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PTI urges consensus, PPP, ANP, QWP reject KBD

30 November, 2012

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KARACHI: While leaders of the Pakistan People's Party, Awami National Party and PPP (Sherpao) rejected the Lahore High Court order about the construction of the Kalabagh Dam (KBD), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said it respected the court verdict but the dam should be built after reaching a consensus among all the federating units and other stakeholders.

PPP Deputy (Central) Information Secretary and Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said on Thursday all provinces except Punjab have already rejected the KBD.

"Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies had unanimously passed resolutions rejecting the project," said the minister in a statement.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said it respected the LHC decision on KBD adding that new reservoirs were necessary and urgently needed to conserve water. "However, it believes that the construction of Kalabagh Dam should only be undertaken after a broad national consensus."

Peshawar Bureau adds: Rejecting the LHC verdict, the ruling Awami National Party (ANP) said it would never allow the project as it was harmful to the interests of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. ANP Information Secretary Senator Zahid Khan said the proposed Kalabagh Dam would cause inundation of districts in the Peshawar valley. "How can we support a dam that would drown five of our districts?" he asked.

Zahid Khan told Geo TV channel that the ANP had made an agreement with the PPP on three points before joining the government and forming coalition government at the Centre and in provinces. "We had demanded that our province and other provinces be given maximum provincial autonomy, the NWFP be renamed keeping in view the identity of the people in the province, and scrapping once and for all the Kalabagh Dam project," he added. He hoped the PPP would honour the agreement.

Dilshad Azeem adds from Islamabad: The chief of Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) and also former water and power minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao has asked the authorities concerned to refrain from making attempts to build Kalabagh Dam.

"Such efforts would shake the foundations of the federation and nothing else," Sherpao said while talking on Thursday when asked about the LHC ruling.

He termed it an unhealthy message for the people of small federating units. "We would cobble together all political forces not only to resist but to openly defy if a bid is made either by Wadpa or by any party to go for the KBD," he warned.

Sherpao said he or his party did not believe in defiance of the court rulings, including the one on the KBD in accordance with the CCI decisions. "That is why we have confined our comments to say that it has given a wrong message as far as inter-provincial harmony is concerned."


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