Posted by: Administrator | 1 July, 2006

President address to Nation 17 Jan 2006

17 Jan 2006 – President Musharraf’s address to the Nation

My dear Pakistani brothers and sisters!

Today Pakistan is faced with such problems about which I thought I must address you. Besides, there are some elements who, while taking undue advantage of these, are trying to create an environment of unrest. Therefore, I thought that to set things right it was important that I must address you. Before speaking about the important issue, I would like to deliberate upon two important matters. The first is the earthquake tragedy, which we have faced and are facing. An impression is being created as if we have forgotten the earthquake because it is projected as something less important in the news. On this occasion I would like to assure all the affected people that you are very much in our minds and hearts and the strategy that we have chalked out for your relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation, is under implementation and we will pursue it fully. First of all the relief operation in my view has progressed in the best possible way and for that I would like to pay tributes to the Pakistani nation who contributed and came forward from Khyber to Karachi in aid of the affected. Secondly, I would pay tributes to the Pakistan Army which started a sustained operation in the quake zone from the beginning and they will remain there and are extending maximum help to the survivors. In addition, I pay tributes to the NGOs, the United Nations Organizations and the international community who helped Pakistan a lot Besides, I would specially like to praise Relief Commissioner General Farooq and his organisation dealing effectively with this tragedy through his organisation and is now working  uccessfully.

In my view, the first component of relief operation was to provide medical facilities and aid to the injured, provide them treatment and taking them to the hospital. It was all done very amicably. If we look at the casualty figures – the number who were injured and treated and those who were martyred – according to the international standards this ratio is impressive and be speaks of excellent medical treatment. Secondly, there were some apprehensions that some sort of epidemic would erupt. I would pay tributes to all the doctors working in the earthquake affected areas that no epidemic erupted. Then, we were faced with the problem of providing shelter to the affected people. We needed some 500,000 tents. The whole Pakistani nation, our factories and the international community helped us. 850,000 tents have been distributed so far in the area and nearly 605 tented villages have been established ere people are living. Besides this we went further ahead and started erecting shelters and assisted people in constructing shelters. We thought the people who are living above 5,000 feet needed `pucca shelter’ with tin-roof hut and I am happy to announce that so far nearly 300,000 shelters have been constructed for those living above 5,000 feet and between 2,000 and 5,000 feet. In my view the people would now be able to spend the snow and winter season in a proper way I would also like to mention that some elements on television and in the newspapers were  ropagating that people were living in miserable conditions and medical assistance was not reaching them, and that people would die of epidemics and cold weather. Now they should be questioned what has really happened? Everything has gone smoothly; relief operation has proceeded very well.

In my opinion, either these elements are weak-hearted or weak-minded that

they lose heart and don’t understand or these are the elements who are doing it

deliberately. But overall, I want to mention here, the relief operation has proceeded

successfully. Besides, we started the distribution Of compensation money because that

area had become demonetized. And we thought to distribute money so that the people

could start business activity and start construction of their houses. I would very

proudly like to say that it was a very important decision that we took. So far 18 billion

rupees have been distributed in 9 districts of the affected areas among the poor and

affected people. I have not received a single complaint that compensation was given to

an undeserving person or that somebody has not been given money. I would like to

pay tributes to those who have distributed the compensation money with transparency

and accountability.

This money has reached the common people. This has started the business

activity and people are busy in trade activities and constructing houses on self-help

basis. Now we are entering the phase of reconstruction and rehabilitation. In this

phase we have to construct 400,000 to 500,000 houses which were destroyed. This is

an `owner driven strategy’ in which 175,000 rupees will be given to every household in

three instalments. Along with this guideline will be given on how to make houses

earthquake-proof. Army teams and volunteer groups will help them in constructing

earthquake-proof houses. This phase will now Inshallah start and it would be done

through an owner-driven strategy. Besides this, we will re-construct, the health and

education institutions like basic health units, rural health centres, Tehsil and district

