Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Politics on Kalabagh Dam & Flood in Pakistan.

What more one can expect from a nephew of Lt. Colonel [Retd] Faiz Ahmed Faiz and even closer to Allama Iqbal i.e. Governor Punjab i.e. Salman Taseer. Kab nazar main aayay gi bay-dagh sabzay ki Bahar - Khoon kay dhabbay dhulain gay kitnee barsaaton kay baad - Faiz Ahmad Faiz presented it in 1972 when he visited Dhaka along with Z. A. Bhutto. Later when he re-read this poem at a moshaira in London, Mr. Shahabbudin, Chief justice of Bangladesh, (who later became president when Gen. Irshad was forced to step down) commented, Khoon kay dhabbay barsaaton say nahin dhulaa kartay. Had General Akbar's "Revolution" been a success then Faiz would've been a Propaganda Minister in a "Baathist Type" Military Regime in Pakistan. Courtesy "Informants" the "Revolution" couldn't succeed:)

LAHORE, Aug 3: Governor Salmaan Taseer says construction of Kalabagh dam is the need of the hour. He was talking to newsmen at the Governor’s House on Tuesday on the occasion of sending 10 truckloads of relief goods to the flood-hit people of Kot Addu. Another such caravan would leave for these areas on Thursday, he said. Taseer said: “Had the Kalabagh dam been constructed, the flood devastation would have been far less.” He said though the issue had become political, it could be debated like the 18th Amendment and the NFC Award. The governor said he did not want to criticise the Punjab government as it was also busy in providing relief to the marooned people. When asked why he was not visiting the flood-affected areas, Taseer said he did not believe in “disaster tourism” and it was not the occasion to indulge in politics. He said he would monitor flood relief camps here. He termed criticism on President Zardari’s visit to the UK uncalled for. REFERENCE: Kalabagh dam need By Our Staff Reporter Wednesday, 04 Aug, 2010

“Sindh is once again in the grip of a double calamity — grossly insufficient irrigation waters when the need is high on the one hand and high floods when additional water is least required on the other,” said Taj Haider, General-Secretary of the Sindh PPP, in a press statement. He pointed out that the (Punjab hijacked) Irsa’s failure to empty the reservoirs in the early Kharif period to meet the irrigation needs of the provinces and to create enough space there for storing flood waters had resulted in this double calamity. It was unfortunate that even after almost 40 years of the construction of reservoirs and link canals, no operational criteria had been prepared for them. For the last 40 years, these were being operated on ad hoc basis, he said. While the inter-provincial Water Accord of 1991 made it imperative that “reservoirs would be operated with priority for the irrigation uses of the provinces”, the technical committee, headed by A. N. G. Abbasi, in its report had discussed in great detail the problems and conflicts resulting from the absence of an operational criteria for reservoirs and link canals. Meanwhile, the flood waters have now entered Sindh killing seventy eight people more. Flood waters have entered Pani Lot Addu, Daira Deen Panah, Mittthan Kot and several cities. People climbed on trees to survive. This year’s monsoon season has prompted the worst flooding in Pakistan in living memory and already killed more than 1,500 people. The UN scrambled to provide food and other assistance to some 3.2 million affected people in a nation already struggling with militancy and a poor economy. The army used boats and helicopters to move stranded villagers in the area to higher ground. Monsoon season in Pakistan usually lasts about three months, through mid-September. In a typical year, the country gets an average 137 mm worth of rainfall during the monsoon season. This year, it already has received 160 mm, said Mohammad Hanif, head of the National Weather Forecasting Center in Islamabad. The rains are falling about 25 to 30 per cent above normal rates, Hanif said. REFERENCE: Flood situation worsened due to Irsa: PPP
- HYDERABAD, Aug 3: General Secretary of the Pakistan People’s Party ( Sindh chapter), Taj Hyder, has stressed the need for Council of Common Interests-approved criteria to operate link canals and store water in dams to manage floodwaters that ensures water needs of the four provinces and is in accordance with the Water Apportionment Accord 1991. PPP leader calls for CCI-approved dam filling criteria By Our Correspondent Wednesday, 04 Aug, 2010

Punjab Government [Bureaucracy] has developed a knack of playing with fire and that too at the most inappropriate moment:)

The provincial government wrote that there were confusions of technical nature about this project but they had been given a political dimension that needed to be neutralised. Prime Minister Gilani has assumed a diplomatic posture on the issue as his candid views about the importance of KBD earned criticism from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh. Now when he was recently pressed again on the issue, Gilani said he didn’t want to keep people in illusion on this issue.REFERENCE: Punjab wants Gilani to come clean on Kalabagh Dam Wednesday, September 01, 2010 By Umar Cheema

