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Kalabagh Dam: A synecdoche

16 September, 2003

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Experts have mentioned Kalabagh Dam as the most feasible and ready to be constructed to fulfill demands of water and power of all the provinces, irrigating several million acres of barren land, preventing more than 38 MAF water flow below Kotri(Sindh) annually.

At the same time, nationalist political setups are confronting this project on ‘political forums’ raising slogans like ‘on our dead body’.

What do you think about feasibility of Kalabagh Dam?

On which basis political parties are against it?

Are governmental elements behind elevation of this project an issue?

Reader Comments:

Technical not Political

this is not the case, kalabagh dam shold be dealt on technical basis, ur own newserver is doing wrong by disposing it on POLITICAL FORUM... Pls stop making it a political issue, IT IS A TECHNICAL ISSUE

Ata Bux, Pakistan - 16 September, 2003


I thought that we Pakistanis
were not as gullible to the antics of politicians,as the
Americans are.It will be sad
if General Musharraf fails to
lay the foundation of this dam and allows politicians to
exploit the issue.

Khalid Rahim, Pakistan - 16 September, 2003

evil nexus

few days back some of unknown seperatist provincial parties did a forum on KBDP, and it was one way forum as it was all in its opposition, and only those attended that forum who were members of those parties, what can be said ?? LOL on all of them confronting this healthy project for pakistan

asghar ali, Pakistan - 17 September, 2003

Technical Isuues Policies

Dams are always important for the economy of nation. However, in our country the problem is that technical issues are politicised, we as a nation never tried to solve technical problems.
Provinces and people are so much sensitive about Kalabagh Dam and similar other projects, as the governments never fully cared for the affectee. Take the case of Tarbela Dam, this project reached to it's completion 30 years before, but still many of it's affectee are helpless, sometimes we still see demands in the newspapers from the affectee for compensation.

hamayuun, Pakistan - 17 September, 2003

Damn Opposition!

Darn it! Why on earth people are against such reservoirs that would help our agro based economy and bring surplus electricity to Pakistan. Only Rich Vaderas of Sindh, and Rich Khans of NWFP are against it, because they will loose their land and property!

No one seems to be interested in the national intererst of Pakistan! I have three words for all these rich people who are against Kalabagh dam.... that is, DAMN YOU ALL!

Agha, Pakistan - 17 September, 2003

The price of Kalabagh is just too high

Kalabagh dam will destroy the livelihoods of thousands of poor people especially in NWFP. There will be thousands more who will suffer indirectly in N.W.F.P and Sindh. As the history shows these victims will never be compensated. No one can be compensate you for loosing your home, community, the graves of loved ones and all the physical features that are part of the identity. The cost of Kalabagh for the people of N.W.F.P is simply too much. Those who wants to build the dam anyway must think of the consequences. Is it worth risking the unity of the nation for something that can be easily replaced with other projects?

Munsif Khan, Pakistan - 20 September, 2003

let the 3 sink

let the three provinces sink so that the punjab can drink

asad, Pakistan - 21 September, 2003

well there is no harm in building Kalabagh Dam but the point is our President is making mistake by building dams with less priority. KalaBagh dam is Half of tarbela Dam life and has problem of rapid sliting. instead of Kalabagh dam the governemnt shd reckon the world's largest storage dam with a reservoir capacity up to 35 maf at Kazarah about 18 km downstream of Skardu. it would rather produce 15000 mw of power and will have extremely long life span due to excellent CI ratio on th eindus and nomial silt flow.

AMNA, Pakistan - 23 September, 2003

this isn't democratic

Pakistan call it self democratic and Islamic,but this is 100% non Islamic to get water and land from poor Pakhtun people and give it to punjab and this the Islam of pakistan? what you give to poor Pakhtun peolpe from 1948 until now? the goverment of Pakistan take from Pakhtun and give it to punjab and sindh.I don't know ,why our pakhtuns are so stupid? they fight for pakistan and kashmir,but the get nothings from goverment.Pakhtun should know,that they are the port of Afghanistan,and Afghanistan belonge to them and they belonge to Afghanistan.if Pakistan goverment think,that NWPF is the port of Pakistan,they should give Pakhtun their Islamics right,if the goverment of PK call it self Islamic.

