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QUETTA, July 7: Mir Jan Mohammad Jamali, a former deputy chairman of Senate, has accused the Sindh government of pushing the people of Balochistan towards starvation by holding back the province’s quota of irrigation water from the Indus.

Talking to Dawn, he said that despite repeated appeals to Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Balochistan was not getting its quota of irrigation water.

Standing crops in Jaffarabad, Naseerabad and Jhal Magsi districts of eastern Balochistan were drying up after the “deliberate cut” in release of irrigation water by the Sindh government, Mr Jamali said. He appealed to President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to intervene in the matter and ensure release of Balochistan’s water quota.

Although President Zardari and Chief Minister Shah had issued orders to ensure release of water to Balochistan in accordance with Irsa agreement, Sindh’s bureaucracy was obstructing supply of irrigation water to Balochistan, the senator alleged.

Mr Jamali said at present Balochistan was receiving only half of its share in Indus water.

He recalled that the “officialdom in Sindh should keep in mind that Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi and nationalist leaders had already warned that people of Balochistan would take to the street if Sindh did not “change its attitude”.

Mir Jamali alleged that Balochistan’s water quota was being given to influential landlords of Sindh in areas along left bank of the Indus, Kotri Barrage and Sukkur Barrage.

He said the water shortage was “one too many” for Balochistan as the province was already going through the torment of relentless power cuts.