hospitals, primary schools, middle schools, secondary schools, colleges and

Muzaffarabad University. We will construct these facilities on a `need based strategy’

keeping in view the requirements of the areas The construction would be modern and

quake-proof with all the facilities. In my view, when we will do this, we will be able to

convert this challenge into a real opportunity Then, we are also planning separately to

restore the government infrastructure. I am sure we will be able to do all this in a very

amicable way as we have, by the grace of God, the required resources. We held an

international Donors’ Conference and the international community gave us a

commitment of $6.2 billion against the required $5.2 billion. The Pakistani nation has

donated Rs 6.5 billion which is a big amount for which I pay tribute to them and to

the overseas Pakistanis and the foreigners for their contribution. Therefore, there is no

shortage of resource. We are also receiving donations and offers from people from all

over the world who want to construct houses – some of them have even offered to

construct 500 houses – villages, schools and medical facility We will designate special

places for all this and Inshallah, it would be done accordingly. All the record has been

computerized and put on web site for the sake of transparency and accountability

Overall, we have set up an establishment about which I am confident, it will face the

challenge of reconstruction and rehabilitation in an effective manner. I am very happy

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that Relief Commission and the Earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction

Authority have been set up and are performing well. Because these two organizations

are on ground and we have an effective strategy and its execution in place, I am

confident that we will meet the challenge of this tragedy in an appropriate manner and

will convert this challenge into an opportunity.

I would also like to mention here that the international agencies are

considering our handling of the disaster as a text book case – an example for the world

how effectively we dealt with this tragedy. I would be in Davos later this month and I

have been told that I will give a presentation on the handling of this disaster. This is

because the world knows we have taken an exemplary action and may be they would

like to learn from us as how to dealt with such like disasters. I would very proudly like

to say that we have acted promptly and I again reassure the affected people that my

personal involvement and commitment will always be there with you until the

completion of earthquake rehabilitation and reconstruction. Whether these are the

people of AJK or NWFP, there would be no paucity of resources in the way of this

objective and we will accomplish this task. Now, Balochistan. It is not a matter of

Baloch people but a handful of tribal chiefs, who create law and order situation while

an overwhelming majority of the Baloch people are patriotic Pakistanis and want to

see their province progress and prosper. The tribal chiefs have held the country

hostage for the past 30 to 40 years for their interests. These tribal chiefs have no

interest whatsoever in the well being and progress of common man and subject their

own sub-tribesmen to torture because of their pro-development thinking. They do not

want the people have access to education and 3 health services. What was Kohlu

package? I went to Kohlu and announced a Rs 1.5 billion for development of roads,

schools and dispensaries and what happened. The anti-development elements fired

rockets during the visit.

Let me talk candidly and openly. These very tribal “Sardar” and clique were

behind the PIDC bombings in Karachi and blast on a bicycle in Ichra Lahore. They

carry out subversive activities, blow off gas pipelines and railway tracks, attack Sui-gas

installations, and kill the non-Baloch, who have contributed so much to the

development of the province. They even killed Chinese workers, who are working for

development of the province.

They run “farari” camps at three places, I know of them. Now, where do

they get money for all this. They extort money from their own people in the form of

“Bhatta”, who are forced to pay them from their earnings. They blackmail coal miners.

And then, they are being funded from abroad. We will address this issue. They also get

money from oil and gas corporations.

These tribal chiefs run their private army (militia) numbering 1000 to 2000,

they pay them Rs 5000 to Rs 6000 per month and buy expensive weapons. They want

to crush their own people so that they can perpetuate their feudal hold on people.

While the Government has initiated Rs 140 billion development projects in the

province. Any talks of army action in Balochistan are absolutely wrong. There has

been no action in Kohlu and Dera Bugti and no army has been moved there. The

army is based in Quetta and, yes, only one battalion has been kept in Sui and that has

not been moved from there. There is no army elsewhere in the province. The army is

not taking action in any area and only the Frontier Corps is acting in self-defence.

