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Kalabagh dam case: LHC CJ says consensus need of the hour

October 30, 2012

Lahore High Court (LHC). - File Photo

LAHORE: During the hearing of petitions for the construction of the Kalabagh dam on Tuesday, Chief Justice Lahore High Court (LHC) Umar Ata Bandial remarked that bringing about an agreement on the dam’s construction among all four provinces was the need of the hour, DawnNews reported.

During today’s proceedings, the petitioners’ counsel, Advocate A K Dogar, requested the court to conclude the case as soon as it was possible “as the construction of the dam held a significant position when it came to public interest”.

Dogar claimed that the project was being delayed without good reason, adding that, in 1991, the chief ministers of the four provinces had signed an agreement at the Council for Common Interests paving the way for the dam’s construction.

Dogar complained there had been no implementation on the agreement.

The LHC chief justice inquired whether the decision of the CCI could be held as final.

Dogar replied that the CCI was a constitutional institution that was mandated to resolve the differences among provinces, adding that, for that reason the federal government was bound to follow the council’s decisions.

Dogar further told the court that building the dam was a fundamental right of the public and that the opposition to its construction was political. He said political interference in the matter could not be given priority over fundamental rights.

In his remarks, Justice Bandial said that Kalabagh dam was a matter among the four provinces and could therefore not be resolved without a consensus.

He added that public interest would not be compromised.

The court then told Dogar to continue with his arguments and adjourned the hearing until 1pm.