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  #1  
Old Wednesday, January 18, 2006
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Default Kalabagh Dam: news & articles

Musharraf warns of Sindh’s desertification: ‘Construction of dams essential’

By Shamim Shamsi

SUKKUR, Dec 22: President General Pervez Musharraf said here on Thursday that if work on new dams was not taken up now, a process of desertification would start in Sindh after 2010.

The president said he had launched a mass contact campaign to make the people of Sindh realize the gravity of the situation and the need to build new reservoirs.

He stressed the need for consensus on the issue and said that reservations of Sindh would be removed.

He said that due to sedimentation in Tarbela and Mangla reservoirs, water resources of the country were depleting fast and, therefore, construction of new dams had become essential.

The president was addressing representatives of growers, nazims, councillors and members of the national and provincial assemblies from Sukkur, Shikarpur, Khairpur, Naushahro Feroze, Ghotki, Kashmore, Qambar-Shahdadkot, Larkana, Jacobabad and Nawabshah districts at the Sukkur airport as part of his mass contact programme.

He said his campaign was not confined to any particular dam; he was working for more dams and for formulating a national water policy under which large- and medium- water reservoirs could be built to meet the country’s future agriculture needs.

He said the issue would be discussed in the National Assembly and relevant reports would be published in Urdu, Sindhi, English and Pashto for eliciting public opinion and educating people about merit and demerits of dams. He said the issue could also be discussed in Senate and it could even be taken up at the level of judiciary.

Gen Musharraf said that keeping in view the sensitivity of the matter, he had come to directly contact the people of Sindh to tell them about the importance of water reservoirs. He said a decision on the dam would be taken after taking the people of Sindh into confidence. He said he would go to the last extent to address their ‘genuine’ reservations.

He maintained that new dams would bring more than 30 million acres of land under cultivation and strengthen the economy. He said dams were vital for Pakistan’s survival. “Any delay in a decision on dams will be suicidal for us,” he observed.

He said that a detailed designing and feasibility report of the Kalabagh dam had been completed and if work was started on the project in 2006 it would be completed in 2012.

He said the government could provide judicial and constitutional guarantees with regard to distribution of water from the dam. Institutions of parliament, judiciary and the executive could be put in action for taking such decisions and to protect the interests of Sindh, he added.

About Bhasha, Akhori and Katzara dams, the president said these were likely to be completed in 2016, 2014, 2019, respectively, and completion of the dams along with Kalabagh by 2020 would mean that the country would have 20MAF (million acre feet) of water to meet its agriculture needs.

He said the Kalabagh dam could store monsoon flows and additional flows coming from the Kabul, Chitral, Swat, Soan and Haro rivers and added that it was the only project ready for implementation. He said there were also the problem of an access road to Bhasha and some 350km road would have to be built for the purpose. He maintained that the Bhasha dam site was away from the monsoon belt and, therefore, from the feasibility point of view, Kalabagh was the most suitable site for building a dam.

Answering a question, he said it could be ensured that no canals were taken out from the Kalabagh dam and that it remained a storage reservoir.

The president also addressed journalists.

He asked the Sindh media to play its role in a positive way to educate the people of the province on the issue. He said the Kalabagh dam would bring more benefits and prosperity to Sindh than other provinces. He said he was aware that the people of Sindh had some very genuine reservations about dams, especially the Kalabagh. He said he wanted to speak to them with an open mind.

The president said the government planned to build a barrage at Sehwan which would have five canals, but work on the Rs100 billion project had been delayed because there was no water available in the absence of a dam.

He said all nine members of the technical committee, including its chairman A.N.G. Abbasi, had agreed on building major reservoirs. Eight of them had supported construction of the Kalabagh dam on the condition that no canal was taken out of it, he added.

Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahimi and other officials were also present.

APP adds: President Musharraf held in Karachi an important interaction with people of different shades of opinion on the issue of water reservoirs.

The meeting, held under the aegis of the Sindhi TV channel KTN, was also attended by the president of the Sindh Chamber of Agriculture, Syed Qamruzzaman Shah, who discussed the issue in detail vis-a-vis reservations of the people of Sindh, lack of trust and misgivings.