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Those who speak of army action have vested interest. No women or children

are being targeted. No soldier is doing that nor will we ever allow anyone to do that.

This operation is targeted only against ferrari camps where their militiamen are based

and that too has now been stopped. Now the Frontier Corps have been ordered to act

in self-defence and deal with anti-development elements. This is their job and they are

doing that very effectively. Let’s now move to the subject for which I decided to

address the nation. There are two problems here. One pertains to, what I call national

unity, inter-provincial harmony and the issue of National Finance Award. The second

problem is of national development and prosperity, the problem of poverty alleviation

and this problem relates to the complex issue of water and dams. I will like to dilate on

these issues.

Unfortunately, no government in the past resolved the water problem as they

did not try to grapple with the issue. This is unfortunate that this government has to

deal with the issue but we have to resolve these problems as I stated earlier, it is a

question of national unity and prosperity. Any delay in addressing this issue would

push the country into further problems.

So, we will not allow any delay in this regard. Lets’ take the issue of National

Finance Award (NFC). My brothers and sisters, there are two aspects to which I will

try to explain in a very simple manner. Firstly, it has a vertical distribution, that is, how

much funds will be transferred from the federation to provinces. It has two parts – one

is a divisible pool, how much of Pakistan’s total revenues will the federation share and

how much will go to the provinces Apart from this, a few billions rupees are given to

NWFP and Balochistan, called subventions, which are over and above the funds given

from the divisible pool. These two make up 42.7 per cent of the revenue, going from

the federation to provinces till to date. The second aspect is the horizontal distribution

that is, distribution of the provincial share among the provinces. It is strange that

while the federal government is willing to give more to the provinces – up to 50

percent – the NFC dispute is rooted in horizontal distribution, problems of

distribution of funds among the provinces. They have kept aside, what I call a strategic

gain which the federation wants to give them, and are fighting over lesser issue of

distribution of funds among themselves. This does not make any sense in any case. I

have to intervene in the issue of NFC as no government could be able to take a

decision on it. I called a meeting of the Chief Ministers that was also attended by the

Prime Minister. I take pride in saying and I am also grateful to all the chief ministers

for reposing confidence in me and said they will accept any decision I take. But, when

I asked them to give their consent writing to avoid any future grievances, the NWFP

unfortunately sent it with extra conditionalities. So we came back to from where we

had started.

Now, it is not possible for me and also under the Constitution the NFC

cannot be instituted if 4 any of the provinces does not agree to it. But the article 165

(6) empowers the President of Pakistan to amend the NFC, which remains there as

long as all the provinces accept and adopt the new award. Therefore, after consultation

with the Prim Minister and the government’s finance team, I have decided to increase

the subventions from the federal to provinces as long as all the provinces come to an

agreement on the distribution of funds so that there financial health can be improved.

In this connection, the decision of the amendment follows as under: Number one, the

share of provinces from to the federal divisible pool has been enhanced from 42.7

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percent to 45.33 per cent. This will continue to increase by one per cent annually and

in five years touch 50 per cent of the federal resources. In addition, under the new

NFC award, an increase has been affected in the subventions for the provinces. The

subventions have been increased that will take the total share of provinces up to 50

per cent. The subventions have been increased from Rs.8.7 billion to Rs.27.75 billion.

Accordingly, the subventions for Balochistan will increase from Rs 4.8 billion to Rs

9.16 billion, for North West Frontier Province the increase will be from Rs 3.9 billion

to Rs 9.71 billion. Whereas Sindh and Punjab, which earlier did not receive any

subventions, will from now onwards get Rs 5.83 billion and Rs 3.05 billion

respectively. This way in the 2006-07 financial year, when will become applicable, I am

pleased to say that the total increase in funds – both through divisible pool and

subventions – from the federal government to provinces will be to the tune of Rs.51

billion. In my view, this is an excellent decision in the given circumstances and will

benefit all the provinces, specially the smaller ones. Now we come to the last issue

which is the most important and complex that is water and dams. As I said, it is the

issue of national development and I would like to say to my brothers and sisters of

Sindh that for you especially, it is a question of life and death. I have said it many a

time in Sindh and would again say it emphatically on television that it is a matter of life

and death for you.

