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No politics in dam building and funding, says Pakistan chief justice

Supreme Court chief justice warns dam critics against propaganda

Gulf News

Islamabad: Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (CJP), Mian Saqib Nisar, has made it clear that there is no room for politics on the building and use of water reservoirs — an issue of vital importance the nation is united on — while hearing the Dadocha Dam construction case.

Property tycoon and chief executive of Bahria Town Malik Riaz had last month expressed his willingness to construct the Dadocha Dam, near Rawalpindi, on the condition that the Punjab government bureaucracy would not interfere.

The Chief Justice, without naming Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Khursheed Shah who had criticised the top court’s initiative, gave a “last” warning to those who were criticising the Supreme Court for collecting donations for the dam’s construction.

“Now, since the future generation has stepped in to donate for the dams, everyone should be clear that the nation is not going to retreat on this issue which is a matter of life and death for us,” he said, referring to the donations made by schoolchildren from various schools and educational institutions, for the dam construction.

“No matter how powerful anybody is, we will take them to the task,” added the Chief Justice.

Sindh Murad Ali Shah had said that he was not against the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha dam, but expressed reservations about its location and availability of water volumes that could fill the dam.

A few days ago — while announcing the “good news” of money taken from written-off loan defaulters to be spent on the dams — the CJP referred to a meeting wherein he claimed all stakeholders had agreed to the construction.

Those who called the donation drive for the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams as “begging” should be ashamed of themselves, he said. ““To ask for help for national progress is not begging, those who term it so should be ashamed,” he had remarked.

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