Without expressing opposition to the need for construction of more water reservoirs in the country, Mr Shah suggested to the president that construction of Bhasha and Kalabagh Dams should be taken up simultaneously.

A number of other participants also expressed their views on the issue.

They included former president Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari, Senate Chairman Mohammedmian Soomro, Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, federal ministers Ghous Bux Mahar and Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Sindh former minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh, Provincial Coordination Minister Dr Sohrab Sarki, Sindh Minister for Mines Irfanullah Marwat, noted intellectual Hameed Sindhi, convener of Parliamentary Committee on Water Reservoirs, Senator Nisar Ahmed Memon, prominent industrialist Zubair Motiwala and Sindh Assembly Deputy Speaker Rahila Tiwana.

President Musharraf said he could have easily wriggled out of this issue, but being a Sindhi he had taken it up in the larger interest of Pakistan and especially Sindh. He pointed out that in the past this issue had been politicized so much that it had hardened people’s stand.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/12/23/top1.htm
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Kalabagh termed threat to national integrity

By Latif Baloch

KARACHI, Dec 22: Rejecting the Kalabagh dam, leaders of various political and nationalist parties on Thursday warned that the controversial project was detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of the country.

Speaking at a big rally in front of the Sindh High Court building here on Shahrah-i-Iraq, they accused the government of conspiring against the unity of federation by creating a rift among provinces.

They criticized the military rulers for pursuing ‘ill-advised’ policies that had jeopardized the country’s integrity, particularly the Kalabagh dam plan and the ongoing military ‘operation’ in Balochistan.

The rally was organized by the Anti-Kalabagh Dam and Greater Thal Canal Action Committee which has representation of several political and nationalist organizations.

Prominent among speakers were Leader of Opposition in the Senate Raza Rabbani, Action Committee convener Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Sindh National Front chairman Sardar Mumtaz Ali Bhutto, Awami National Party president Asfandyar Wali Khan, Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party chief Dr Qadir Magsi, Awami Party leader Rasul Bakhsh Palijo, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam leader Dr Khalid Soomro, Balochistan National Party chief Akhtar Mengal and National Party chairman Dr Abdul Hayee Baloch.

Earlier, the participants carrying flags of their respective parties and raising slogans against the Kalabagh dam and government converged on Mazar-i-Quaid and started their march towards the venue of the rally where a large number of people were already present.

In his speech, Mumtaz Bhutto said that by staging such a huge rally the people of Sindh had sent a clear message to rulers that they were against the construction of the Kalabagh dam.

He said that since Pakistan came into being rulers had been making moves to turn the life of Sindhis miserable.

He declared that unless the rule of Islamabad was put to an end and the rights of provinces were recognized, exploitation of smaller provinces would continue.

Mr Asfandyar Wali assured the Sindhi people that they were not alone in their struggle against the Kalabagh dam as Pukhtuns, Balochs and Seraikis stood behind them.

The ANP leader said he had made it clear to General Musharraf that Kalabagh dam and Pakistan could not coexist and he had to choose one of them.

In fact, he pointed out, the rulers were trying to pit smaller provinces against Punjab. He maintained that people of smaller provinces were fighting not only for rights but for their survival, and rulers should know that there would be no compromise on it.

Mr Palijo alleged that successive rulers had dishonoured the pledges of the Founder of the Nation. He said military rulers had always betrayed the masses, worked against democracy, subjugated the smaller provinces and trampled the constitutional rule.

Dr Qadir Magsi urged the government to stop what he called the victimization of smaller provinces, saying Sindhi people had proved that they would not surrender their rights.

He said Sindhi people would never allow the construction of dam as they considered it as death warrant.

Mr Mengal and the Dr Hayee Baloch condemned the rulers for launching a military operation in Balochistan. They assured the people of Sindh of their full support in their struggle against the Kalabagh dam.

PPP leader Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that Sindhis, Balochs and Pukhtuns had given their verdict that they were against the construction of the dam.

