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Diamer-Bhasa dam shouldn’t be politicised like Kalabagh: Hamza Shehbaz

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hamza Shehbaz has said that Diamer-Basha Dam is a national issue and should not be made controversial like the Kalabagh Dam.

The PML-N leader was addressing media while attending an international symposium on ‘Creating a Water Secure Pakistan’ organised by chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar. The moot was inaugurated yesterday by President Dr Arif Alvi.

Hamza said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif bought 48,000 acres land during his tenure for the mega-project, which will produce 16,000MW electricity and will cost $12 billion.

He said that Kalabagh Dam became controversial due to political reasons, or else the nation would have received cheap electricity. “Basha Dam is national issue. It should be victim of politics.”

He said that Pakistan’s enemies are threatening to deprive of its water resources and they need to stand united. “The nation’s enemies says that Pakistan will die from thirst. They should realise we are together on the issue of dams,” he said.

He welcomed the steps taken by the Supreme Court to construct the Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams and the fund created for the purpose.

He said Pakistan faces a severe water crisis which will worsen and water reserves are crucial for future generations.”Pakistan is a unique present and we need to safeguard it. We need to stop water wastage and build dams,” he said.

Hamza said he was invited to the symposium as he was the Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly, adding that PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif was unable to attend over health issues.

Water symposium held in Islamabad

The international Symposium continued at the Supreme Court where experts both from home and abroad deliberated upon many water related topics. Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar will address the concluding session of the moot.

The experts also pondered over issues such as water resource management, legal aspects of Indus Water Treaty and the construction and financing of dams.

Addressing the symposium, the experts and researchers emphasised the need for construction of new water reservoirs and better management of water resources. They said that Diamer Basha dam is the best option to store water.

President Arif Alvi inaugurated the moot yesterday and stressed on the need to construct water reservoirs and conservation and better management of water resources. He also highlighted the need for ending mistrust amongst the provinces over the construction of dams.

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