Out of the box... By Yaqoob
21 March, 2013
Lt Gen.(r) Shahid Aziz has stated in his latest book "Ye Khamoshi Kab Tak" that amongst other recommendations to steer the country out of the present morass is to de-politicise Kalabagh dam so as to build it on purely technical grounds. Just as former Prime Minister Mr Yousuf Raza Gilani had said that Kalabagh dam had been a victim of politic, we would have to find an out of box solution to build the vital Kalabagh dam to ensure our economic survival. The only two mega dams of Tarbela and Mangla were built some four decades ago by a strong military dictator without politician's deterrence.
This has resulted in Pakistan being at the mercy of India NOC for our dams in Azad Kashmir for foreign funding while no such ban exists for India to build dams on our share of rivers in Indian occupied Kashmir and Northern areas. As such we must find an out of the box solution for Kalabagh dam i.e. to move out of political log jam to a technical solution to leave the matter for Pakistan Engineering Congress to decide the issue.
China has built thousands of dams because its ministers are mostly engineers that uphold the national interest and technical feasibility as well as economic concerns, while we in Pakistan are bound by political consensus depending on half educated politicians who have scant regard for technical and economic concerns.
DR MUHAMMAD YAQOOB BHATTI