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Awami National Party (ANP) leader Senator Zahid Khan. — File Photo

LAHORE: The Awami National Party (ANP) announced on Thursday that it would oppose the construction of the controversial Kalabagh Dam to “their very last breath”, DawnNews reported.

ANP spokesperson Zahid Khan told DawnNews on Thursday that the dam was a conspiracy for national destruction and the Lahore High Court (LHC) should remain careful while making any decisions on the matter.

Khan said that the ANP would offer the same sacrifices again as it did in its fight against terrorism.

The construction of the controversial hydroelectric dam, proposed to be built at Kalabagh in Punjab’s Mianwali district, is a thorny political issue likely to fuel further tension between Punjab and the provinces of Sindh and Khyber Pakhthunkhwa.

The Lahore High Court is currently hearing petitions for the construction of Kalabagh dam, which is believed to be able end the country’s power crisis.

During court proceeding on Thursday, Chief Justice LHC Umar Ata Bundial remarked that as it is a question of national interest, the court would definitely order in favour of the dam’s construction.

Zahid Khan that the LHC chief justice had no idea about the extent of floods that plagued Pakistan almost every year.

He added that three provinces had opposed the plan to build the Kalabagh Dam. Therefore, the ANP would also strongly oppose its construction.

The ANP leader requested the LHC to exercise caution in deciding on the case so as to prevent causing a rift between the people of the provinces.

Earlier, Justice Banidal also said during today’s hearing that the reservations expressed by the federal, Sindh and KP governments about the issue could be easily addressed through negotiations.

He added that it was imperative to construct the dam as it would alleviate the Pakistan’s worsening water and energy crisis.

The LHC chief justice also said that his bench did not wish to make decisions that would interfere with the provincial autonomy of the other provinces.

He then adjourned the hearing to Oct 30.


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