After the Council of Common Interest’s candid reply to the Lahore High Court categorically stating it had no objection to the construction of Kalabagh Dam, an increased number of people have started questioning the logic of consigning it into cold storage. One such voice is Chairman Pakistan Industrial and Traders Association Front Sohail Lashari who termed the project as indispensable to country’s progress. While lamenting that the members of the assemblies were still nursing their traditional hatred for the dam, he diverted their attention towards India that was building a number of dams to support its economy.
Though our business community is particularly hit by the power outages and is calling on the rulers to take the dam up quickly, the government appears totally uninterested, manifest from the budget that had no mention or funds allocation for the project. The pity however is that there has so far been no indication by the federal government that it is sensitive to their plight. In fact, its response to the CCI’s recommendation is a foregone conclusion. That the CCI has agreed itself constitutes a consensus in a way because it is a countrywide forum with representation from all provinces. Those at the helm should not leave their countrymen in the lurch, particularly the badly affected traders’ community, a section of which is so desperate that it even threatened to take out a long march if the project remained in limbo.