Prime Minister Imran Khan calls on overseas Pakistanis to donate to dams fund

Published September 7, 2018
PM Khan urges overseas Pakistanis to donate for dams fund — DawnNewsTV
PM Khan urges overseas Pakistanis to donate for dams fund — DawnNewsTV

Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to the nation in a brief televised address on Friday evening to appeal for donations to the dams fund set up by the Supreme Court.

"There is no question that we are faced with several significant problems," the prime minister said as he began the address. "Our debt today stands at Rs30,000 billion but the biggest problem we currently face is the water crisis.

"When Pakistan was made, every Pakistani had 5600 cubic metres of water. Today that stands at only 1000 cubic metres."

"We have storage capacity of only 30 days for water when the safe period for water storage is 120 days. India has a capacity of 90 days. This is why making the dam for us is so important."

Warning of the rapid depletion in Pakistan's water resources, the premier said the country would face drought-like conditions by 2025 if immediate steps were not taken.

PM Khan urges overseas Pakistanis to donate for dams fund

"I want to commend Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar [for starting the dams fund], but this was not his job," he said. "This was the job of civilian leaders who knew this was going to swell into a crisis but did nothing to thwart it."

"I want to take over the fund-raising and want overseas Pakistanis to contribute like they used to do for the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital, he said.

The prime minister asked all overseas Pakistanis to make as many donations as they can to the dams fund in dollars to plug the country's depleting foreign exchange reserves as well as provide funding to start building dams, which he said he would personally oversee.

"I will safeguard your donations [against misuse]," he promised.

"If every overseas Pakistani donates $1,000, we will have enough to build the dams ourselves," the prime minister said.

"This fund will only be used for building dams. I know not every overseas Pakistani will be able to give $1,000, especially the ones working in the Middle East. To them, I would say that donate as much as you can. But the overseas Pakistanis in Europe and the United States, I want them to send at least $1,000 or even more if they can," he said.

Read: Why a mega dam project cannot be crowd-sourced

The prime minister cited the example of Egypt, which he said had launched a similar drive to build dams using its own resources.

"They were not getting any external loans; no one will give us any loans from outside either," he said. "We already have so many loans that we are finding hard to repay, so no one is going to loan us anymore. We alone will have to build this dam, and we can. We just have to make up our minds."

"I promise to you that I will safeguard your money," PM Khan added.

Opinion

Editorial

Debt trap
Updated 30 May, 2024

Debt trap

The task before the government is to boost its tax-to-GDP ratio to the global average by taxing the economy’s untaxed and undertaxed sectors.
Foregone times
30 May, 2024

Foregone times

THE past, as they say, is a foreign country. It seems that the PML-N’s leadership has chosen to live there. Nawaz...
Margalla fires
30 May, 2024

Margalla fires

THE Margalla Hills — the sprawling 12,605-hectare national park — were once again engulfed in flames, with 15...
First steps
Updated 29 May, 2024

First steps

One hopes that this small change will pave the way for bigger things.
Rafah inferno
29 May, 2024

Rafah inferno

THE level of barbarity witnessed in Sunday’s Israeli air strike targeting a refugee camp in Rafah is shocking even...
On a whim
29 May, 2024

On a whim

THE sudden declaration of May 28 as a public holiday to observe Youm-i-Takbeer — the anniversary of Pakistan’s...