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CHIEF of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa presents a cheque for over Rs1 billion to Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar for construction of dams on Monday.—Online
CHIEF of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa presents a cheque for over Rs1 billion to Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar for construction of dams on Monday.—Online

ISLAMABAD: Living up to its earlier resolve, the Pakistan Army has donated over Rs1 billion to the Supreme Court’s fund for construction of the Diamer-Basha and Mohmand dams.

Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa met Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar at the Supreme Court building here on Monday and presented a cheque for Rs1,005.9 million as donation to the Sup­reme Court of Pakistan Diamer-Basha and Mohmand Dam Fund.

On July 9, Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor announced that the armed forces of the country had decided to contribute funds for the construction of 4,500MW Diamer-Basha dam and 700MW Mohmand dam. In a message on Twitter, Maj Gen Ghafoor had stated that officers of the army, navy and air force would contribute their two-day pay and soldiers their one-day pay to the fund for this national cause.

In a letter to the CJP, the army chief said: “It gives me immense pleasure to share with you that the Supreme Court’s decision regarding construction of ‘Diamer-Basha and Mohmand Dams’ has been well received by the Pakistan Army.

PM holds meeting with Wapda chairman, says he’ll himself supervise water reservoir project

“In order to support this national cause all ranks have contributed as follows: Pakistan Army Officers including Civilian Officers paid out of defence estimate (two days pay) and Junior Commissioned Officers/Soldiers and Civilians paid out of defence estimate (one day pay).”

The letter further stated that Pakistan Army’s Welfare Orga­nisations had also voluntarily made contributions for this cause. “In sum, I am pleased to intimate that an accumulated amount of over Rupees One Billion has been collected and being deposited in the Supreme Court of Pakistan Diamer Basha and Mohmand Dam Fund as per details enclosed,” it contended.

PM may supervise dams’ project

Also on Monday, Wapda Chairman retired Lt Gen Muzammil Hussain called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at the PM Office and stressed the need for building new dams in the country as early as possible.

Soon after the meeting, the PM in messages on Twitter stated that the Wapda chairman had emphasised the urgency of building two new dams.

The PM also tweeted that given the urgency he might himself supervise the dams’ project. He said the total water outflow in Pakistan was 45 million acres feet (MAF) 80 per cent of which is in only three months.

He regretted that Pakistan had only 185 dams and only two of them were large ones. In contrast, he added, India had 5,000 dams and China 84,000 dams, including 4,000 large ones.

“We need to avert the looming water crisis confronting Pakistan,” the prime minister emphasised.

In his address to the nation on Sept 8, PM Khan had appealed to overseas Pakistanis to donate $1,000 each to help finance construction of the two dams. He had explained that donations in dollars would help in improving the fast-depleting foreign exchange reserves of the country.

On July 4, the SC had ordered the federal government and Wapda to take effective measures in the light of the unanimous decisions of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) to build two new dams.

Consequently, the finance ministry opened an account on July 5 under the title of DIAMER BASHA AND MOHMAND DAM FUND–2018.

CJP Nisar formally deposited Rs1 million as donation in the account from his personal account and had assured the nation that the funds so generated could only be utilised solely for the construction and establishment of dams and for the time being would be operated under the orders of the Supreme Court on the recommendations of an implementation committee.

The order made it clear that the funds in this account would not under any circumstance or for any reason be diverted or utilised for any purpose other than the construction of dams.

And for avoidance of doubts the court directed that no questions would be asked by any authority or department, including tax authorities, relating to the source of funds contributed in the account. But the utilisation of funds would be subjected to audit as per directions of the court.

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2018