Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


Kalabagh dam: LHC ruling akin to attack on federation, says Afrasiab Khattak

Published Nov 30, 2012 07:57am


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

ANP leader Afrasiab Khattak. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: Awami National Party (ANP) leader Afrasiab Khattak on Friday said the Lahore High Court's ruling calling for the construction of the Kalabagh dam was akin to an attack on the federation, DawnNews reported.

Speaking to media representatives in Islamabad, Khattak said the LHC's ruling on a set of petitions seeking to build the dam had "the tone of Takht-i-Lahore" in it.

Khattak added that three units of the federation had rejected the idea of constructing the much-politicised dam.

On the occasion, ANP spokesman Zahid Khan said digging the matter would not deliver any results.

Khan added that the ANP would soon announce its strategy on the issue.

Earlier on Nov 29, the LHC ordered the federal government to implement decisions of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) and build the Kalabagh dam.

“The Constitution of Pakistan confers a pre-eminent position to the CCI to formulate and regulate policies for the federation in relation to a number of subjects, including water and power. A decision of the CCI has obligatory effect unless the same is modified by parliament at the instance of the federal government under Article 154(7) of the Constitution,” said a short order issued by LHC Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial after deciding a set of petitions seeking an order for the government to build the dam in the light of CCI’s recommendations.


