HYDERABAD: Echoing concern over statements in favour of the controversial Kalabagh Dam, civil society representatives of Hyderabad took to protest on Tuesday. They warned that the protest will turn into a movement which will continue unless the proponents of the dam do not withdraw from their demand.
"Sindhis have been fighting a war for the [Indus] river for aeons and even today this protest is about ownership of the river," said Jami Chandio, an intellectual and writer. He argued that neither the court nor the Prime Minister or his cabinet have the authority to construct the Kalabagh Dam, which falls solely under the purview of the Council of Common Interests (CCI).
"The people of Sindh have rejected the Kalabagh Dam several times. The viewpoint of Sindh's people should be respected."
CCI decision on Kalabagh dam should be honoured: SC
The Fisher Folk Forum's Syed Muhammad Ali Shah warned that a further reduction in the flow of Indus River will, besides desertifying the province, lead to a massive sea intrusion. Writer Zulfiqar Halepoto, who belongs to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, said he has been briefing the PTI over the controversies.
Human rights activist Punhal Sario sensed a conspiracy of drying the Indus River behind the move. "The people of Karachi, who are contributing to the dam funds, should know that their drinking water also comes from the Indus River," said Mustafa Baloch of Strengthening Participatory Organisation.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2018.