Controversy seems unending

LAHORE - Despite the announcement made by the federal government about resolving the water dispute, the controversy over the Chashma-Jhelum Link Canal seems to remain unending, as the Punjab govt has told the Centre that no compromise would be made over water distribution formula by taking every possible step to ensure its implementation. It has been learnt that CM Shahbaz Sharif sent a letter to PM Yousuf Raza Gilani just after the electronic media flashed the news of the waterways closure and said there was no justification to deflect from the decided water-sharing formula. The letter says, It is right of Punjab and slashing the share is a grave injustice to the farmers of the province. On the other hand, Gilani asked Shahbaz to observe patience till the Irsa meeting to be held today (Wednesday), saying the decision would be made in the interest of the whole country, without any injustice to anyone. The federal govt has further requested Punjab to stay calm and wait for the decision till nomination of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwas representative, as the storm was created by an arbitrary move of a single member of Irsa. Apart from the premier, Shahbaz also contacted Secretary Water and Power Shahid Rafi and other top officials and ruled out the leeway of any give and take over the dispute. According to the sources, they are told that the country would not be strengthened in case Punjab is made barren, as it has always sacrificed and moved forward while taking the small provinces into confidence. But the reduced water supply to Punjab cannot be ignored, as agri development is a guarantee of national progress not only for Punjab but also for the whole nation. He made it clear that they would neither politicise the matter nor allow any other to start point scoring.

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