JUI’s Khalid Soomro said the country was being ruled by generals who had allegedly sold out Pakistan to Americans.

Mairaj Mohammad Khan called for early solution of the issue of the NFC award.

PPP Senator Raza Rabbani, PML-N’s leader Mamnoon Husain, National Workers Party leader Yusuf Mustikhan and others also spoke.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/12/23/top3.htm
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Skardu-Katzarah dam best option: report

By Khaleeq Kiani

ISLAMABAD, Dec 22: The Skardu-Katzarah dam is the best option for the country and Bhasha dam is much better than Kalabagh, says the report of an expert committee on construction of water resources headed by A.N.G Abbasi.

In its 18-page “Conclusions and Recommendations” on future dams, the eight-member technical committee, calls for honouring and respecting the sanctity of the 1991 Water Accord. It also calls for providing guarantees for existing water uses of the provinces in case of construction of new dams, equitable distribution of existing and future water resources and undoing ministerial decision of 1994 on sharing of water shortages.

The full report has five volumes and is spans over more than 4,000 pages. The last 18 pages of the report, written by Mr Abbasi, were provided to Dawn by sources in the ministry of water and power.

Seven other members of the committee have separately written their joint comments. Minutes of all meetings of the committee, comments of all members and representatives of all relevant government agencies and official record and data is also part of the report. President Gen Pervez Musharraf constituted the committee to develop consensus on construction of new dams about two years ago.

Mr Abbasi has also opposed representation of NWFP and Balochistan in Indus River System Authority on the ground that two provinces remain unaffected due to any water shortage.

Following is the edited text of the “Conclusions and Recommendations” of the technical committee’s report:

On different occasions, Wapda has presented different figures about the availability of water in the country, which has created great confusion. If we take Wapda figures based on downstream approach, it becomes clear that the average water availability in the country is negative to the tune of 0.25 million acre feet (MAF). Sometimes, surplus water is also available but only in case of floods in western rivers.

Wapda has shown an average water flow of 35 MAF in the downstream in 28 years of post-Tarbela (1976-2003) period. A review of Wapda record suggest that in seven out of 28 years, 50 per cent or more of 35 MAF water went downstream Kotri and five per cent or less in another seven years.

Hence, it can be said in the light of post-Tarbela water flows that surplus water is available for storage for 10 out of 28 years. If a dam of six MAF of storage capacity is constructed, then only 22 per cent of the surplus available water can be stored.

Another dam of same capacity could additionally store another 18.9 per cent of available surplus water. This means that two new dams could together store 41 per cent of water in surplus years and remaining 59 per cent water would go downstream.

By comparison with these two dams (Kalabagh and Bhasha), if a carryover dam of 35 MAF (Skardu-Katzarah) storage capacity is constructed, about 84 per cent of water in surplus years could be stored.

If a dam is built with a capacity of six MAF, it can be filled for 10 years in 28 years and if another dam of same capacity is built, it can be filled for seven years and partially filled for three years. A carryover dam of 35 MAF of capacity would be completely filled for three out of 28 years and partially filled for seven years.

WATER SHORTAGE: In Rabi season, 23 MAF of water is available, of which 15 MAF could be stored in Mangla and Tarbela dams. The construction of these two dams has increased the overall water availability by 65 per cent in Rabi season.

Wapda’s post-Tarbela study reveals that surplus water is available in the canal system during Rabi and shortage is experienced for only a few years. On the other hand, shortage is more common during Kharif and hence there is no surplus water to build new dams.

FLOOD CANALS: Flood canals, like Katchi, Rainee and the Greater Thal canal being built under Wapda’s Vision 2025 programme, should be given least priority and maximum preference should be given to 36 million acres of the existing irrigated land. For this, 117.35 MAF water share of provinces as determined in the 1991 Accord should be protected and at least 10 MAF of water below Kotri should be guaranteed.

LINK CANALS: Link canals like Chashma-Jhelum and Taunsa-Punjnad are not permanent canals and replacement works does not in any case mean that these are privileged canals. These link canals could only be operated when there is surplus water in the system and with express consent of Sindh and these should not be a permanent burden on river Indus.

