 1991 and 1998; he said adding that lack of consensus on KBD amounts to playing with the future of Pakistan.

The politicians and pseudo-intellectuals who are opposing the dam are doing a great disservice to Pakistan and its people irrespective of where they live or to which province they belong, he observed.

Baig Raj said that prosperity of Pakistan is tied to KBD therefore all positive forces should join hands to tackle political and technical concerns of the project keeping national interest supreme.

The scarcity of water and power had affected the quality and security of life of the citizens which is a violation of their fundamental rights; therefore government should take immediate decision to improve the situation, he demanded.

Baig Raj said that anti-Pakistan lobbies have deliberately converted a purely technical and humanitarian issue into a political problem to harm country which worries of the people are unfounded.

Lashing out at the governments’ strategy of avoiding water sector development in order to ‘save the federation’ from political pressures will eventually destroy the federation, he warned.

The government and its allies have no viable alternative to KBD ditched without a parliamentary debate which is making the problem more complex.

He said that USAID has been claiming to help Pakistan overcome energy crisis, they should try to influence ANP for the construction of KBD. He lauded to Pakistan Saraiki Party for supporting KBD.

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