* PM says govt will go ahead with Kalabagh Dam only if there is consensus on the project * Says foreign aid will be distributed equally among affected areas MULTAN: Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani on Monday said that the deaths and destruction in the floods could have been averted if the Kalabagh Dam had been built. Talking to reporters in Multan after he visited the flood-affected areas, the PM said the government would build the Kalabagh Dam if there was political consensus over the issue. REFERENCE: Kalabagh Dam could have averted destruction of floods, says Gilani Tuesday, August 10, 2010\08\10\story_10-8-2010_pg1_3

LAHORE, Aug 11: Pakistan Muslim League-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Husain said on Wednesday the ongoing flood fury had played havoc with the lives of Sindhis, Punjabis, Pathans and Balochis alike. In a press statement, he said the critics of Kalabagh dam should now give up their opposition to its construction. Had the dam been built, the water of the mighty floods would have turned into a blessing. He expressed his grief at the tragedy caused by the floods. “If there had been a consensus on the Kalabagh dam issue and it had been constructed, the flood water could have been a source of the country’s prosperity,” he said. He said the critics of the dam should analyse the problem rationally and understand the magnitude of the destruction caused by floods. He appealed to them to support the project to secure the future of the country. REFERENCE: Shujaat’s call to Kalabagh dam critics By Our Staff Reporter Thursday, 12 Aug, 2010

LAHORE: Provincial minister for law and parliamentary affairs Rana Sanaullah has said that Kalabagh dam was vital for Punjab as well as Pakistan but it could not be built at the cost of the federation. “PML-N will continue its efforts to reach consensus among all the four provinces on the issue of Kalabagh dam,” he said while talking to the media men after a briefing about the provincial budget for the next financial year in the press gallery committee room of the PA on Wednesday. To a question, Rana Sanaullah said PML-Quaid never worked for the construction of Kalabagh dam during its rule in Punjab and eight years regime of Pervez Musharraf adding that if it wants to use it for political advantage PML-N is ready for it. Regarding funds to the southern Punjab, he said PML-Q is using southern Punjab card for political reason and it allocated merely RS. 68 billions for the eleven districts for southern Punjab during its five year rule. No Kalabagh dam at the cost of federation: Sanaullah Wednesday, 16 Jun, 2010

ISLAMABAD, Nov 30: Spiritual leader Pir Pagara said on Sunday that Kalabagh dam was essential to meet the future water needs of the country. He said the construction of new water reservoirs was essential for the progress and development of the country. Talking to a news channel, he said some vested interests were wrongly opposing Kalabagh dam. It was very important to make the country’s lands fertile, especially those of Sindh. Sindh should not be deprived of its due share of water, he added. Answering a question, he said: “Chief Minister Sindh Sardar Ali Mohammad Mahar enjoys our full support and the talk of de-stabilizing his government does not carry weight.” On the Kashmir issue, he said the problem should be resolved keeping in view the aspirations of its people. —APP) According to him, a majority of Sindhi people, who are opposing the project, actually have no land but otherwise landowners were not against the KBD. He was apprised however, that if the people of Sindh were not opposing the KBD, then why were assembly members against it, including those belonging to his party? To this he replied that they were not opposing the KBD but were expressing their reservations. “They are actually mentally retarded and are just being inspired by newspapers,” he retorted. REFERENCES: Kalabagh dam to benefit people of Sindh, Hurs: Pir Pagara Friday December 23, 2005 (0030 PST) Pagara supports Kalabagh dam By Habib Khan Ghori December 23, 2005 Friday Ziqa’ad 20, 1426 Pir Pagara backs Kalabagh dam May 4, 2005 Wednesday Rabi-ul-Awwal 24, 1426 Pir Pagara announces support for KBD Staff Report Friday, December 23, 2005\12\23\story_23-12-2005_pg7_37

Flood also ruined NWFP i.e. Upstream and Mianwali is in Punjab, without a DAM half of NWFP is already under water? How KBD would safe NWFP from flood? Above all not every year such Flood occurs, and how about telling us all as to how he would provide Water for downstream Kotri Barrage to save the mangroves, Indus Delta to avoid Land Erosion near Thatta and Badin. Water Accord 1991, 19 years after its signing, still not implemented in letter and spirit? Internationally recognized IUCN has recommended release of 35MAF water downstream of Kotri - Sindh.