If this proposition continues then the plans for construction of new reservoirs would be jeopardized, as it would increase reservations among the people.

This should also be declared “once and for all” that Chashma-Jhelum and Taunsa-Punjnad are inter-provincial canals and do not belong to Punjab only. Hence, Irsa should not release water to these two canals on the indent of Punjab along and instead these should be operated on all-Pakistan basis under 1991 water accord in an equitable manner.

GUIDELINES FOR LINK CANALS: Water from Indus River should not be diverted through link canals unless all the provinces are given their share approved on 10-daily basis by the council of common interest under the 1991 accord.

In normal circumstances, water should not be released through Chashma-Jhelum and Taunsa-Punjnad canals in Kharif season because there is enough water available in the Jhelum-Chenab Zone during Kharif. If at all there is a need, water should be released in these canals through provincial consensus under 10-dailies approved in the water accord and no more. The CJ and TP should not be operated when Mangla dam is being filled.

GUIDELINES ON DAMS: The storage in future dams should start only after meeting requirement of all the existing barrages on 10-daily basis approved under the 1991 accord and after ensuring separate 10-MAF of water for Kotri Downstream.

Second, the storage in new dams should start after filling the Tarbela dam. In extraordinary situations, when there is surplus water then new dams could also be filled simultaneously.

Third, it should be incorporated in the operation of dams that continuous flushing is taking place simultaneously to ensure that there is no accumulation of silt in dams.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR WATER USES FROM DAMS: First, water from new dams would be utilised to meet only shortages based on 10-daily uses approved by the CCI under the 1991 Water Accord.

Second, the distribution of water from new dams among the provinces should be made under Para-4 of the 1991 Accord that guarantees 37 per cent share each to Sindh and Punjab, 14 per cent for the NWFP and 12 per cent for Balochistan.

Third, new dams would not be filled to the capacity and the filling would be made based on expected annual availability. This means that new dams would not necessarily be filled every year even if these were not filled for 10 years. This principle would also be applicable in case of Tarbela and Mangla dams’ filling.

Four, about 3.2 MAF of storage capacity has been lost in the existing reservoirs due to accumulation of silt, which would be recovered by the completion of raising of Mangla Dam project. If life of the dams is to be enhanced, then the problem of silt would have to be removed which could be done only through installation of sluicing devices. The report said the Wapda has put under the carpet a detailed study under Tam’s Report of 1998 on sluicing devices.

LARGE DAMS: The Wapda has taken no step as required under the year 2000 report of the World Commission on Dams, which had been prepared in the light of experiences of large dams constructed throughout the world. This report should be taken into account before taking any decision on construction of large dams in the country.

RECOMMENDATIONS ON NEW DAMS: Katzarah-Skardu is the only feasible dam for carryover purposes. Its pre-feasibility study has been completed while feasibility study could be completed in three to four years. “This is the best dam for the country” because dams are constructed on four principles, the report said.

These include: a dam should have maximum storage capacity, it could give maximum benefits, it has bare minimum cost and maximum power generation capacity and it should not have a problem of silt. Only Katzarah-Skardu meets these criteria.

The feasibility study of Kalabagh dam was conducted in 1984 and 1988. It has neither been updated since then nor its cost been reviewed. All assumptions used in these studies are pre-water accord period and post- accord figures have so far not been considered. Hence, its feasibility study should be conducted afresh. In the given circumstances, Bhasha dam with a higher potential is much better than Kalabagh dam.

There are a number of reservations on Kalabagh dam, particularly over its right bank canal, left bank canal and flooding of Nowshera. All these issues should be settled to remove reservations and fears.

It may also be pointed out that if Kalabagh and Bhasha dams, if constructed, would not be filled every year and instead would remain empty for years. Besides, these dams would not be able to provide more than two MAF for many years. Hence, large expenditures on new dams should be made after taking into account all these factors.

Furthermore, another thing should also be kept in mind that whenever a new dam is built, preference should be given to the rights of the lower riparians than filling of dams and in case of any shortage, it should be met under the 1991 accord.

