Former KP minister Humayun Saifullah Khan has said that anybody who opposes the construction of Kalabagh Dam is not a friend of Pakistan. The government, he said must take up the much politicized issue at Council of Common Interests (CCI) to develop consensus among provinces. There will be no looser but all gainers in the construction of the much-needed dam In a statement issued here on Monday, Humayun Saifullah Khan, who is also a former member National Assembly emphasized on the earlier construction of the dam and said that the only hurdle for the dam is the mutual mistrust amongst the federating units. It is the sole responsibility of the Federal Government to move fast and take all steps to develop a consensus among the provinces and clear the atmosphere of mistrust.
The senior politician said that as per the study of World Bank, Kalabagh Dam was to built by 1995 and Basha Dam by 2010 but we miserly failed to adhere to this schedule and politicized the construction of Kalabagh Dam resultantly the people of Pakistan are suffering from both water and the energy crises. Pakistan has not developed any major water storage infrastructure after Tarbela Dam. Consequently water storage capacity has often receded to less than 30 days against the minimum requirement of 120 days. Talking about the objection on the part of two provinces regarding construction of the dam, he said Kalabagh Dam became cause of vital dispute, agitation and political conflicts in 80’s during the Martial Law of General Zia Ul Haq. Prior to that there was no dispute on the construction of Kalabagh Dam. Its feasibility report was prepared and finalized in 1975 by the Government of Mr. Zulifqar Ali Bhutto who was a staunch Sindhi. ZAB would have not supported and pursued this project if it had been as harmful for Sindh as is being portrayed by Sindhi leaders now, he added.
Rejecting the assumptions that parts of KP will be flooded after the construction of Kalabagh dam, Humayun Saifullah Khan said, Kalabagh Dam or No Kalabagh Dam the cause of flooding in Peshawar Valley particularly in Nowshera is different and should be addressed as per the cause. All the statistical data and the facts on grounds contradict the assumption that Kalabagh Dam will put in dangers of flood to Peshawar Valley. Super floods of 1929 and 2010 testify this fact as there exists no Kalabagh Dam yet the floods hit the area badly.Strategic establishments like Aeronautical Complex Kamra, Military Cantonment and Industrial Zone are located in the vicinity of this area. Had there been any chance of damage to these strategic assets, the authorities concerned would have never allowed the construction of Kalabagh dam, HumayunSaifullah said.
In order to save Nowshera from the flood waters in case of heavy monsoon there is a dire need to find a solution for the natural narrow gorge and construction of upstream dams like Munda Dam on the Swat River and on other tributary rivers of Indus for a controlled flow of water in case of heavy rains, he added. There is no danger of water logging and salinity in the areas of Mardan, Pabbi and Swabi as well to the Mardan SCARP Network as all these places are located between 970 to 1000 Mean Sea Level whereas Kalabagh Dam is lower by 55 feet located at 915 feet MSL, he observed.—APP