Pakhtun, Pakistan - 23 September, 2003

this is about time we got red of all the dams and started to think about nuclear enargy

, Pakistan - 04 October, 2003

We are answerable to our next generations ............

If we fail to negotiate this issue among us, a time may come,when the nexct generation will peep into our eyes and ask us, that why this crusual matter became a critical political dispute, and why we were so quiet about it?
Time and tide wait for no one!
Let us decide ......... NOW.
At least i want to be stand confident in front of my grand childrens.
Let us realize the fact that our country is an agricultural country,
and we must built DAMS at large ................
If anybody find it hard to realize ................
May Allah help him!
and us too !!!

Uzair Wajahat Ch, Pakistan - 06 October, 2003


You the PAKHTUNS and the PATHANS are so selfish then as soon as you go abroad from Pakistan you call your selves Afghans. You've gotta be ridiculous, you people get your Visas from Pakistan, have a Pakistani Nationality, Earn Wealth in 'Pakistan' get your Education from PAkistan and as soon as your foot gets off Pakistan you bloody call your selves Afghans. I've never been against you people but since you've started this topic I'd like to tell you that You people are so mean and unthanksful for all that Pakistan has done for the thousands of you Afghan Refugees, and this is how to pay us back.

Final Argument!!
Don't forget that the people who've been to Afghanistan to wage war against the Russians and the Americans included the Pathans, the Pakhtuns, Sindhis, Balochis, Punjabis aswell as the people from the NWFP. But since you do not wish you accept Pakistan as your Nation I have not used the word 'Pakistanis'. Have a good Day Mr Pakhtun!!.

Imran Ali Agha, Pakistan - 09 December, 2003

Why Not Basha/Katzara Dam 1st

No one can oppose any reservoir as long as it is not harming integrity of the nation also we must set our priorities. we must see which project is more suitable & can solve our problems for longer time. KalaBagh dam has a very short economical life & will silt up only in 30/35 years. where as Basha dam has comparetively long economical life of more then 80 years. we have more wounderful dam sites like Katzara, about 18 km downstream of Skardu it would be world's largest dam with a storage capacity up to 35 maf & it would produce 15000mw of power (4.11 times capacity of Kalabagh dam which is 3600mw)and will have extremely long economical life span of 1000 years.

Engr. M. Musa, Pakistan - 26 July, 2005

Kalabagh Dam

Respected Editor; Assalam o Alaikum!
The most essential thing is to be sincere in a cause. If one is sincere to do anything which is better for the whole nation, he should not be afraid or hesitant in doing that. On the other hand such a step should be taken that those who are not in favour of that get also satisfied. If one knows himself to be right in his cause then he is not to wait and just to give a blow with the name of God Almighty as there is no any racial faction or boundary in Islam. The matter may get complicated if is delayed or showing weakness in that.
Our brothers in N.W.F.P who declare themselves Pakhtun Nationalists are against this project but do not see that their mostly barren hilly area gets the most nutrition from the southern provinces. Also those who say that we are Afghans and will not let land come under the project did also used to love the incursion of the Communist Soviet Union in Afghanistan and used to do their best to side with them. Also some even had started speaking against Islam while their other poor brethren was fighting the historic war in Afghanistan.
If we did not possess Islam and humaneness we shall bear the burden for ever of borrowing from others. So one should keep in mind the honour of his country also.
Thankyou, Sir.