The sanctity of the 1991 Water apportionment accord should be ensured and guaranteed and the provinces should be given water share on the basis of 10-daily uses approved by the CCI under para 14(a) and 14(b) of the accord.

The ministerial decision of 1994 has no legal ground and hence should be undone and directives issued by President General Musharraf on October 23 in this regard should be implemented.

If a province is not sharing water shortage, it has no right to be a member of the Irsa. Punjab is drawing higher water share under historic annual average uses of 1977-82, while NWFP and Balochistan does not share shortages. This means that only Sindh suffers in case of shortage, which is totally unjustified. Hence, the water accord should be implemented in letter and spirit and decisions of the CCI should be honoured, the report concluded.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/12/23/top4.htm
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Pagara supports Kalabagh dam

By Habib Khan Ghori

KARACHI, Dec 22: Pakistan Muslim League (Functional) chief Pir Pagara on Thursday announced his support for the Kalabagh dam which, he said, would also benefit Hurs. Pir Pagara was addressing a crowded press conference at his residence ‘Kingri House’ on Thursday afternoon.

He said the dam was being opposed due to the prevailing mistrust with Punjab. It will be the obligation of President Musharraf, or whosoever is in command, to implement all terms and conditions regarding the dam and the water accords, including the one signed in 1991.

The PML-F chief said that he had earlier stated that there was no future of the Sindh Assembly. It was the president who had been keeping it alive despite its unwieldiness. Now it appears there is no need to keep this “lifeless house” in place and the vacuum can be filled with a caretaker set-up.

On the possibility of a national government, he said there was no way left to overcome the current crisis (except by forming a national government) but it all depended on the president as to who should be invited and inducted in the cabinet. He recalled that he had forecast that the system was not going to work.

When his attention was drawn to a statement of Sindh chief minister against the Kalabagh dam, the spiritual leader of Hurs said the weather was changing and he had a hunch that a political quake was waiting in the wings, which might turn everything topsy-turvy.

On Dr Arbab Rahim’s remarks that he would rather go back home riding on a donkey than support the dam, the PML-F chief wondered how his area, a desert, could be irrigated. As such, he would only see water but won’t be able to use it.

Regarding the president’s remarks about a political quake in the country, Pir Pagara said he was not aware of the timing of the quake but the president was very much clear when the quake would strike.

When asked how much support President Musharraf would be able to muster during his visit to Sindh, he said it was not his concern whether the president got support from institutions “but we want to cultivate our lands”.

When pointed out that the Kalabagh dam was the only subject on which his views converged with those of PML chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, he recalled that he had been favouring the construction of the dam right from the beginning. “If dams are built, electricity would be available at cheap rates. At present we are suffering because of PPP which had made electricity costly.”

He said except Kalabagh, no other dam could be built first because of the ease of moving heavy machinery to the site.

About Kalabagh opponents’ view that the country would break up if the project was taken up, Pir Pagara said no province could be separated from the country unless the big province pushed it so, or a foreign power annexed it.

When it was pointed out that his party’s legislators were also opposed to the dam plan and that his party could see erosion of its vote bank for lending support to Kalabagh, the PML-F chief said everyone had the right to his opinion.

“As far as we are concerned, the 1991 water accord favoured Sindh as the province received a larger share of water for cultivation, which benefited the Hurs. But the Benazir government signed another agreement in 1994 which hurt Sindh’s interest.”

Pir Pagara sought media’s support in getting the 1991 accord implemented as the PPP was against it. The Thal canal and Reni canal would end up irrigating the lands of Hurs which was objected to by PPP leader Shah Muhammad Shah. “The Thal canal would come up to Mitthi while Reni canal would stop at Umarkot which would bring a vast area under cultivation,” he said.

He said at the annual gathering on 27th Rajab at Dargah Pir Jo Goth he had given good news to his followers that very soon the issue of dam would arise and they (the followers) would get water in excess to cultivate their land, particularly in the desert areas of Sindh.

He said no landlord was opposed to the Kalabagh dam as only those were agitating who did not have any land. He said “you cannot find any landlord saying he does not want water or who was ready to accept less water”.

