Nationalists protest against Bhasha Dam across Sindh

KARACHI - The nationalist leaders of Sindh on Monday lashed out at the PPP led Sindh government for supporting Diamer-Bhasha Dam in the CCI meeting. The nationalist parties also took out protest rallies across the province and staged sit-in on national highway at Moro Bye-Pass, blocking Punjab-bound traffic for many hours. Sindh Progressive Alliance comprising Awami Tehreek, Sindh Tarqi Passand Party, the Sindh United Party and Sindh Save Movement in its meeting held the other day at Hyderabad, condemned the PPP government for giving approval to the construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam in the Council of Common Interest (CCI) meeting. The nationalists alliance announced series of protest demos against the Bhasha dam. In this regard, Awami Tehreek on Monday observed a sit-in at Moro Bye-Pass and blocked all the traffic on way to Punjab through national highway for over four hours. Central leaders of Awami Tehreek, Muhammad Khan Bhurgari, Rasool Bux Khaskheli, Umrah Samon and others led the sit-in, which started at 11am and culminated at 3pm, partys central spokesman Roshan Berhamani said, adding that thousands of people including large number of activists of Sindhiani Tehreek also participated in the sit-in. However, second sit-in will be staged on Tuesday (today) at Hyderabad and third sit-in at Babrlu -Khairpur bye-pass on national highway on July 21, he said. Talking to The Nation, Awami Tehreek President Advocate Ayaz Latif Palijo said that people of Sindh oppose any kind of construction including canals and dam on Indus River. He came hard on the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, saying that it was part of Anti Greater Thal, Anti Kalabagh Dam Action Committee comprising of federal and nationalist parties including the PPP, PML-N, JUI-F, JI and others during Musharraf regime, which adopted a joint demand to not accept further cut on Indus River in form of any dam or canal. But coming into power, the PPP had forget all the promises, which it made with the people of Sindh, and voted for Bhasha Dam in CCI meeting, chaired by PM Gilani in Islamabad, Awami Tehreek President said, alleging that the PPP has betrayed the people of Sindh on water issue. He argued that nowhere in the world a dam measuring 924 feet in height had ever been constructed and it was impossible to estimate the disastrous effects of Bhasha Dam. He said that Sindh Progressive Alliance has demanded for immediate resignation of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, who supported the Bhasha Dam in CCI meeting. Meanwhile, Sindh Tarqi Passand Party (STPP), which is also part of the Sindh Progressive Alliance, observed hunger strikes in district headquarters of Sindh against Bhasha dam. STPP senior vice chairman Hyder Shahani, Ali Hassan Chandio and Muzafar Kalhoro led the protest camp outside of Karachi Press Club. According to STPP spokesman, party staged protest demos in Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Larkana, Sukkur and other cities of the province, condemning the decision to construct Bhasha dam and reopening of Chashma Jehlum Canal. The STPP leaders criticized the PPP government over its decision to construct Bhasha dam and said the ruling party has insulted the mandate given to it by people of Sindh. They feared that if Bhasha dam was constructed, fertile land of Sindh will completely turn into barren and desert as province was already deprived of its legal share of water. Nationalist leaders demanded the government to reverse its decision to construct Bhasha dam. STPP leaders said that series of protest demos will continue for further three days across Sindh province.

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