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HYDERABAD, Oct 23: Awami Tehreek (AT) chairman Rasool Bux Palijo has claimed that the Thar coal project was being delayed to pave the way for the Kalabagh dam.

Speaking to reporters at the Palijo House in Qasimabad on Tuesday, he said that a petition had recently been filed in the Lahore High Court to seek the go-ahead for the Kalabagh dam project but the PPP government, which had been opposing it for years, was taking no notice of the move.

“The Kalabagh dam plan is a matter of life and death for Sindh,” he reminded the PPP, and told the media that under a conspiracy water downstream Kotri barrage was to be stopped and this would render Sindh’s agricultural lands barren forcing the affected landowners to dispose of their lands at cheap rates.

“This is the plan is for the destruction of Sindh,” he remarked, and said that millions of Sindhi people would oppose it tooth and nail.

Quoting the Lahore High Court observation that the government was not serious about building the dam, Mr Palijo apprehended that the court was going to give its verdict in favour of the petitioner.

“The PPP is very likely to continue with its lip service to the issue,” the veteran politician predicted. He spoke about the strong resistance to the project put up by the PPP when it was led by Benazir Bhutto, and said that the PPP along with the Awami Tehreek had staged a historical sit-in at Kammo Shaheed in Aug 1998 and declared that it would never allow construction of any dam on the Indus.

Mr Palijo said the PPP must honour the commitment it had made to the people of Sindh.

“The PPP-led government wants to create a new Israel within Karachi and for the purpose it was selling away the city’s coastline to foreign concerns. A new city namely Zulfikarabad is also being developed for outsiders,” he warned.