The PML-F chief said those opposing the dam were self-styled Sindhi leaders who were in the habit of saying first “Na Khape”.

At the time of construction of Ghulam Muhammad Barrage, it was said that it would only benefit Hurs “but now the entire Sindh is taking advantage of its water”.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/12/23/top5.htm
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ANP sets up committees for rally against dam

By Our Correspondent

PESHAWAR, Dec 22: The Awami National Party has reiterated its opposition to the construction of the Kalabagh dam and has asked party workers to participate in the anti-Kalabagh dam rally to be held on Dec 29. In this connection, the Nowshera district chapter of the party met on Thursday and formed several committees to make arrangements for the rally, said a party press release here.

Speaking on the occasion, ANP provincial secretary general Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that district Nowshera would play a central role in the rally.

He said that invitation had been extended to other parties to participate in the rally to thwart what he called President Gen Pervez Musharraf’s attempts to destroy fertile lands.

The rally would prove that the people don’t accept the Kalabagh dam because it was a project aimed at the destruction of the people of smaller provinces at the cost of Punjab.

ANP FATA: The ANP Fata chapter also held a meeting at the Bacha Khan Markaz on Thursday which pledged to ensure maximum participation in the rally.

The meeting was attended by presidents and general secretaries of Fata’s units and provincial party chief Bashir Ahmad Bilour. It was presided over by the party’s provincial vice-president Imran Afridi.

It said that the party had decided to demonstrate on Dec 29 to show its opposition to the Kalabagh dam.

Imran Afridi said that the time had come that party workers came out into the streets and opposed the construction of the Kalabagh dam.

He said that party workers were ready to render any sort of sacrifice to prevent the rulers from playing havoc with their lives.

ANP NWFP president Bashir Bilour said that a huge procession would march towards Nowshera on the scheduled day to take part in the rally.

ANP COMMITTEE: The Anti-Kalabagh Committee of the ANP launched a campaign to gain the support of other parties for participation in the rally.

In this connection, the committee’s chairman, Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, along with its members, Abdul Latif Afridi, Pir Fayyaz Ahmad and Hameedur Rehman, held a meeting with Mukhtiar Ahmad Khan provincial chief of the Pakhtun Milli Awami Party (PMAP) and requested for his party’s support for taking part in the rally.

PMAP’s provincial chief assured his party’s fullest support for the rally.

Committee members also held a meeting with Sabir Shah, provincial chief of the PML-Nawaz.

The PML leader informed the committee that they would decide about participating in the rally in a PML meeting which would be held on Dec 25.

The committee’s chairman urged the participation of all political parties in the rally, saying it was a national issue and all parties should fulfil its national responsibilities in this regard.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/12/23/nat49.htm
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Punjab PPP to support Sindh on Kalabagh

By Our Staff Reporter

LAHORE, Dec 22: The Punjab PPP will join hands with party’s Sindh leader Qaim Ali Shah when he visits the city to protest against the construction of Kalabagh Dam. This was stated by provincial information secretary Naveed Chaudhry while speaking at a press conference along with central deputy information secretary Altaf Qureshi and Iqbal Sialvi here on Thursday.

“People of the Punjab will be siding with their brethren in other provinces in fight against dictatorial decisions of the present regime,” he said.

The Punjab executive council of the party met earlier in the day and adopted a resolution opposing the water reservoir without taking into confidence all federating units. Otherwise the project would endanger solidarity of the country, it feared.

It instead supported construction of small dams whose planning had been done during the second tenure of Ms Benazir Bhutto.

The council expressed its concern at ongoing army “operation” in Balochistan and demanded immediate end to it.

Referring to various directions issued by the Supreme Court to the Punjab government on issues like kite-flying, lavish spending on marriages, etc., it observed that if the province had to be run by the apex court then the government should resign.

Mr Chaudhry said the party had taken notice of PML-N leader Khwaja Saad Rafiq’s anti-PPP statements and had lodged a formal protest with the ARD leadership.

