LAHORE: Vowing not to allow India to steal Pakistan’s water, Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar on Sunday asked whether the Punjab government was aware of pilferage by the neighbouring country from the Ravi River.
The chief justice made the remarks at Supreme Court’s Lahore registry while hearing cases of public interest. The top court heard petitions against water theft from Ravi River and Abbasia Link Canal.
The chief justice of Pakistan said stealing water from the poor peasants is like sucking their blood. The court will not allow water theft from the Abbasia Link Canal as it will affect the poor farmers. The irrigation department should take the help of police and conduct an operation against those involved in water theft, he said.
Ordering the secretary of the irrigation department to present a report on January 4, the chief justice enquired why India was stealing water from Pakistan. “We will not allow India to steal Pakistan’s water,” he said, asking whether the Punjab government was aware about water theft from Ravi River at the hands of India.
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If the provincial government was aware of the misappropriation, then it must tell the court about the measure taken against water theft, the chief justice said. He warned that the court would not allow anyone to subject the poor farmers of the areas along the Abbasia Link Canal to exploitation and steal their water.
The top judge asked the irrigation department to acquire the help of police and conduct an operation against those involved in theft of water. He also called upon the relevant authorities to register cases against those stealing water.
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Speaking to Punjab Irrigation Secretary Ali Murtaza, the chief justice said that those in power might be removed and warned that the court would under no condition allow exploitation of the poor.
The chief justice of Pakistan adjourned the hearing until January 4, ordering the secretary to submit a progress report.
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