My brothers and sisters, the issue of dams is not merely technical but

economical as well. I would like to talk on these two aspects. Pakistan’s economy is

greatly dependent on agriculture, as it makes 25 percent of our Gross Domestic

Product. We realized 8.4 percent economic growth this year as against the last year’s

6.5 percent and Inshallah we will chalk up over 7 percent growth in the coming year. If

we have to sustain all this and take it further ahead, we will not be able to do this

without the development of agriculture sector and Pakistan’s economy will also not

grow substantially. Then how to raise the agriculture production. There are only two

ways, one is yield intensification, that means you have the land and you can increase

your production from one pound to three pound through modernization and

betterment, with good seed and better input. The second ways is what I call the area

intensification, that means an area which is cultivable but has no water and should be

brought under irrigation so that the agriculture production is increased. These are the

only two ways.

And I would like to mention that the development of agriculture sector is the

only and effective way to check poverty, as 70 percent of our population lives in rural

areas. Secondly, it would not only benefit the land holders, but will also help in

betterment of non-land holders, as they would get increased employment

opportunities through the financially affluent land holders. This has been mentioned

in the international report which is correct. This benefits both the land holders and

non-land holders. Area intensification depends solely on availability of water. More

water will help us irrigate more land along with the construction of canals and it will

help increase our agriculture production and Pakistan’s economy will Inshallah prosper

further. Now what is the best way for the optimum use of water. In my opinion there

are three ways. One is the appropriate management of available water. We have two

crops – Kharif and Rabi – the management and distribution should be done in such a

way that water is available wherever needed. Then the distribution of water among and

within the provinces should be fair where there is no theft. The big land holders

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should not take away all the water depriving the poor ones of their share. This is also

part of water management.

Second is the conservation of available water. Some 35 to 40 percent water is

wasted from dam till it reaches the tail ends. Some of it evaporates, some is absorbed

in the land while part of it disseminates. We have to remedy the situation through

better conservation and we have a strategy in place for this. Brick-lining of water

courses is part of conservation.

Process of laser levelling is also going on in Punjab and Sindh and it should

be done in NWFP 5 and Balochistan as well. This will not only conserve water but

also increase agriculture production. Besides, there are modern technologies like drip

irrigation and sprinkler which the farmers should adopt to increase production by

using less water.

Third, the most important, is the construction of water reservoirs and proper

and timely usage of water, which is urgently needed. Therefore we come to the

necessity of dams. As I said we have already a strategy for distribution, management,

proper utilization and conservation for water. Why dams are needed? There are some

misperceptions. Common man does not understand the issue and they are misled. The

dams are not only needed for agriculture but also for drinking water both for humans

as well as livestock. The water is also needed for hydro-electricity as water is the

cheapest source of power generation. Hydro electricity and thermal power has 1:7

ratios. It costs one rupee to produce one unit of hydro power against 7 rupees for

thermal electricity. Some people are creating misunderstanding that if 40 percent of

water is lost on way from dams.

So what is the rationale behind building dams. Stop any further wastage of

water and that is enough, they plead. We have to conserve water for usage – so all

these are baseless rumours, which should not be spread. Now let’s come to an

interesting aspect. The World Bank on November 22 last brought out a report on

Pakistan’s water issues. This is entitled – Pakistan, Country Water Resources Assistance

Strategy. Its subtitle says, water economy running dry. Some extracts from it: Number

one, Pakistan has exhausted its current water capability and needs to take immediate

measures to sustain its water-driven economy.

Second, Pakistan only stores thirty days of river water. India stores 120 to

220 days. Colorado River in the US 900 days. Pakistan’s per capita water storage is just

150 cubic metre while that of China is 2200, Australia 5000 US 5000. Pakistan’s

economy can be propelled into the future only through building new water projects

and canals.

