Build Kalabagh now

PRIME Minister Gilani misses the point when he says that though he was in favour of Kalabagh Dam, it was not the right time to press home the need to construct it. The point – plain and simple, though convincing – in right away launching a campaign to convert the opponents in favour of the dam is the glaring evidence of massive devastation the floods have caused. Hopefully, this unprecedented calamity would compel the dissenting leadership to stop politicising the issue and think in terms of national interests.

Once the crisis has lost its rigours and their memory fades, it would become harder to bring round the opponents. Precisely for this reason, Mr Yousuf Raza Gilani should know that this is the most appropriate time to spread the message and build the dam.

As he counted the loss of human life, animals, standing crops, entire villages, towns and infrastructure, the Prime Minister acknowledged that the country needed reservoirs to contain or at least lessen the ferocity of any future floods.

The spectre of more frequent and bigger floods than usual cannot be wished away; rather, it should be feared as a result of global warming. Hence, it falls on the ruling leadership and political and intellectual circles not to shy away from stressing the urgency of building Kalabagh Dam. It would not only contain over six million acre feet of water to be released when needed, but would also generate 3,600MW of electricity, providing triple benefit to the nation.