KARACHI: Sindhi nationalists, agriculture experts, parliamentarians and civil society activists have opposed development projects on the River Indus and demanded international donors to stop funding these projects.
They stressed the need for an independent international commission to ascertain the loss faced by Sindh by these mega projects and demanded that compensation should be provided to those affected. This demand is part of a resolution that was passed at an event organised by the Sindh Progressive National Alliance (SPNA) on Sunday.
The alliance includes different nationalist parties including the Awami Tahreek, Sindh Tarraqi Passand Party, Sindh United Party and Save Sindh Movement.
Speaking on the occasion, participants condemned the present government’s policy regarding Sindh. They said that the federal and Sindh governments are equally responsible for the opening of the Chashma Jhelum link canal.
They demanded that projects such as the CJ link canal, Bhasha Dam, and Greater Thal Canal should be shelved without any further delay. “People of Sindh will not compromise on water because it is now a life-and-death issue for them,” they said.
Rasool Bux Palijo of the Awami Tahreek said, “Not only governments but feudal lords of Sindh are also responsible for the water crises in Sindh,” he said.
Dr Qadir Magsi of the Sindh Tarraqi Pasand Party said that they are ready to wage war for water if needed. “We will not compromise on water, which is being taken away forcibly by the bureaucracy of the Punjab,” he said.
Former Sindh chief minister Liaquat Ali Jatoi said that when he was the federal minister for water and power he opposed the Kalabagh Dam during a cabinet meeting.
Jalal Mehmood Shah of the Sindh United Party, who is also the convenor of the alliance, said that they will organise conferences, rallies and hunger strikes to mobilise the people of Sindh and educate them about their rights.
Former speaker of the National Assembly Illahi Bux Soomro, Dr Safdar Sarki of the Jeay Sindh Tahreek and Abdul Razzaque Rahmo also spoke on the occasion.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2010.
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