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

Comments (32) Closed

akmal zeb Dec 01, 2012 12:40am
The core issue is not the Dam but trust deficit amongst the provinces. And unfortunately, this mistrust was created by the evil SPIRIT of establishment by keeping small provinces in the dark and exploiting their natural resources for about 60 years. The blinkered establishment has never accepted people's 'will' and 'choice' in the name of patriotism and national interests. It's tenet has been 'I am therefore Pakistan is.' but now democratic SPIRIT is taking over and getting rid of this scum slowly but gradually. We have brought this devil under our knives and breathing it's last, On this holy occasion, its expects some words of prayers from us, let's not disappoint it as it did us in the pas. Let's pray loudly with one voice 'Pakistan is therefore we are, and Pakistan is better off without you' O, you evil spirit. After this transition, an individual will be a genuine citizen and the whole people will be a single nation. this will be right occasion and right time for moving on with construction plan of the Dam. Do at the right time.
AAK Dec 01, 2012 12:41am
Coal projects do not give water for agriculture and are not environment friendly. They do not stop floods. Apart from illogical political vested interests can someone explain the negative aspects of kalabagh dam? In a cool, technical and logical manner. We should not think talk in terms of punjab, sindh etc but what is better for Pakistan.
Hasan-SZ Nov 30, 2012 04:06pm
I live & work in China for the past 12 years. The Chinese sacrificed everything for the sake of their nation to build the 3 Gorges Dam which has propelled China into the 22 Century! Dirty politicians of Pakistan will always play dirty and turn Sind & Baluchistan into a desert by not building the Kalabagh Dam.
Naseem Akhtar Nov 30, 2012 02:37pm
The court orders, the court builds !
imransaudi Nov 30, 2012 10:47am
This decision can prove a torpedo and argument against free Judiciary in Pakistan. Put such matters to Parliament, a simple escape.
Zack Nov 30, 2012 01:10pm
I humbly suggest that all party conference to be called and go for referendum on Kala Bagh Dam. And take a firm stand.
Ali Abbas Nov 30, 2012 04:23pm
I humbly request that there is no point in beating this dead horse. We need to move on and find other solutions. This issue has become too toxic to be resloved. Our courts the completely tone deaf regarding the needs for Pakistani people. They are acting like dictators.
Maryam Nov 30, 2012 04:23pm
There is already a 'near to' consensus on Kalabagh Dam. All three provinces except Punjab has opposed this dam. Senate has opposed this Dam. We need to get out of this debate over Kalabagh Dam as further insistence on its construction may weak the federation. We lose more than half of our country due to the stubbornness of Punjab, let's not repeat.
mazharuddin Nov 30, 2012 09:04am
There is no question of federation or other institution. Water reservoirs are the need of time, country facing acute shortage of water that causing huge losses to the country. Political power failed to have consensus. There seems no one able to submit alternative of Kalabagh Dam with better feasibility report. There is the need to discuss the reasons and logic submitted by opponents to deny building Kalabagh Dam whether acceptable in the interest of nation? Is it justified to sleep and not to have water reservoirs that causing peoples sufferings?
Bakka Nov 30, 2012 04:55pm
Sadly most of the negative comments are coming from people with little or no knowledge about the benefits of Dams. History tell us that manay countries like Egypt, USA and indeed Pakistan has postively benefitted from these requisite projects. Albeit there will be some limited impact however the reality is that overall benefits will be far greater. Regretablly the Kalabagh Dam project has been highjacked and politicalised by self righteous individuals and parties seeking cheap publicity and popluarity. Great leaders take the nation where we ought to be and not where they want to be. Whlist I accept that we need to invest in alternative source of energy, such as solar and wind; however the reality is that for Pakistan it is heaper to resolve the current energy crisis through long over-due Kalabagh Dam. Failure to do so will result in serious and far reaching consquences. we have already seen the closure of manufacturing industries resulting in high unemployment and law and order not to mention the loss of qulaity of life of our people. Pakistani leaders need to unite the nation in order to resolve issues faced by the public and not to divide our people on provincial, ethinc and religeous grounds.
Shah Nov 30, 2012 09:08am
Pakistan can not afford more power blackouts. Our Industry is ruined. Economy is finished. People are living in the Dark Ages. Kamabagh Dam MUST be built ASAP for the people of Pakistan!
Tazmin Nawaz Nov 30, 2012 01:48pm
Pakistan needs dams wherever these can be built including Kalabagh dam. HOOVER DAM in United States changed the fate of the country. Similarly building of dams where these are feasible, must be built. The country does not seem to have any choice. In addition all other avenues to produce electricity should be explored.
winston Nov 30, 2012 09:14am
Kalabagh dam must be built, if people think that punjab will steal their water then appoint people from Sindh and NWFP to control the water.
shehzad Nov 30, 2012 01:53pm
The three provinces are not against building dams but they are only against a project that will have adverse effects on these three provinces. The problem in Pakistan is that the mighty ones take decisions that can ruin the country and then blame the victims. Why not build other dams that are not controversial? Why not develop the coal reserves? I think Punjab wants kalabagh not Pakistan. If they will go ahead to build this dam which I don't think they can but if they will, the people of the three provinces will protest and the Punjabi establishment can launch operations to suppress the people. If that happens this time Pakistan won't survive. A violent rebellion will take Pakistan by storm. Can Pakistan afford another rebellion? I mean the problems we have already aren't enough for these people.
shuaib Nov 30, 2012 10:28am
Legislators are not technocrats or an authority over issues like this. If any Project is good for the Country and technical people vet it after brain storming, after correcting offensive issues to the Project then what is the problem? The maximum we will get is the resolutions in the PAs and NA condemning the Dam but ANP will not bother to represent this case in the Court of Law because they have no grounds except to create obstacles.
Muneeb Nov 30, 2012 02:33pm