Answering a question, he said adjustments in elections for offices of naib nazims at tehsil and district level the same ARD formula would be adopted that had been implemented in earlier three phases of local polls.

He told reporters that various functions and workers conventions would mark 77th birth anniversary of late prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto from next month. In Lahore, the function would be held on Jan 5.

PML-N: Syed Zafar Ali Shah of the PML-N says construction of Kalabagh dam should be halted until real representatives of the masses take charge of the country’s affairs.

He was speaking at a joint press conference along with MNA Khwaja Saad Rafiq here on Thursday.

“The present assemblies should be dissolved immediately to introduce a government of national consensus for holding fair elections. The dam issue should be left to the people to be elected in these polls.”

The ruling coalition wanted to adopt a resolution in parliament favouring Kalabagh dam but neither the incumbent parliament nor the four provincial assemblies were authorized to approve or disapprove the project, he claimed.

The Khwaja said Gen Musharraf was the main hurdle in the development of a national consensus so the army ruler must resign.

Minto: National Workers Party chief and former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association Abid Hasan Minto has suggested a political solution to the water reservoirs issue by holding dialogue on an equal basis among all federating units.

In a statement on Thursday, he said the step first required cancelling the “unilateral” decision of the government to construct Kalabagh dam.

He said the matter should be referred to the Council of Common Interests which was a constitutional body but has never been activated.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/12/23/nat13.htm
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Protest against Kalabagh dam

By Our Correspondent

SHIKARPUR, Dec 22: Activists of the People’s Party Parliamentarians and its affiliated organizations observed a token hunger strike to protest against construction of Kalabagh dam at the Lakhi gate tower chowk on Thursday. Agha Shamsuddin and Mohammad Paryal of the PPP, Lala Zeb Khan (PPP youth wing), Syed Irfan Shah (SPSF), Syed Umerdin Shah and Maqsood Ahmed participated in the hunger strike.

They rejected the controversial project and termed it a conspiracy against the people of Sindh.

KILLED: Two people were killed and another was injured in an exchange of firing with villagers in Qalandar Bux Gopang village on Wednesday night.

A group of outlaws entered the house of Manthar Gopang to commit an offence.

They opened fire when the villagers retaliated to foil the bid to rustle the cattle.

As a result, two outlaws, later identified as Sabir Jafri and Abid Lohar, were killed.

Their accomplice Deedar Marfani received bullet injuries and was caught by villagers.

The injured was handed over to the Stuart Ganj police.

Later, he was admitted to the civil hospital.

Our Hyderabad Correspon-dent adds: Lawyers of Hyderabad held anti-Kalabagh dam rally outside the press club on Thursday.

The advocates gathered in premises of the sessions court and raised slogans against controversial water project and then reached the press club.

Speaking to protesters the president of the Hyderabad District Bar Association, Chaudhry Bashir Gujjar said that the people of Sindh had already rejected the Kalabagh dam because it would render Sindh dry.

He said that the people would not accept any anti-Sindh project.

Mr Gujjar said that lawyers would also not become part of any such conspiracy as they were loyal to the soil of Sindh.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/12/23/nat46.htm
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SC approached on dam issue

By Our Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Dec 23: A Karachi-based social worker on Friday petitioned the Supreme Court ‘to provide guidelines’ on construction of the controversial Kalabagh dam.

Chairman Awami Himmayat Tehrik Pakistan Maulvi Iqbal Haider has pleaded that the provincial assemblies, which passed resolutions against the dam, and leaders of opposition in these assemblies were bound under Article 155 of the constitution to incorporate their reservations and objections in a written complaint to be filed before the Council of Common Interest (CCI).

Mr Haider has cited the federal government, and the governments of the Punjab, Sindh, the NWFP and Balochistan as well as leaders of the opposition in the four provincial assemblies as respondents in the petition.

The petitioner contended that under Article 184(1) 184(2) and 184(3) of the constitution the apex court was empowered to decide disputes between two or more governments, i.e. provincial or federal.

He also suggested that the federal government was competent to request the Chief Justice of Pakistan to appoint an arbitrator to settle disputes between provinces.

