NOWSHERA: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said on Saturday that he had always opposed the controversial Kalabagh dam project and would do so in future.

“Our party’s stand is clear on Kalabagh dam; it wants construction of the dam only after consensus on the project is achieved among the provinces. I know achieving consensus on this controversial project is impossible,” he said while talking to mediapersons here.

The chief minister said that he had always remained anti-Kalabagh dam in his individual capacity and even participated in different rallies against it. “Kalabagh dam will be damaging for the Nowshera, Charsadda and Swabi districts besides some parts of Peshawar,” he said.

However, Mr Khattak said that the Awami National Party and other opponents of his party had no other issue against PTI and that’s why they were now trying to promote their politics over the Kalabagh dam issue. He said that if consensus on construction of Kalabagh dam was developed in other provinces of the country then the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would also take its decision. He clarified that he had given such a statement in Punjab.

The chief minister criticised the behaviour of the federal government and said that its focus was limited to Punjab only and never bothered to think about development of the smaller provinces.

“Foreign donors need guarantees of the federal government, while the provincial government of PTI has initiated talks with donors regarding construction of small dams,” he said.

Mr Khattak said that he had been raising his voice in the Council of Common Interests for the rights of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said that the federal government could remove deprivations prevailing in the smaller provinces by giving them their rights. He said that he had taken up different development projects for KP with the federal government, but in return got false promises.

He appealed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to pay attention to the development of the militancy-affected province.

The chief minister said that they had proposed 13 development projects to the federal government, including generation of low cost electricity from water in Chitral, Malakand and Swat. “I don’t know why the federal government is focusing on producing electricity from coal, furnace oil and gas. The feasibility report of all the 13 projects has been sent to the federal government for approval,” he said.

Published in Dawn, October 18th , 2015

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