Islamabad: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari criticised the federal government’s actions in depriving Sindh of its rightful share of water and artificially creating a water crisis.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari alleged that Prime Minister Imran Khan was overseeing a brutal campaign against the people of Sindh.
He lamented that the province of Sindh had been kept thirsty and dry during the entire holy month of Ramazan, and that the federal government didn’t even deign to ease the water woes of the people over Eid.
In a statement, Bilawal warned the puppet Prime Minister and his government that their artificially created water crisis in Sindh would have severe repercussions for the federation.
He pointed out that the acute water crisis in Sindh had badly affected the province, adding that Karachi, Thatta, Badin, Sujawal and Tharparkar have all been suffering severely.
The Indus River System Authority, which was mandated to ensure a smooth water supply based on the 1991 Water Accord, was blatantly and illegally depriving Sindh of up to 20 percent of its water supply, the PPP Chairman said.
Deploring the role of IRSA, he demanded that they strictly adhere to their mandate and ensure Sindh receive its due share immediately.
“The officials at IRSA will have to explain on whose orders they have been depriving Sindh of water, and on whose nefarious agenda they are converting Sindhs fertile lands into a parched desert.”
Bilawal ,while addressing PM Imran Khan asked him to immediately cease his anti-Sindh vendetta, under which he had left no stone unturned in trying to render Sindh a desert.
He implored the other provinces to follow Sindhs lead and to implement effective plans to better distribute water to all Pakistanis. He pointed out that Sindh had helped ease Baluchistans water woes by releasing water from Sindh’s Guddu Barrage despite the ongoing acute water crisis in Sindh.
All parts of Pakistan should continue to get water per the agreed schedule of the water supply formula, he said.
“If any province is being deprived of their constitutional rights, then that will only weaken the federation. Depriving Sindh of water, is depriving Sindh of its constitutional rights. And I will not remain silent as the government steals from the people what is rightfully theirs,” he added.
Mentioning the controversial Chashma-Jehlum Canal, he pointed out that even today it was siphoning off 2000 cusecs of Sindhs rightful and constitutional share of water.
He also demanded that IRSA must not issue no-objection certificates for the setting up of power plants on the Panjnad and Chashma-Jhelum link canals. Doing so would only give IRSA and the government to keep water canals open throughout the year and it would further deprive Sindh and Balochistan of their constitutional share of water.
Even the controversial spring Jhelum Link Canal should only be opened when a release of water is required to KOTRI downstream, said the Chairman PPP.
Bilawal said that water had been continuously released from Tarbella Dam, delaying necessary maintenance till February, and leaving Tarbella Dam unfilled despite heavy showers.
Drawing attention to the rice harvesting season, he asked the PM to explain his ulterior motives for depriving Sindh of its due water needs at this time.
The Chairman PPP also pointed out the devastating effect the federal governments water policies are having on cotton production.
He continued to remind the Prime Minister that the PTI was already “overseeing a decimation of our textile sector and that depriving Sindh of water and effecting cotton supplies would be the final nail in the coffin of one of Pakistan’s major industries.”