Pakistan has seen one of the worst floods ever in its history but instead of focusing on the issue at hand, our leaders are making matters worse by digging up skeletons like the Kalabagh Dam (KBD) issue. Prime Minister Gilani recently said that the deaths and destruction caused by the floods could have been averted had the KBD been built but he also admitted that “the issue of KBD should not be raised now” as the nation is passing through critical times. It was gracious of Mr Gilani not to raise the ‘KBD issue’ by actually raising it. One wonders why some leaders have come out with pro-KBD statements days after the massive floods hit the country. Have they no consideration for the sentiments of the other three provinces, which have passed several resolutions in their respective provincial assemblies against the dam, especially in this time of high crisis? Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain called the KBD project “a dead horse” and said that it goes against the “interests of the country”. Mr Hussain’s most chilling words, “Is there no Pakistan on this side of Attock?” amply demonstrate the insensitivity on this issue towards the three dissenting provinces. Sindh’s politicians and technocrats have also dismissed the project. Sindh Culture Minister Sassui Palejo said that had the KBD been built, “the whole Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would have been destroyed”. Now these are serious statements emanating from both within the PPP and its coalition partners. If not for the sentiments of the three smaller provinces, the advocates of the dam should at least have a look at its technical aspects before claiming that it could have saved the lives of the flood victims. According to experts, around 30 million acre feet (MAF) of water reached downstream Kotri during these floods and the KBD “would have stored only six MAF of water”. This raises serious doubts about the feasibility of building a dam that would not only be of little help in such catastrophes but is also a major bone of contention amongst the provinces. Why can the government not concentrate on the huge task of rescue, rehabilitation and reconstruction instead of harping on about the KBD, which has possibly passed beyond the pale of possibility? We do not need any more diversions and should instead focus on the relief and rehabilitation work. The well-being of the country demands that we let the KBD issue rest once and for all. * REFERENCE: SECOND EDITORIAL: Kalabagh Dam: RIP Thursday, August 12, 2010\08\12\story_12-8-2010_pg3_1

PESHAWAR: The Kalabagh Dam – had it been built – would have caused flooding rather than averting it, a former chairman of the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) said on Wednesday, while responding to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s recent statement about the dam. “The dam’s effect on floods would have been contrary to what the prime minister claimed,” said Fatehullah Khan Gandapur, who headed IRSA from 1993 to 1998. The KP leadership has criticised the PM’s statement, and Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain termed the project “a dead horse”. “Kalabagh dam is not a flood-control project,” Gandapur said while talking to Daily Times on Wednesday. “It is a run-of-the-river project and its design has to be changed if we want to make it a flood-control project,” he said. Gandapur said the dam’s construction would have caused reverse flow in the Kabul River, submerging Nowshera district and water-logging the entire Peshawar valley. “Consultants have called the dam’s design a failure,” he said. The Awami National Party is in no mood to compromise on its position over the dam. “Their (pro-dam elements) philosophy is to let the whole of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa drown,” senior ANP leader Senator Haji Adeel said. “Why doesn’t Islamabad look at other feasible projects instead of only eyeing the Kalabagh Dam, which aims to destroy two provinces?” he asked. “There are other projects that, if undertaken, will help you avoid flood and destruction,” he said. “Had the Kalabagh Dam been built, it would have sunk Akora Khattak and Jehangira towns in Nowshera district and its effects would also have been felt in Pabbi town,” Adeel said. “Why don’t you build dams from where the water is coming?” he asked, adding that Basha Dam would be able to store 800,000 cusecs and Munda Dam 300,000 cusecs of water. REFERENCES: KBD would have caused more flooding: expert Thursday, August 12, 2010\08\12\story_12-8-2010_pg7_2 Kalabagh Dam may have caused more damage: Hoti Thursday August 12, 2010 (1021 PST) PM’s statement on Kalabagh dam irks KP govt By Nisar Mahmood Wednesday, August 11, 2010 Kalabagh Dam may have caused more damage: Hoti Thursday, August 12, 2010 Our correspondent

SDPI Research and News Bulletin - Sustainable Development Policy Institute

The Kalabagh dam is controversial for many reasons. A key reason has to do with the decision making process, which is highly centralized, politically coercive, and technically flawed. Regrettably, when the need is for broad-based stakeholder consultations, the existing trend is towards even greater centralization. For instance, the rotating chairmanship of the Indus River System Authority has recently been converted into a permanent appointment, provincial resolutions against Kalabagh have been given short shrift, the Council of Common Interests (CCI) has consistently ignored the matter and community concerns continue to be met with blatant disregard. Small wonder then that the political leadership in the smaller provinces and civil society are up in arms against Kalabagh. In this essay, we critically examine four contested aspects of the Kalabagh dam. These relate to: water availability; environmental impacts; food and energy; and technical and financial feasibility. The work of colleagues is gratefully acknowledged. Water availability is an over riding concern. Is surplus water available to justify the Kalabagh project? WAPDA itself -- the generic source -- has sown confusion on this issue. It cites two average flow figures: 123 MAF (million acre-feet) and 143 MAF. The first calculation is based on a 64-year period (1922-1996) and includes both wet and dry cycles. The second estimate is based on a much shorter and wet cycle period of 22 years (1977–1994). Since the total requirement (inclusive of the additional allocation of 12 MAF under the 1991 Water Accord), is calculated at 143 MAF, there is a clear short fall of 20 MAF if we use the first estimate. This means Kalabagh may remain dry every 4 out of 5 years.