Every new mega dam will add four to five per cent to Pakistan’s GDP. That

means one dam will take our GDP from 110 billion to 115 billion US dollars, two

dams to 125, three dams to 135 billion dollars. Tarbela dam directly benefits every

three billion dollars per year and 40 per cent of total population (60 million) benefited

from it. Pakistan has 50,000 mega watt economically viable hydro power potential, of

which it harnesses only 14 per cent.

Unfortunately, we have 50,000 MW generation capacity against our total

requirement of 20,000 MW. We can fulfill all our energy needs through water.

China and India produce 30 per cent of their required power through water.

Developed countries harness 70 to 80 per cent as they know water generates most

economical power.

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Unfortunately, instead of generating hydro power, we produce expensive

thermal power and then also complain of its being costly. Curiously enough, the most

vehement opposition to new dams come from Sindh, the Report notes.

My Sindhi brothers and sisters should be attentive to this fact. The Report

says in countries around the world it is the lower riparian which often pay for

construction of upstream storage.

But here the opposite is in vogue. Our people say do not construct dams, we

will remain hungry and thirsty. This is the report, drafted by foreign eminent

consultants not by Pakistanis, lest anybody should say that it was done at our behest.

After looking into all this I felt grieved that Nature has blessed us with flowing rivers –

Indus, Jehlum and Chenab in addition to a number of small rivers but we do not make

use of the vital resource. We produce 70 per cent of our energy through oil, which has

been brought to 59 per cent lately as we have switched over to gas usage for power

generation. This has benefited the country to the tune of one billion dollars per anum.

Plus, 33 million acres of our land which is cultivable remains without any water supply.

The supply of water will change the fate of a large number of people, in fact, of the

entire country.

The majority of our rivers are seasonal. In the last three decades, we have not

built even a single dam. Now, in the last few years, we have brought about raising in

the level of Mangla 6 dam. Besides, we have started building Mirani and Gomal Zam,

and Subakzai dams. But, here I would also like to mention that China is constructing

seven major dams (above 200 ft), Turkey 22, Japan 35, Iran 28, India 6. We are

sleeping over the issue. Turkey has gone ahead with the construction of hundreds of

dams. We are still asleep. We are faced with a precarious state of affairs. I would like to

dwell on that. We face an existing water shortage nine million acre feet. By 2020, this

shortfall will swell up to 25 maf. If, we implement our projects successfully and are

able to conserve enough water through such measures as drip irrigation and bring into

use modern technology for laser leveling, we will have achieved the capacity to save

five to 10 maf of water. Another figure. Silting in Mangla, Tarbela and Chashma

Barrage will result in shortage of 6.3 maf of water by 2010.

What do we derive from this? Quite clearly, in my view constructing two to

three dams is inevitable for us by the year 2020. This is about the health of our

economy, about reducing poverty. Having realized the gravity of the situation, we had

three committees. The parliamentary committee was headed by Senator Nisar Memon,

who hails from Sindh. The technical committee was headed by AGN Abbasi, another

man from Sindh. The third committee, we hired foreign consultants so that they may

determine how much of water should flow downstream Kotri. All these reports have

been made public.

I would like to inform you of its salient points. The parliamentary committee

headed by Nisar Memon acknowledges additional reservoirs. They also consider Basha

and Kalabagh Dam technical feasible. They also recommend that 91 accord on water

should be implemented in totality and new dams built.

The technical committee’s report, headed by Abbasi, says that all nine

members favour building new water reservoirs including Kalabagh Dam. Chairman

Abbasi called for prioritizing Katzara dam, for which feasibility is yet to be completed.

He adds that pending study of the Katzara dam, Kalabagh and Bhasha dams may also

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be considered. A member from rural Sindh favoured Kalabagh dam but said no canals

should be taken out of it.

