PESHAWAR: Representatives of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to stop his minister from issuing statements regarding the construction of Kalabagh Dam and close the matter forever. This was said at a press conference held at Markaz-e-Islami in the city on Thursday.
Speaking on the occasion, JI provincial ameer Professor Ibrahim said Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was extremely concerned about the construction of Kalabagh Dam and China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He added PML-N ministers were issuing various statements regarding them which was creating a great deal of uncertainty for the people of K-P.
Ibrahim also criticised the prime minister for “double standards”. He said, “What Nawaz says to the media and to the opposition parties is completely different from what he says to his ministers.”
Burying the dam issue
“Peshawar and Mardan valleys would drown if floods like the one in 2010 hit the country again or if Kalabagh Dam is constructed,” said Ibrahim.
He added if the dam was constructed, people from five K-P districts would need to be relocated. “There are no embankments on River Kabul which means lands and houses along the river would be washed away in case of floods,” added Ibrahim.
“K-P generates 83 megawatts of electricity from Malakand-III hydropower project and the government can launch dozens of such projects if it wants to,” he added. According to the JI ameer, K-P could generate about 65,000 megawatts of electricity in total. Ibrahim said if the government wanted to build more dams it could do so in other places. “According to feasibility reports, there are so many areas where huge dams can be constructed but the government does not seem too interested,” he said.
Talking about CPEC, Ibrahim said the government should first construct the western route of the corridor. “Any violation of the original plan would force people of Balochistan and K-P to take extreme measures,” he threatened.
He said western route was feasible and easy to complete but the government was bent on completing the eastern one. “The government can construct link roads but there would be no compromise on the western route,” said Ibrahim.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2015.