The resolutions adopted by the provincial assemblies against the dam were only meant to extend their political agenda instead of strengthening national cohesion. This, the petitioner argued, was evident from the fact that none of these assemblies bothered to file a complaint before the CCI under Article 155 (complaints as to interference with water supplies).

Iqbal Haider alleged that different political, religious and ethnic groups were exploiting the dam issue ever since the federal government had decided to build new reservoir to meet future water needs.

The respondents, the petitioner pleaded, were deliberately misleading innocent and peaceful people by creating controversy over construction of dam promote hatred among the four provinces. They had also given strike calls and held demonstrations to create law and order situation in their respective provinces. They, in fact were trying to divide the nation, he alleged.

He pleaded that the apex court had wide jurisdiction to interpret different articles of the constitution involved in the controversy.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/12/24/top13.htm
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Dam to benefit peasants of Sindh: Musharraf

By Our Correspondent

HYDERABAD, Dec 23: Stressing the need for building more water reservoirs, President General Pervez Musharraf has said that peasants of the provence will the man beneficiaries. He also said that every village in the country would get electricity 2007 under a Wapda plan.

He was addressing a select gathering of students, youths and growers at the circuit house here on Friday.

Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad and Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim were present on the occasion.

He linked building of reservoirs with welfare of peasants whose life depended on their land and who constituted 70 per cent of Sindh’s population.

“I will be the last person to harm Sindh since I am a Sindhi and I cannot take anti-Sindh decisions. I am here to give you something”, he said.

He said that at times leaders had to change path of directions in order to set new trends.

“True leader is not a person who swims with the current but who changes the wrong path with his conviction”, he said.

He said he was in fact interested in wellbeing of peasants in order to save them from destruction.

He said that by 2020 water shortage would be recorded at 15 to 20 MAF on account of increasing agricultural demands.

“There is no need to get emotional because the peasants of Sindh would suffer in the absence of water reservoirs”, he said.

He said he knew that sea erosion had destroyed land in Thatta due to non-release of water Kotri downstream.

He said water could only be released downstream when there was water storage.

He said that monsoon season subsoil water in Sindh was saline while in Punjab it was sweat and farmers could use tube-wells even if canals remain non-perennial.

He said the construction of reservoirs would permanently control the release of water at downstream Kotri so that Thatta and Badin could get water throughout the year.

He said that the building of Skardu dam would submerge forts, being restored by Prince Karim Aga Khan, but the Kalabagh dam could get water from the Kabul, Chitral, Swat, Soan and Haro rivers.

“You can take 10 guarantees at a time, either constitutional, judicial or administrative, and even Sindhi engineers can be made in-charge of the dams”, he suggested.

He said that he encouraged Sindhi youths to join army and now 80,000 Sindhis were serving in the army.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/12/24/nat15.htm
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PPP to hold anti-dam rally in Pir-jo-Goth

By Our Correspondent

KHAIRPUR, Dec 23: The People’s Party Parliamentarians has announced that it will hold a rally against the Kalabagh dam in Pir-Jo-Goth, the native town of Pir Pagara. The announcement was made by former district nazim Nafisa Shah while talking to newsmen here on Friday.

She said the rally would be held in collaboration with nationalist parties to prove that people were against the dam.

Ms Shah said Pir Pagara’s support for the controversial dam showed that he did not want unity of the federation.

She said the Pir’s stance represented views of only a handful of people while an absolute majority of Sindh was against dams on the Indus River.

She said the campaign run by President Gen Pervez Musharraf and some federal ministers to gain support for Kalabagh dam was an insult to the people of three provinces.

She said as per the Constitution, no project could be undertaken without consensus.

She appreciated the Pakistan People’s Party Punjab for holding anti-Kalabagh dam protests in the province.

She said major political parties of the country, the PPP, Pakistan Muslim League-N and Tehrik-i-Insaf, had also opposed the Kalabagh dam.

Ms Shah said the view of the Sindh cabinet was still not clear about the dam issue.

http://www.dawn.com/2005/12/24/nat17.htm
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