Even the higher flow figure (143 MAF) overlooks certain factors. The first of these is system (evaporation and seepage) losses. If such losses increased from 6.2 MAF post Mangla to 14.7 MAF post-Tarbela, presumably, they will be even higher post-Kalabagh. This would have adverse implications for inter-provincial water distribution. New irrigation infrastructure appears untenable in view of these losses, since the increased upstream off-takes would be at the expense of downstream flows. This concern is also ignored when presenting Kalabagh as a replacement for Tarbela. Tarbela is projected to lose 5.3 MAF of its storage capacity by the year 2010. Since Kalabagh would, essentially, be replacing this loss, the Right and Left Bank canals would divert even more of Sindh’s allocations than they presently are. In addition, illegal off-takes would also tend to be exacerbated. Consider now the environmental implications of constructing yet another large dam on the Indus River ecosystem. A catalogue of existing degradation provides the context for future environmental impacts of dams like Kalabagh. Degradation of the Indus delta ecosystem, as a result of reduced water outflows, is already a highly visible phenomenon. The present level of silt discharge, estimated at 100 million tons per year, is a four-fold reduction from the original level before large dams were constructed on the River Indus. The combination of salt-water intrusion (some reports show this as 30 km inland), and reduced silt and nutrient flows has changed the character of the delta considerably. The area of active growth of the delta has reduced from an original estimate of 2,600 sq. km (growing at 34 meters per year) to about 260 sq. km.

The consequent ravages to the ecosystem have been exceptionally severe, in particular to the mangroves, which are its mainstay. They sustain its fisheries, act as natural barriers against sea and storm surges, keep bank erosion in check and are a source of fuel wood, timber, fodder and forest products, a refuge for wildlife and a potential source of tourism. Without mangroves and the nutrients they recycle and the protection they provide, other components of the ecosystem would not survive. The direct and indirect benefits of mangroves are enormous. In 1988, Pakistan earned Rs.2.24 billion from fish exports, of which shrimps and prawns constituted 72%. Additional income is generated from fuelwood, fodder and forest products was another Rs.100/- million. Not only is this revenue at risk from mangrove loss, but the physical infrastructure required to replace the natural protection provided by the mangroves (dykes, walls) would entail enormously high capital and maintenance costs. The health of mangroves is directly linked to fresh water inflows. Releases below Kotri barrage in most years and excluding floods average 10 MAF. Of this, little or none actually reaches the mangroves. The rest is lost due to evaporation or diversions. According to the Sindh Forestry Department, about 27 MAF is required to maintain the existing 260,000 ha. of mangroves in reasonably healthy condition. This is 27 MAF more than currently available, a situation which has contributed to ecosystem instability and mangrove loss. Within the framework of the Indus Water Accord, an additional 12 MAF would be diverted for upstream dam construction – including Kalabagh. This would reduce existing sub-optimal flows further and aggravate an already critical situation.

A community of about 100,000 people, residing on the northern side of the Indus Delta, depends on the mangroves for their livelihood. The prevailing view is that being under privileged, such communities are prone to degrade their environment. However, it is difficult to fathom why poor communities should endanger the very basis of their existence. The more likely explanation is that community practices have not changed, but they appear unsustainable because the resource base has begun to degrade. Communities are more often the victims than the agents of such degradation are. The real culprits are water diversion; biological and chemical water contamination and large-scale commercial practices, compounded both by institutional ignorance and complicity in such practices.

Mangrove loss is only one among the many manifestations of “biodiversity deficits” emerging along the entire length of the Indus River ecosystem. The ecosystem has been severely fragmented over time by its extensive network of dams, canals and barrages, resulting in threats to a variety of species and organisms, the most notable among them being the Indus dolphin and the ‘palla’ fish. Both can be classified as indicator species, as their impending loss represents the loss of a way of life, characterized by interdependence between communities and their environment. Another myth firmly embedded in the minds of our planners is that large dams are the perfect flood prevention devices. The evidence for Pakistan shows otherwise; that its large dams not withstanding, there has been no reduction in the incidence and intensity of floods nor in the associated losses in lives, crops, livestock and infrastructure. There is no seeming pattern to the floods other than the fact that they could have coincided with wet cycles. In actual fact, the severity of flood impacts appears to have increased after the two major dams, Tarbela and Mangla, were constructed.