Mohammad Ilyas, Pakistan - 16 December, 2005

kalabagh dam

kalabagh must be made for the sake of well being of our pakistan.Anybody against are enemy of pakistan.

akbar baig-mirza, Pakistan - 16 December, 2005

KBD is life & death
Further delaying the construction of major dams is suicidal for Pakistan to be sure but yearning for the construction of the most tarnished KBD is suicidal for President Musharraf and for the country to be more than sure.
Thus no one can advise President Musharraf for going a head on the project but a moonstruck or an inimical person. For the construction of KBD is a sure destruction without any doubt given the unsavory reputation of the KBD project! The reason is that know how about a dam, its pros and cons is not comprehensible for 99.99 % people of Pakistan and thus it is so easy for the corrupt & incompetent lot of our politicians to take advantage of the situation for their own ends.
The only and best possible and rational course for the president Musharraf is; rushing to and stepping up the construction of Basha Dam with zero delay - construction works must be carried out in three shifts duty, so as to give back the already happened criminal delay. And similar should be the case insofar as the construction of other dams including and particularly the dam of Katzara Dam in Skardu are concerned. The water of KBD project would amount to the life of water for the corrupt & incompetent lot of our politicians - and the abandoning of the KBD project is tantamount to burying the corrupt & incompetent lot of our politicians.

Aftab Alam Advocate (High Court) Swat., Pakistan - 16 December, 2005


A phenomenon that has recently developed in Muslim countries is the transformation of a given territory, at a subnational level, into an Islamin entity, directly connected to the outside world by religious and economic networks. Ulama and dam traders are tools and agents of local autonomy. These spaces are more often than not hewn from a tribal society. In Pakistan some Pashtun tribes threw out the state administration, rejected customary law and declared sharia'interpretation the only law. Islamic assertiveness is also a tool for recasting a traditional opposition to the state in terms that are ideologically acceptable to a wider audience. Self-proclaimed Islamic territories are burgeoning in parallel with an unprecedented tendency of the Pakistani state, since the 1990s, to re-establish its control over tribal areas. In this sense neofundamentalism is a symptom of the recasting of tribal identities in modern ideological terms.
The Salafi breaktrough among tribes seems to be part of a process of detribalisation and changes in local leadership, but this hypothesis must be now tested in a field.
Salafis are ambivalent towards tribes. They explicitly condemn tribal customs and tribalism as such (calling it asabiyya), but do not hesitate to appeal to tribal identity...

The future will bring success to the nation-state ability among the ranks to build up new territories.

Shokat Saleem, Georgia - 16 December, 2005

Kalabagh VS Basha

The Goverrnment should avoid any contriversial issue at this stage and should look for a better option which is more,if not completely,acceptable to all the provinces. Why should we stuck to KBD when we have an alternative of KBP in shape of Basha Dam? Concerned authorities should compere the feasibilities of both KBD and Basha and ensure proper implementations above all political exploitations.

Rana Muzamil, Pakistan - 22 December, 2005

Kalabagh Dam

Respected Sir; Assalam o Alaikum!
If the government is sincere and is working for the betterment of the nation then it is our duty to sacrifice our wealth, land and head which is called Jehad. There is no need to make that an issue and just to start the project.
Thankyou, Sir.

Mohammad Ilyas, Pakistan - 23 December, 2005

Pakistan Needs Smaller Provinces & Bigger Dams

Let us admit as Pakistanis that, most unfortunately, Kalabagh Dam is no more a technical issue but a political issue based on the greivences of three smaller provinces against the larger Punjab. We should recognize the divisions highlighted by Kalabagh issue as tip of the ice-berg and get to the actual issue of inter-provincial disharmony and disenchantment. Amicable resolution of this problem is a political solution in the shape of division of the existing four provinces into smaller provinces. Once smaller, more proportionate federating units are established there will be trust and easier understanding of each others point-of-view with little chance of bullying. The benefits of having smaller provinces in the federation will go much beyond developing consensus on water distribution as there will be automatic decentralization of power and administration / government will become closer to masses.
Thus Pakistan needs smaller provinces before starting on building bigger dams, which unwittengly make the smaller (less populated) provinces subservient to the disproportionately over populated Punjab. (As a suggestion Punjab, Sind and NWFP should be divided into two and Baluchistan into three smaller provinces).

Humayun Bashir, United Arab Emirates - 24 December, 2005

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