Long march in protest against Kalabagh dam from 10th, says Palijo

Updated October 01, 2018

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Qaumi Awami Tehreek President Ayaz Latif Palijo. ─ Photo courtesy Ayaz Latif Palijo Facebook page
Qaumi Awami Tehreek President Ayaz Latif Palijo. ─ Photo courtesy Ayaz Latif Palijo Facebook page

HYDERABAD: Qaumi Awami Tahreek (QAT) president Ayaz Latif Palijo has announced that his party will launch agitation against Kalabagh dam from Oct 10 and stage a long march from Bhitshah to Hyderabad on Dec 21.

He announced that decision to stage another long march up to Islamabad, train march and protest sit-in outside the Wapda office would be taken after discussion with the party.

Mr Palijo was speaking at a news conference after chairing the party’s central council meeting here on Sunday.

He said that conditions in the country were aggravating because those who had made tall claims to control depreciation of rupee rate and overcome Pakistan’s debt etc had failed to fulfil their promises.

He said that the three months of the present government had clearly showed that it lacked people’s agenda. Kalabagh dam had been rejected thrice by Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan assemblies but still a big forum of Pakistan announced building the controversial dam and threatened the dam’s opponents with ‘invoking Article-6 against them’.

He said that despite this, people of Sindh and QAT would not accept Kalabagh dam and appealed to the apex court to pay serious attention to thousands of cases pending in courts, considering the fact that many innocent people had been punished before their acquittal finally.

He said the issues like dam fell within the ‘domain of people’ and not parliament or assemblies. People had to take a final decision on them, he said.

He said that water of Indus had been stolen over the past 150 years. The new government should have accounted for the theft of Sindh’s water of the past 150 years and operation of illegal Chashma-Jehlum and Taunsa-Panjnad link canals, but it announced construction of dams and opening of special fund account to receive donations, he said.

He said that Sindh was facing severe water shortage with the result that people were facing drought-like conditions. Nobody talked about equal distribution of groundwater aquifer, he said, adding that when flows were available in Indus, it was aquifer in Punjab which got recharged first, but downstream flows in Sindh remained inadequate. Mr Palijo said that water should be equally distributed among provinces.

He said the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) leadership should speak to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leadership about dams’ construction.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced issuance of national identity cards to illegal immigrants who were involved in heinous crimes in Karachi.

He said that Imran Khan claimed that he would model Pakistan on the first Islamic state in Madina but he forgot that Pakistanis living in Saudi Arab for the past 70 years and paying taxes were not given citizenship by the Saudi Arab government.

While people were facing different issues, corruption was destroying the country, he said and accused Pakistan Peoples Party of facilitating rule of the federal government.

He also reminded the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Mohammad Hussain that how could MQM raise Sindhis who had 6,000 years old civilisation.

He condemned the language used by Sohail Anwar Siyal against Urdu-speaking people, saying that Sindhi and Urdu-speaking people shared a common civilisation.

Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2018