by Khurshid Anwer
Never have I felt so close to giving up the ghost. When people at the level of chief ministers start talking nonsense and the newspapers start printing such nonsense then it is time to throw in the towel.
Chief minister Sindh talking to a delegation from The National Defence University, Islamabad, was pleased to pontificate that, “Water distribution is a critical issue”. Then he went on to expose his total ignorance of the subject.
“Already there is water shortage in the country and Kalabgah dam will destroy the economy of the country”:
I ask him, if Mangla and Tarbela dams are destroying the economy of Pakistan why not stop storing water in these dams and stop generating power from these dams. Will we then not have floods for three months and draught for the remaining nine months. Will Punjab and Sindh then start producing more food grain. Will this put us in a position to export food grain or will we have to import even more than before. Where will water for the Rabi period come from if we don’t store water during the Kharif period. Will we then be left with any reserve for any contingency, natural or man made. Will we then not be at the mercy of India. Will not the per capita, per annum availability of water nose dive to below the water-scarce level. Have China, USA, Turkey and India stopped adding to their thousands of dams because their economies are being 'destroyed'.
I wish some newspaper had the guts to ask these question from the chief minister who through his abject ignorance is bent upon destroying the economy of the country.
The he misquoted the Water Accord of 1991 by saying that the agreed figure of 10 million acre feet of water was not being released below Kotri barrage. He has not bothered to look up the Accord (www.wateraccord1991.com) which says - in the absence of an agreement it was decided to conduct further studies. A later foreign consultant’s Study put the figure at less than half of what he is claiming.
He is clueless that even the 10 maf will not stop sea incursion though the year if all of it flows down during the three flood months. He needs to know that the agreed amount has to be stored in dams for distributing it over the twelve months for year round protection of the Indus delta. The delta needs more dams, not less dams.
Before complaining that Sindh is not getting the increased amount as per the Water Accord, he should ask himself, why was Punjab willing to decrease its share in all future dams to increase Sindh’s share. If he can answer this question, I will stop writing on Kalabagh dam.
The River Indus at Kalabagh