Kalabagh dam is the only long term solution to our bigger problems, including but not limited to; - long power outages to the industrial sector which is having adverse effects on our economy, balance of payments, exports, jobs, Foreign exchange remittances, and least of them is the public rage and quality of life that we as citizens are spending, - Flooding problems, as last year KP and Sindh suffered the worst floods in Pakistan history only due to the lack of a proper reservoir - Irrigation water, our backbone of economy is agriculture and sources of fresh water are declining fast, if not for this dam we might be very well facing food droughts too and what would happen to the people linked directly to agriculture business. - Tarbela Dam has reached its capacity and an alternate dam of equal capacity is required. Kalabagh dam is the only dam whose feasibility study report suggests that it is most favorable, since the resorvoir area is 'natural' and can be built with very less expense as compared to any other dam of equal capacity. we all know the one point political agenda of ANP has been for years Kalabagh dam without any alternative, playing with the sentiments of people and offering nothing in return. I urge the government to take serious steps and lay a plan for rehabilitation of people and providing them even better living facility who are going to lose their properties owing to the construction but for Pakistan's sake, please form a consensus and dont listen to these political frauds who can do nothing except for exploitation!
muzammil ullah khan Nov 30, 2012 02:36pm
It is not for courts to meddle in such matters . It is a matter for politicians to decide. I cant understand as to what is wrong with our judiciary and why do they insist on issuing orders on matters which do not fall in their domain . All I can say about the judiciary is that they are getting on to slippery ground and if they are not careful they will lose all credibility . Good reputation , built over a period of time, can simply evaporate suddenly if proper care is not taken .
KR Nov 30, 2012 02:59pm
Politicians in Pakistan over 50 years have shown incredible lack vision in acting in the best interest of the entire nation. India , next door has constructed over 20 dams and we cannot even build this one. That is the difference in the quality of politicians and vision with respect to India- they acting in the overall interest of the country and we acting only in our narrow self-interest Dams will store water for when required and even prevent floods; and deliver cheap electricty all over Pakistan; no amount of alternative energy can substitute what a dam can do.
Rizwan Nov 30, 2012 03:15pm
World bank also appreciated Kala bagh dam so they have checked the feasibility. Don't create hurdles. Anti Pakistani are against Kala bagh dam because they don't want to resolve energy issue. They are helping those who are destroying Pakistan. Kala Bagh dam not only fulfill energy source but also protect us from Floods. Kindly don't make it a political issue. Its our need. Everyone should take part in it. I am courteous with people who are against it but think it as Now or never. We can't go for alternative energy source when we have opportunity in our hand. Take part to Build Pakistan. Don't be so political Be mature and sincere with your country. Energy is the biggest issue as India has made so many dams and Pakistan is lacking energy due to which our industry is not working at its full potential. If it starts working on 50% after resolving energy crisis we can improve our GDP as well as Increase the employment level in our country. Thank You!
Asad Nov 30, 2012 05:11pm
with respect, you are utterly wrong on this subject. How can we even hope to have a brighter future if we don't fix our present energy crisis. Kalabagh dam is the ultimate solution to our energy requirements. As far as agriculture is concerned, there's a little thing called engineering which basically means problem-solving. We so boldly boast our students' superior intellect all over the world, yet we can't put our best minds together and come up with solutions pertaining to agricultural problems as a result of the construction of the dam. Although solar and wind are clean sources of energy, they cannot be relied on to meet our present energy needs. It is just not a viable option. With the right kind mindset and the proper determination, anything is within grasp.
Lakhkar Khan Nov 30, 2012 05:18pm
You don't know what you are talking about. ANP was elected by the people to protect their rights and you bet they will. Go read the history and struggle of ANP regarding Kala Bagh Dam.
Umair K Dec 01, 2012 10:09am
The dam should be build by national consensus. No doubt, power outages has ruined the country's economy and Kalabagh Dam is very feasible solution to this issue. I think Balochistan has no problem with the Dam infact. The reservation of other two provinces should be sincerely solved but Dam should be buid. Anything which can benefit has cost. Not only power solution but Dam can also act as flood control device which are devastating specifically Sindh almost every year.
Jawwad Nov 30, 2012 06:01pm
"Khan added that the ANP would soon announce its strategy on the issue". LOL Ya heard that back in 1985 and then in 1990's and again in 2000's. Fact is you have no strategy. Building dam means loss of land means loss of clout means loss of power. Fact is Yeh Sau rahe hain inko saune dau. They will eventually wake up to find themselves in the middle of water. No dam will save them.
baakhlaq Nov 30, 2012 12:20pm
Kalabagh dam has become a political issue,it couldn't be constructed even by the martial law regimes then how we can expect that orders of the Lahore High court will resolve all the controversy over this issue. perhaps mini dams are more suitable than the huge dams.
omer khan shaheen Nov 30, 2012 12:35pm
We should focus on alternative energy projects such as solar, wind and ideally nuclear. Kalabagh damn endangers our agricultural lands just like population growth and urbanization. We need look 100 years ahead of time.
farrukh Nov 30, 2012 07:29pm
dams produce cheapest electricity and can contribute to a better power generation system.Solar,win power are too expensive and don't produce that much electricity but then again we need massive funds to build a single dam while for wind we can start by one turbine(less cost than whole dam) so it really comes down to money at the end of it.Also how much technology we have to make a alternative energy while dams we can make by our own knowing we made Tarbela dam ourself which was one of the best dams in Asia at one time.
AAK Dec 01, 2012 12:33am
Do you know that the cost of alternate power like solar, wind is many times higher than hydel . Our low income nation will not be able to pay the bills even if we set up these alternate energy projects. Not only do dams provide clean and cheap electricity but also water for agriculture and counter floods. It will help agriculture not endager it.
observer Dec 01, 2012 02:55am
Good comment.
observer Dec 01, 2012 03:04am
Lahore High Court has become team B of Punjab Assembly. Judges need to open their minds and leave their personal choices aside and focus on the job. Courts taking everything into their own hands is not a good trend. It is not courts job to decide what project to undertake and what not. Stay away from politics or become irrelevant.
observer Dec 01, 2012 03:07am
With Punjab bigger in population than other provinces and this project being more about Punjab
Talha Nov 30, 2012 09:01pm
Dear Pakistan, Please build a few mega dams while you can. Your neighbour upstream is building and will build them if you don't; and once built it can not be undone. Don't let the politicians use this to score for personal gains. They are all lying. We need more than one Kalabaghs. Look at the bigger good and not minor interest of few. ANP and PPP are trying to score politically here and thats it.
mohammad shafiq Nov 30, 2012 02:24pm
if there is no question of federation than federation will break