The remaining seven members pleaded that Bhasha and Kalabagh dams be

built simultaneously. So these are the findings of the report, which has already been

made public. Third, foreign consultants on flow of water downstream Kotri. They

conducted a good study which says every year 3.6 maf of water should flow down

Kotri, which means 5000 cusecs of water daily should flow into the sea. Apart from

this, 25 maf of water should flow in a cycle of five years. Now, I would like to speak of

advantages of having large reservoirs. Let’s see what advantages these dams would

accrue to Pakistan. First of all our canals will become perennial and no longer be

seasonal. And all objections of Sindh that water will be stolen will be removed. Sindh,

Punjab, NWFP and Balochistan, all will have enough water. So the contention will be

over. Secondly, we say that the unpopulated areas of Sindh, may also have new canals

as there would be enough water. There is a scheme under which a barrage is built at

the site of Sehwan and five canals are taken out of it. I have been told there are better

schemes. So Sindh, its peasants, the poor will benefit from it.

Then downstream Kotri will witness flow of water. The people of Badin and

Thatta, who are complaining of devastation of their lands, will see permanent flows of

water. Some people are trying to air the impression that the building of dams will

result in stoppage of water flowing downstream Kotri. This is absolutely incorrect. It is

the reservoirs which will make possible the flow of water downstream. Reservoirs do

not consume water but store it. It’s like a glass full of water, whenever we require we

can drink water from it.

So do not pay any heed to those who are wrong. These reservoirs will ensure

supply of their due share of water. Katchi canal will also be built. These reservoirs will

generate about 10,000 MW of power. These will certainly bring down the rate of

electricity. The annual flow of water in Pakistan’s rivers is 83 per cent in Kharif season

while it is just 17 in Rabi season.

Whereas, we need 60 per cent of water in Kharif and 40 per cent in Rabi. We

can strike a balance if we have large dams. Now, I want to address my Sindhi brothers

and sisters. First of all, the reservoirs will help stop sea intrusion at Thatta and Badin.

7 Secondly, water will definitely reach tail end areas of the province. Small dams will

be filled, which will bring back livelihood for fishermen. One dam will bring an

additional two maf of water to Sindh, two dams will fetch four maf and

implementation of Indus River System Authority Accord and another dam will bring

water equal to storage capacity of Mangla dam – five to six maf. You should know that

underground water in Sindh is brackish, which is not suitable for irrigation or drinking.

You cannot have tube-wells installed. So you depend heavily on irrigation water. The

people in rural areas have no other means of earning other than agriculture. Your

livelihood hinges on agrarian growth. This is a matter of life and death for you. Here, I

am not talking about the affluent. I am talking about the small peasants, who will be at

the mercy of shortage of water.

Therefore, I want to urge the Sindhi people not to pay attention to

disinformation and see the reality. Have trust in me. The NWFP will also benefit from

large reservoirs. As much as 800,000 acres of land in its southern districts like Dera

Ismail Khan will become cultivable. From all these considerations, I have come to

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conclude that we must build all proposed water reservoirs. There should be no doubt

on this count. Now we have to see where these dams can be built.

We have three rivers. There can be no dam on either Chenab or Jehlum

Rivers. There is no other site. Only on the Indus River, we have four sites, namely,

Katzara, Bhasha, Kalabagh and Akori. The feasibility study and structural design of

Kalabagh dam are ready and feasibility of Bhasha dam is also ready. The feasibility

studies of Akori and Katzara are not ready as yet. Now I want to present a contrast

between Bhasha and Kalabagh Dam.

Bhasha dam receives water from glacier meltdown. Katzara will also have

glacier meltdown water. You should know that monsoon accounts for 70 per cent of

water in Pakistan while glaciers make up for just 30 per cent. The total amount of

water flowing from glacier at Bhasha is 50 maf. Now let’s look at Kalabagh dam. The

Kalabagh received monsoon rains as Swan and Harro Rivers from Punjab flow into

the place. Secondly, Kabul, Swat and Chitral rivers also confluence into the Indus at

the site of Attock barrage, ahead of Kalabagh.

