Construction of dams responsibility of elected government: SC

Published: July 30, 2018
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Supreme Court of Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

Supreme Court of Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD. The Supreme Court has observed that construction of dams in the country is the responsibility of the elected government and the judiciary is just assisting it in this matter.

“The decision to collect funds for the construction of such projects is not controversial and the government can take over the responsibility if it so wishes.

“We will ensure that public money, collected for the construction of dams should not be misused,” said the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday while heading a four-judge bench hearing Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams case.

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The CJP noted that the court could not manage details of the project, such as the design and to whom the work should be contracted.  “While the public wants the judiciary to supervise fund collection, it is not its responsibility nor does it have the resources to collect such a large amount,” he added.

Referring to the controversial Kalabagh dam, Justice Nisar said consensus would be left to the public and their elected representatives.

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The government established the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dam Fund after the Supreme Court issued directives on July 4 that construction of the two dams should start immediately and appealed to the people, including overseas Pakistanis, to make a contribution for executing the projects.

During the hearing, the bench asked Aitzaz Ahsan, who is amicus in this matter, whether it is correct for the court to collect funds. Ahsan replied that it is a good and uncontroversial decision.

The bench later deferred proceedings in the matter till formation of an elected government. The bench also postponed the hearing of a suo motu matter regarding the control of population in the country until the new government takes charge.

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