Refrain from advocating Kalabagh Dam

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Rabbani warns Centre

Staff Reporter

Islamabad—Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani on Saturday warned the government against advocating the Kalabagh Dam project by using a government official.
Expressing annoyance over the statements of Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Zafar Mahmood in favour of the Kalabagh Dam, Rabbani asked the federal government to refrain from “politicising sensitive national matters”.
“Three provincial assemblies have previously passed resolutions against the construction of Kalabagah Dam. A public servant should not issue statements over the matter after the passing of these resolutions,” Rabbani said while addressing a seminar titled “Challenges to the Federation and Role of Senate”.
The senate chairman was of the view that the Kalabagh Dam issue was beyond the mandate of the Wapda chairman. “The government should take notice of his statements,” Rabbani said.
Rabbani also stated that the Wapda chairman’s statements were against the spirit of federalism.
“Chairman Wapda should first become aware of the basics of federalism before issuing such statements,” he asserted.
Rabbani said the government and public servants should avoid creating controversies especially on sensitive issues. “The government shouldn’t give rise to new challenges for the federation by using Wapda chairman in this issue,” he added.
The senate chairman advised the government to take up the issue of the Kalabagh Dam in Council of Common Interest (CCI) and should try to resolve the issues with smaller provinces.
“Council of Common Interest is the right forum to resolve the matters like Kalabagh Dam instead of creating more controversies through irresponsible statements,” Rabbani maintained.
The senate chairman also termed the establishment of an Islamabad-based National Curriculum Commission as unconstitutional, saying the subject of education has been devolved to the provinces.
“Subject of the education has been devolved and federal government cannot prepare curriculum for the provinces,” he said.
Rabbani said the provinces are given more autonomy through 18th Amendment. “There will be serious threats to the federation if the provincial autonomy is rolled back,” he warned.
Wapda Chairman Zafar Mahmood wrote 26 articles published between May 31 and June 25 in a newspaper – all in favour of Kalabagh dam.

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