In actual fact, the shrinking of the riverbeds due to water diversions reduces their absorptive capacity and hence enhances the danger of flooding. River ecosystems have a natural capacity to deal with floods and these natural processes provide many benefits. Flood plains, wetlands, backwaters are commonly referred to as nature’s sponges; they absorb and purify excess water as a hedge against lean periods. They act as spawning grounds for fish and wildfowl. The floods themselves replenish agricultural soils. Communities living around these areas adapt to this natural rhythm and use its bounty to ensure reliable and sustainable livelihoods. It has also been pointed out that dams don't prevent floods, they merely create ‘flood threat transfer mechanisms’. The solution is to work with communities, rely on their knowledge and to supplement their flood mitigation and coping strategies. Two of the most commonly cited arguments in favor of large dams relate to food security and energy. Such arguments have become increasingly compelling in the light of perceived threats to food security and the recent furor surrounding the private power projects. We examine both of these arguments in turn. Additional water from Kalabagh can enhance crop production in three ways: by irrigating new land; by enhancing cropping intensity on existing land; or through yield enhancement. The first option appears tenuous. It is claimed that Kalabagh will irrigate close to an additional million hectares of barren land, and bring Pakistan closer to wheat self-sufficiency. However, the reports of the National Commission on Agriculture and the National Conservation Strategy suggest otherwise. They indicate that available cultivable land is almost fully utilized, leaving little scope for extensive cultivation. Between 1952 and 1977, about 80% of the increase in total cropped area was due to the cultivation of new land. Since then, this proportion has fallen dramatically, with double cropping accounting for the bulk of the increase. The reports suggest that in addition to the water constraint a very tangible land constraint exists as well.

Crop production can also be increased through cropping intensity increases or crop yield enhancements. Both are water dependent and establish an a priori justification for Kalabagh. The NCS report states that at present 12.2 million hectares of land are available for double cropping while only 4.4 million hectares are being double cropped – clearly water is the constraining factor. With respect to yield enhancements, water is again required in large quantities by the high yielding seed varieties (wheat, cotton, rice, maize) and for its synergetic effects upon chemical inputs. However, a critical choice needs to be made here. Does one opt for additional water, or can the same results be achieved through improved water use efficiency? Higher water retention in the system risks aggravating an already massive problem of water logging and salinity. In fact, the controversial and exorbitantly expensive ($780 million), 25-year National Drainage Plan project has been launched to mitigate its impacts. Kalabagh is bound to add to the problem, not only in its immediate environs but also where new irrigation infrastructure is to be situated. A clearly preferred choice is to use existing water more efficiently, and to focus on the necessary institutional changes for its equitable distribution. Some of the proposed measures are canal and watercourse rehabilitation, land leveling, improved on-farm water management and, at the policy level, switching demand based management while protecting the needs of the poor small farmers. These are clearly win-win solutions as they are relatively low cost, efficient, equitable and environmentally friendly.

After the recent commotion over private power, the government began to hype up Kalabagh as an alternative source of cheap and clean energy. In the process, it switched adroitly from its earlier position that energy demand had been overstated, to one where it now posits a deficiency in supply. However, the cheap energy argument is becoming increasingly untenable – both financially and technically. Donors such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank are unlikely to provide concessional funding for Kalabagh. This reflects their commitment to the thermal based private power projects, as well as the censure they have faced for getting embroiled in projects with major environmental and resettlement costs. And even if concessional funding was available, it is still not clear that hydel unit costs would be lower than thermal, once these costs are factored in.

At this point, the whole debate appears to be moot since the government is scampering for funds to keep the economy afloat against the backdrop of sanctions. Even so, renewed policy statements suggest there is a resolve to proceed when the situation permits. Apart from the political compulsions, there is an inertial aspect to this decision as well. Institutional and financial paralysis inhibits the scope for energy conservation, efficiency improvements and diversification. The options have been identified often enough: on the supply side these are reduction of transmission and distribution (T&D) losses and renewable energy development technologies (solar, wind, biomass). On the demand side, both technical and economic options exist for energy conservation. While these have been employed to some extent (tariff increases, energy efficient lighting), the efforts are a far cry from the kind of sustained initiatives launched in some South Asian countries, such as Thailand, where revamped energy supply systems are part of a larger network, with linkages to R&D, the private sector and trade facilities. The title of a study “Tarbela Dam Sedimentation Management”, carried out by TAMS-Wallingford (March 1998) is self-explanatory. It shows that a de-silted Tarbela would yield the same irrigation benefits as Kalabagh, but at one-seventh the cost in net present value terms. The study states that, “replacement of [irrigation and energy] benefits by constructing a new dam and reservoir down stream is feasible, but will be expensive, environmentally damaging and socially harmful. An alternative option cited is the construction of new outlets at the Tarbela Dam that will enable sediment to be flushed from the reservoir.

The proposed Tarbela Action Plan is based on computer simulations of sediment flows. These simulations were designed to determine whether flushing was technically feasible and could be used to enhance long run storage capacity and to predict future sedimentation. Based on these simulations, a three phased action plan was proposed. The implementation of this plan would ensure long term and sustainable storage with only a small annual reduction in capacity. The estimated increase in retention at 6 MAF is exactly what the Kalabagh reservoir is designed to hold. Our conclusion is that the burden of proof is on those who advocate building the Kalabagh Dam. Our findings show that it is not economically, socially or environmentally viable. Also, the proposed benefits are based on faulty or misunderstood premises and, in any case, there exist in each case more viable and cost effective alternatives. REFERENCE: Environmental and other Contested Aspects of the Kalabagh Dam Project Shaheen Rafi Khan Note: This article was published in the News many years are ago. We are publishing it because it continues to be relevant.

