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Gen Bajwa donates Rs1bn for dam fund on military's behalf

Updated September 10, 2018

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COAS calls on CJP Saqib Nisar, presents cheque of Rs1005.99 million as donation for Diamer-Basha and Mohmand dams. —Photo courtesy SC
COAS calls on CJP Saqib Nisar, presents cheque of Rs1005.99 million as donation for Diamer-Basha and Mohmand dams. —Photo courtesy SC

Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday called on Chief Justice Saqib Nisar at the Supreme Court to present a cheque of Rs1,005.99 million as the army's donation to the Diamer-Basha and Mohmand Dams Fund set up by the apex court, according to a statement issued by the SC.

In July, the armed forces of Pakistan had announced they would contribute funds for the construction of the Diamer-Basha and Mohmand dams.

“The officers of army, navy and air force will contribute their two days’ pay, while soldiers [will be donating] one day’s pay to the announced fund for this national cause,” the military's spokesperson had said.

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

"When Pakistan was made, every Pakistani had 5,600 cubic metres of water. Today, that stands at only 1,000 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.

"I want to commend Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar [for starting the dams fund], but this was not his job," he had 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 had 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 had promised.

Sarfraz and co chip in with Rs3.2m

Hours before the COAS handed over the cheque to the chief justice, Pakistan cricket team also made its contribution to the dam fund, according to captain Sarfraz Ahmed.

The national team, which is busy preparing for the upcoming Asia Cup 2018 these days, deposited Rs3.2 million.

"Each player contributed Rs200,000 to the cause," shared Sarfraz.