The Kalabagh dam, when built, can store their water. Therefore, Kalabagh is

the site where 90 maf of water flows. We should be cognizant of this fact. In the last

two years, 24 maf and 30 maf of water flowed down the site – equal to the capacity of

three dams. There are some misperceptions about Kalabagh dam in NWFP. In the

areas of Charsada, Swabi, Nowshera, Mardan, misperceptions are being aired that

these will submerge in the event of construction of Kalabagh dam and there would

also be water logging. We must understand that the maximum height of Kalabagh dam

would be 915 feet while all these districts are above this height, with the lowest point

in Nowshera located at 940 feet.

Swabi is at 1000 feet, Mardan 980 feet. So how is it possible that water can

flow up these areas. These are absolutely unfounded impressions. The people are

being offered bait. It is being made a political issue for vested interests and against

the government. So please, do not heed such unfounded impressions. In spite of all

these facts and figures, the people of Sindh have been misled. We are trying to correct

their perceptions. I fully believe that the power of the truth will win over the public

opinion in Sindh.

There are some misperceptions that building of dams will render Sindh into a

desert. Sindh will never become a desert. The Harris of Sindh will become prosperous

as their province will be greener. There would be prosperity and progress in the

province. So please do not be misled. I want to speak about the disinformation against

Punjab or the federation.

These will damage interests of Sindh. I consider myself a Sindhi. How come

that I would let something happen against the interests of Sindh. When every province

has enough water, there arises no question of any misappropriation. It can happen

when there is shortage of something. When there will be water reservoirs, and rivers

will be perennial, why would any province try to usurp the right of the other province.

Every province will be prosperous. 8 Another thing, we have taken a host of steps at

the behest of Sindh in order to remove their apprehensions. First of all, it was pointed

out as to why the IRSA was headquartered in Punjab. We shifted it to Islamabad.

Then we had an additional member from Sindh in IRSA.

Again, when the country faced drought, Punjab, which itself was confronted

with drought like conditions, gave 6,000 cusecs of additional water to Sindh. The

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Punjab did not take any additional water when there was shortfall of the resource.

Why would it do so when there is enough water. Finally, there is a network of

telemetry stations across the country. Each barrage, dam and canal has telemetry

stations, which provide exact reading of water flows. These have been installed at the

behest of Sindh at a cost of Rs 400 million. I say that someone from Sindh be

appointed here to keep a watch on water flows. We are ready to do that. Now, my

brothers and sisters, this is the time for decision, this is the time for action. We cannot

delay. I will not let Pakistan commit suicide on account of water shortage. But at the

same time I am conscious that being the President of Pakistan I represent unity of the

federation. I feel that I have to maintain this unity among all provinces.

In the last few months, I have seen that people have some reservations due

to which public in Sindh and to some extent in NWFP is not fully on board. I greatly

value the public opinion.

But I have an unflinching commitment to the country that I shall strive for

taking this public opinion to the direction of the truth. The cabinet has taken some

right decisions today. First, by 2016, Pakistan will have to build all dams including

Bhasha, Kalabagh, Akori, Munda Dam, Koramtangi dam. The construction of Bhasha

and Munda dams should get underway immediately. The earth-breaking of Bhasha

dam should take place in the first week of February. I myself shall perform this. The

Munda dam will also be built soon.

On Kalabagh dam, in Sindh and NWFP, I shall remove all apprehensions

and continue efforts in this regard. I have a strong hope that I shall be able to change

the public opinion.

By 2016, all dams including Bhasha, Kalabagh, Akori, Munda and

Koramtangi would be built.

These were important things I wanted to lay before you. I am sure that after

this address, normalcy will prevail and efforts of some people who are trying to create

an environment of unrest would come to an end. May Allah Almighty guide us all that

we may decide in favour of the country and its poor people so that the country moves

towards progress and prosperity.

Pakistan Paindabad

 

 

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