The standing committee for finance and revenue had recently presented 74 recommendations to the Senate, most of which were viable, but the one regarding the flow of 35MAF water to Kotri downstream was very surprising. The committee says that the flow of water to downstream Kotri is a waste. The statement makes a mockery of the population living around the delta. It is not a waste but an exigency because the lives and livelihood of the people depend on it. The recommendation further says that this water must be utilised for power generation. Ironically, the Senate approved it unanimously and sent it to the National Assembly. A lot of national and international institutions and reports have strongly recommended the flow of 35MAF water to Kotri downstream, saying that this is necessary because the whole deltaic population depends on this water. The deterioration of the Indus delta has brought multidimensional effects on people and the region’s overall environment. Drinking water aquifers are increasing in salinity. Mangrove forests, which are a source of fish breeding and protect against cyclone, are speedily depleting. Forests, agriculture lands and the eco-system have been damaged in the deltaic region. Sea intrusion has inundated more than a million acres of farm land of Thatta and Badin districts. According to the Sindh Board of Revenue, the total area lost is 486,800 hectares. A quarter of a million people have been dislocated causing a financial loss of Rs100 million per year; moreover, a majority of the 2.7 million population of Thatta District and Badin have witnessed a rapid drop in the standard and quality of their lives. Once a very rich deltaic valley of Sindh, it is now on the verge of complete destruction due to mismanagement and injudicious policies of the water authorities. I suggest to the authorities concerned as well as the standing committees to reconsider the release of 35MAF water flow downstream Kotri, and not to make baseless recommendations. REFERENCE: Water downstream Kotri not a waste Wednesday, 23 Jun, 2010

Gen. Ayub Khan sold out 3 rivers on perpetual basis to India without any justification under the International norms. Downstream countries are entitled to their rightful share from the upstream rivers under all circumstances. - The Govt. approved this in 1959, the year WAPDA came in to being. In 1960 a treaty between Pakistan and India was signed with World Bank mediation widely known as the “Indus Basin Treaty”. According to this treaty, control of waters of Ravi, Bias and Sutlej was given to India with the condition that the Indian Govt. will compensate for the loss of Pakistan and fully participate in the construction of the replacement works with the help of the World Bank and the other aid giving agencies. The replacement works included two large dams one on the Indus and the other on Jhelum, five barrages and eight link canals and a siphon for carrying the waters of Chenab River across the Sutlej River. The then Chief Martial Law Administrator and President Ayub Khan on behalf of the Pakistan Govt. and the Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jwaharlal Nehru on behalf of India signed the treaty; Eugene Blake signed the treaty on behalf of the World Bank. For the two large multipurpose dams on Indus and Jehlum Pakistan proposed sites at Kalabagh and Rohtas (later called Mangla). Kalabagh site choice for Pakistan was obvious since lot of investigation had been carried out at this site and a feasibility report duly prepared and approved by the GOP after check and scrutiny by the foreign experts and consultants. REFERENCE: WATER CRISIS IN PAKISTAN BY FARRUKH SOHAIL GOINDI

SINDH-PUNJAB WATER DISPUTE 1859-2003 (The century-and-a-half long illegal, criminal and conspiratorial plunder of Sindhs share of the Indus Basin Waters, the serious water famine imposed upon Sindh, the ruin of its agro-based economy and the apprehended genocide of Sindhi people) By: RASUL BUX PALIJO - “……The coterie.. .(Secretary General Chaudhry Mohd All, Governor General Ghulam Mohd, Defense Secretary Iskandar Mirza and C-in-C, Army, Ayub Khan—RBP) could be termed the “gang of four.”(Zuberi, ibid, P.222)
Rasul Bux Palijo ; SANA Sindh convention 2005 Part 1


By a notification dated: 10th June 1959, the military government of Ayub Khan constituted a body named Indus Basin Advisory Board (IBAB) to evolve the best plan for meeting the water shortage caused by the sale to India of Ravi, Bias and Sutlaj. No representative from Sindh or any other region/province other than Punjab was taken on this Board. Thus the IBAB plans, decisions and the International negotiations based on the above plans and decisions were purely a Punjab affair.

Rasul Bux Palijo ; SANA Sindh convention 2005 Part 2

8. Ayub Khan illegally and immorally created a planning body named IBAB, as the virtual sole owner and distributor of all Pakistan waters of the Indus river system to the exclusion of other co-riparian, co-sharers and coincluding Sindh.

