Betrayal charge: Senate panel seeks arrest of ex-water commissioner

Says former Indus Water commissioner is behind the country’s waters woes

Our Correspondent October 02, 2014


Urging the government to take up water rights issue with India, a senate committee on Wednesday demanded that Pakistan’s former Indus Water Commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah be immediately arrested for not protecting Pakistan’s water rights.

“Government must have arrested Jamaat Ali Shah. He is the man behind the country’s water woes,” observed Kalsoom Parveen, the chairman of Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat, which was discussing issues related to floods, waters and rehabilitation of earthquake victims.

“India by constructing more dams in Indian held Kashmir is violating all the agreements both countries have made at international forums,” she added.

It must be noted that Shah was removed from office for his failure in pursuing Pakistan’s case against India’s Kishanganga Hydro Project in International Court of Arbitrator in 2010.

He later fled to Canada in 2012 when Pakistani intelligence agencies were investigating into his alleged silence over Indian aggression on the country’s water rights. The government has now approached Interpol for his repatriation.

Speaking before the panel, Federal Flood Commission (FFC) Chairman Asjad Imtiaz said a National Flood Protection Plan (2015-25) was being prepared.

“The commission will complete its work plan about structural and non-structural measures, flood plan mapping and zoning and automation of flood reporting system by January 31, 2015,” he added.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Federal Flood Commission (FFC) also gave a detailed briefing on the recent floods in Pakistan. The committee was told that due to the recent floods 360 people had died, 646 people had suffered injuries and 4,065 villages were damaged.

The NDMA chief Major General Muhammad Saeed Aleem said the damages caused in the recent monsoon were due to flash floods, landslides, urban flooding and river floods.

In response to a question, he told the committee that this year’s monsoon rainfall was not in Suleiman Range and all the floods came in Ravi, Jhelum and Chenab as a result of water release
from India.

Expressing his anguish over the situation, Senator Kamil Ali Agha said government departments were given briefings but did not do anything practical.

Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) acting deputy chairman Brigadier Wajid Raza also appeared before the panel and said 67% rehabilitation work was done in the areas affected by 2005 earthquake.

“However, the ERRA is not being given the authority to work on New Balakot City Project properly and until now only 14% of the land has been given under ERRA’s control while 86% of land of the project is disputed and hence ERRA is denied permission to work,” he added.

In response to Senators’ queries, he said the ERRA had also sought help of top officials for uplift of ongoing projects but no concrete steps were taken so far.

The panel decided to visit New Balakot city after Eidul Azha. Showing concern over the slow pace of work, it called it a failure of the concerned departments.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 2nd, 2014.


Ali | 8 years ago | Reply

The article contains non-factual information about Mr. Jamaat Ali Shah and translates to damaging his credibility and image. The write shall be held accountable by filing a defamation suit. The media should only report facts and not lies to sensationalize the news to sell their paper.

Syed Jamait Ali Shah | 8 years ago | Reply

I made a comment on this news earlier on which my picture was displayed. I am not aware of what the Chairperson of Senate Cabinet Secretariat Committee stated, however, false statement added in news reported by Mr. Gishkori is totally unethical and I reserve the right to take/challenge such derogatory remarks at legal fora. There had been no complaints against me from the Ministry of Water & Power, who was the administrative Ministry. Neither any case was or has been registered by FIA or any warrants etc. Displaying of my picture and character assassination in a very ugly manner by the reporter of a Civil Servant having clean record, and who has been retired since 2011 makes no sense. I have already commented that I am in Lahore at phone 0300-8460674 and that I went out of country etc is baseless. I was made OSD in Dec 2010, as I did not agree with the then politically appointed Special Assistant to the PM On Water Resources & Agriculture to appoint his friends and incompetent lawyers from UK on issues in the Court of Arbitration with India on Kishenganga Project. There are no delays in processing the case by me till Dec. 2014 it is evident from the record. I urge the Editor and the Reporter to play ethics as have been laid down in their paper policy.

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Most Read