Rasul Bux Palijo ; SANA Sindh convention 2005 Part 3


The illegal malafide and immoral plan of the IBAB was prepared and illegally and immorally approved by Ayub Khan government whereby, by false and bogus figures the loss of water suffered by West Punjab due to its own authorities illegal, unilateral and conspiratorial sale of the three common Pakistani rivers to India was inflated and that by Sindh was reduced, thus illegally and wrongfully allotting Punjab almost double the quantum it deserved to be allotted and Sindh almost none. REFERENCE: SINDH-PUNJAB WATER DISPUTE 1859-2003 (The century-and-a-half long illegal, criminal and conspiratorial plunder of Sindhs share of the Indus Basin Waters, the serious water famine imposed upon Sindh, the ruin of its agro-based economy and the apprehended genocide of Sindhi people) By: RASUL BUX PALIJO
Rasul Bux Palijo ; SANA Sindh convention 2005 Part 4


Rasul Bux Palijo ; SANA Sindh convention 2005 Part 5


MQM Parliamentary Party Deputy leader Syed Faisal Sabzwari then made a personal statement to “set the record straight” under Rule 191. He referred to the statement made by Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday on the floor of the House and contested his claims regarding the previous government’s attitude towards the Kalabagh Dam. Mr Sabzwari, who is also a minister in the PPP led government, recalled that the Kalabagh Dam was a project which had been rejected unanimously by the people of Sindh and the MQM, being a representative party from the province, had even before the 2002 elections held seminars and called strikes in 2001. He said the MQM defended Sindh’s interests in the house as well. He said that not only had resolutions been passed, but they were also taken to the prime minister and president to demand that the dam project be shelved until Sindh’s objections were dealt with. Mr Sabzwari welcomed the PPP’s decision, made soon after assuming power, to shelve the dam project. He hoped that all sides in the house, as has been the case in the past, would continue to extend full support whenever issues in the interest of Sindh were taken up. REFERENCE: KARACHI: MQM questions minister’s remarks on Kalabagh dam By Habib Khan Ghori February 13, 2009 Friday Safar 17, 1430

DESPITE conflicting reports about the status of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) vis-a-vis Liaquat Ali Jatoi's coalition government, there are fairly clear indications that the party is aiming to extricate itself from the trappings of ethnic politics and identify with the aspirations of more representative political organizations of Sindh. MQM volunteers participated in large numbers at Thehri railway crossing on Sunday along with cadres of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) in the mass sit-in against the proposed Kalabagh dam which Sindhis regard as damaging to their interests. In several other demonstrations also, MQM participated alongside Sindhi nationalist groups. This is a long distance from the position that existed some years back when Mohajirs as a group were seen to be pitted against Sindhis. A major cause of the sense of deprivation among the Sindhis in the early years of Pakistan was their perception that Mohajirs who held some key positions in the government were among the architects of policies detrimental to the social and economic progress of Sindh. There was also a strong feeling that Mohajirs were unduly pro-Centre and whole-heartedly supported the ruling cliques in their strategy of strengthening of the Centre, to the disadvantage of the smaller provinces.

An active collaboration of the Mohajirs was seen in the takeover of Karachi and some of its adjoining areas separating them from Sindh by the central government in accordance with the wishes of Quaid-i-Azam. At least one Sindhi scholar, Dr Hamida Khuhro attributes the separation of Karachi to the scheme to "control and disposal of the rich pickings of evacuee property and settlement of the immigrants" (who were mainly Urdu-speaking Mohajirs.) Similarly, Mohajirs were also perceived as a party to the devious scheme for the creation of the erstwhile One Unit. To put the record straight, it is relevant to recall that yet another eminent Sindh scholar, Dr Feroz Ahmad, has quite unequivocally stated that it was under a Sindhi politician, Pir Ilahi Bukhsh's chief ministership that Karachi was separated from Sindh. He also points out that again it was a Sindhi dignitary, Muhammad Ayub Khuhro, who, in the words of H.S. Suhrawardy, "struck terror into the hearts of the legislators" and forced them to pass the notorious One Unit Bill in 1955. All this, according to Feroz Ahmad, was done to protect the vested interests of Sindhi landlords. Press reports of the JSQM sit-in on Sunday have graphically recorded the blocking by Sindhi protesters in partnership with MQM volunteers of the National Highway. Pictures of Altaf Hussain and G.M. Syed were displayed side by side on the occasion and slogans were also raised of "Sindhi-Mohajir Bhai, Bhai." A Mohajir MPA emphatically declared on the occasion that the Mohajirs and Sindhis would "fight side by side" with JSQM in the interest of Sindh and criticized elements who were "not happy to see Sindhis, Mohajirs develop friendly ties." Prominent among those who addressed the rally on the occasion were several veteran Sindhi nationalists such as Abdul Waheed Aresar, Dr Niaz Ali, Noor Jamali and Shair Khaskheli.

MQM leader Altaf Hussain, after a telephonic conversation with the Christian Liberation Front's president, Shahbaz Bhatti, concerning the Shariat Bill, also expressed the view that Pakistan had not been created for the "dominance" of any one sect or faith but to protect the interests of all those, including the minorities, who live in Pakistan. He criticised what he described as the exploitative system and the discriminatory practices that have remained intact in Pakistan. At the time of writing it is not clear whether the MQM would abstain from voting on the proposed Fifteenth Amendment bill in the Senate, as it had done when the bill was voted upon in the National Assembly. If it supports the bill, it would have to live with the stigma of serving the interests of pro-centre politicians. The opposition of the Sindhi masses as of the people of Balochistan and the NWFP to the proposed amendment is beyond any doubt. There is a great deal of ambivalence in the PML's overall approach to the politics of Sindh, in general, and that of the Mohajirs and the MQM in particular. It appears that there are elements in the central government who are not too well disposed towards the MQM and are, therefore, not entirely in sympathy with policies which could be regarded as pro-Mohajir. It is unfortunate that despite expectations, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has not been able to personally visit Karachi and see things for himself, presumably because of his extreme preoccupation otherwise.

The composition of the high-level committee set up by the Centre, following the rise in militancy in Karachi in the recent months is also perceived by the MQM as not being sympathetic to its grievances. The committee has been specifically charged with the responsibility to probe into the sudden spate of killings and of incidents of arson during the hartal called by MQM on October 7. It includes, besides representatives to be nominated by MQM, two MNAs of the Muslim League, Capt Haleem Siddiqi and Mian Ejaz Shafi. A press release issued by the MQM central coordination committee has strongly criticised the inclusion of the two, describing it as "indicative of the duality of the PML leaders." For MQM the inclusion of Mian Ejaz Shafi in the committee is like the red rag to the bull, in view of his persistent criticism of MQM politics. It was only last month that he blamed the PML government for what he called its overindulging "the aliens" aliens being the Mohajirs. The contemptuous remark could not but have infuriated the MQM, whose partnership in the Sindh coalition has even otherwise not been exactly welcome to Mian Ejaz Shafi. The MQM coordination committee lost no time in expressing the view that whenever the PML and MQM have tried to reach some sort of an agreement to resolve the problems of Sindh, Mian Ejaz Shafi has assumed a "subversive" role.

Not surprising, the MQM has made it clear that it would not be in a position to cooperate with the committee in its enquiry so long as it continues to have the two PML MNAs in it. It is difficult to understand why the committee could not have been constituted without them. It would have carried a greater credibility with all sections of the people if it had included persons of unbiased reputation such as retired members of the higher judiciary. However much one may condemn MQM for its sins of commission and omission in the context of Karachi politics, any enquiry body set up to probe the situation should consist of non-controversial members. While announcing its decision to withdraw its nominees from the Sindh coalition cabinet last month the MQM coordination committee gave a detailed checklist of its "grouses" against its coalition partner, i.e. the PML, which is in power in Sindh as well as at the centre. Mr Aftab Shaikh, who addressed a press conference on behalf of the MQM central coordination committee, criticised the PML leadership for having reneged on the various undertakings given at the time when the PML-MQM coalition was formed in Sindh. He even accused PML leadership of adopting "Mohajir-baiting" policies and resorting to a "state operation" against the MQM.

Mr Aftab Shaikh also claimed that contrary to the specific undertaking given at the time, the government had not released the MQM workers and supporters who had been under detention mostly without trial for considerable time on "fake charges" and that the "no-go areas" of Karachi had not been abolished. Nor had the government constituted the judicial commission to investigate allegations of extra-judicial killings of MQM activists. (The socalled extra-judicial killings had in fact formed a major part of the list of accusations levelled by the then President, Farooq Leghari, while dismissing Ms Benazir Bhutto's government.) Mr Shaikh also alleged that the "agencies" working against the interests of MQM had not only not been neutralised but even strengthened by the PML government. Amongst other allegations levelled by the MQM leader against the Nawaz Sharif government was its "failure" to arrange the repatriation of "Biharis" from Bangladesh, despite a clear undertaking. In view of its resentment against the policies of the PML government, it would be something of an irony if the MQM continues to remain in the Sindh coalition government under Liaquat Jatoi. One hopes that the late Dr Feroz Ahmad was quite wrong when he observed that "an overwhelming majority of the Mohajirs supports a movement which is not only ethnic-exclusivist, but is in confrontation with all other groups and the state itself." The MQM's active participation in the anti-Kalabagh dam protest and its abstaining from voting in favour of the Shariat Bill despite being a coalition partner of PML clearly give the lie to such impressions, regardless of whatever ideology the MQM follows. It is also entirely misleading to believe that the MQM seriously demands a separate Mohajir province and now it is no secret that the story about the socalled 'Jinnahpur Plan' was altogether without any substance. Why should any Sindhi intellectuals have any misgivings about the Mohajirs' political motivation when Dr Feroz Ahmad himself also concedes that "the traditionally Sufist Punjabi, Saraiki, Sindhi and Baloch people feel obliged to assimilate into the religious beliefs and practices which are common among the Urdu speaking people?...." REFERENCE: MQM in a quandary M.H. Askari DAWN WIRE SERVICE Week Ending: 17 October 1998 Issue:04/41

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