Jatoi seeks guarantees on Kalabagh dam

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Water and Power Liaqat Ali Jatoi on Wednesday said that arranging funds for the construction of Bhasha dam would not be a problem and a modus operandi in this regard would be chalked out after the prime minister’s return from his US visit.

However, he said the feasibility study of Bhasha dam was being reviewed at present which was likely to reduce its height by 10 metres and water storage capacity by one million acre feet.

Addressing a news conference, Jatoi thanked President Pervez Musharraf for respecting the views of the people who had reservations over the construction of Kalabagh dam and this decision removed hatred among the provinces.

Responding to a question, the minister said the proposed reduction in Bhasha dam’s height would reduce its storage capacity by one million acre feet -- to 6.34 MAF from 7.34. He said the Bhasha dam project was the best among the proposed reservoirs because of minimum human displacements and arid land submergence besides highest power production capacity.

It would displace about 24,000 people and submerge about 1,600 acres of arid land. With power production capacity of 4,500 MW, the Bhasha dam would be the largest power plant in Pakistan, he said.

Jatoi said the president respected the will of the people of Sindh and the NWFP by announcing the construction of Bhasha dam on priority, which would be followed by efforts for removal of objections to the Kalabagh dam.

The minister said he honestly presented his viewpoint to the president and the prime minister on the construction of Kalabagh dam and was now satisfied that a decision had been made that would strengthen the federation, the federating units and inter-provincial harmony.

Jatoi told another questioner that "we have sought some guarantees and if these are accepted, we will be part of President Pervez Musharraf's pro-Kalabagh dam campaign."

When quizzed about financing of the project, the minister said it would be decided after the return of the prime minister from his visit to the United States but added that funds would not be a problem.

Replying to a question as to how the project was being launched in February when the detailed engineering design of the project was still in progress and feasibility study was being reviewed, Jatoi said construction of roads would start in February. He said the royalty of the Bhasha dam would go to the NWFP but the size of the amount has not yet been calculated.

WB to finance Bhasha after appraisal

ISLAMABAD: World Bank country director John Wall has said that the bank will decide to finance the Bhasha dam after examining its feasibility report and detailed engineering, geological and economic studies.

He was briefing newsmen on the occasion of the launch of a WB report titled "Pakistan Country Water Resources Assistance Strategy, Water Economy: Running Dry".

"We will conduct the appraisal of the project and examine its economic rate of return ensuring the environmental and displacement concerns are mitigated."

The report has already been published in all the leading newspapers some months back when a workshop was held at the bank’s office on the draft of the report. However, the WB formally launched the report on Wednesday.

Wall said Pakistan’s economic credibility is good; however, the bank will look into the economic indicators before deciding to fund the dams. He said that keeping in view the assumptions made so far, both Bhasha and Kalabagh dams are viable.

According to reports, he added, the government has not yet completed a detailed engineering study of the Bhasha dam and, whenever it is completed, the bank will examine it and then go for funding.

Responding to a question, Wall said the World Bank will offer its funding for the dams at market rates which are very low right now. About the estimated cost of $6.5 billion of the Bash dam, he said the cost will be decided after the economic, detailed engineering and geological studies are completed.

As regards the estimated cost of the Kalabagh dam that stands at $6 billion, he said the cost will exceed as the estimate is old.

Wall said the World Bank is providing funding of $5 billion to improve and rehabilitate the Punjab irrigation system.

Wall said the rehabilitation of one canal command costs Rs 5 billion and the Punjab has 30 canal commands, which means the cost of the rehabilitation of all canals system costs Rs 130 billion.

He also stressed a national resettlement policy for the people, which would be displaced on a large-scale due to the construction of a chain of dams on the Indus River.

The WB representative advocated privatising the whole irrigation system for its improvement. He also advocated an increase in the Abaina tax being collected from farmers, saying that the existing amount of Abiana is one-tenth of the total cost incurred on the maintenance of the irrigation system.

Wall also asked the government to make a groundwater regulatory body to regulate the distribution of groundwater, as the massive extraction of the ground water had depleted the level of underground water.

Quoting the salient features of the bank’s report, he said Pakistan is moving from being a water-stressed country to a water scarce country. He noted that Pakistan is already one of the most water-stressed countries in the world; a situation, which is going to degrade into outright water scarcity during to high population growth.

Wall said that only a small quantity of water is left to mobilising, but Pakistan can get much more value from the existing flows. Building new dams is just one of the assets of necessary activities to increase from water, which include improving the transparency and efficiency of the administration of the water accord and making a set of institutional reforms and investments at provincial, canal and farm levels to ensure better use of water, he added.

He was of the view that there is poor governance and low trust among the federating units due to the inequitable distribution of water. The water bureaucracy has yet to make the vital mental transition from that of a builder of assets to that of a good manager of assets, he remarked.

Pakistan needs to appoint a neutral water auditor having the resources to measure all abstractions from the water distribution system and to report these in a public and transparent way.

Wall said the 1991 Water Accord is a major achievement, which establishes clear entitlements for each province and implicitly for each canal command to surface water. He said Pakistan should focus on putting in place a similar entitlement system to cover any new water that might be mobilised as well as on formalising entitlements for environmental flows and administering the system in a more transparent, participatory manner.

Bhasha dam feasibility report ready: Rashid

ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad has said that the feasibility report of the Bhasha dam is complete and a 300-metre tunnel has been constructed as part of the geological investigation at the site while work on another tunnel is in the process.

He was speaking as chief guest at a seminar on ‘Water reservoirs: when, where and how?’ organised by the Mir Khalil-ur-Rehman Memorial Society in collaboration with the Shaz Associates here on Wednesday. Wasif Nagi conducted the proceedings.

About the allegation that the timing of the decision to make Bhasha and Munda dams was to make big dams an election issue, he said that there is no harm in getting public decision on the dams through elections. He said that the Punjab would get nothing except royalty from the Kalabagh Dam, but asked it to be prepared for sacrifices as a big brother. He said that the government is ready to give any sort of guarantees for the dam, which will benefit NWFP as well as Sindh.

On the issue the people affected by the Tarbela dam, he said that the government, of late, had given them plots in Mansehra.

On Bajaur Agency incident, he said, "We condemn the action but it did not mean Pakistan should sever its relations with Washington. Talking on the operation in Kohlu, he said that 80 per cent of Kohlu people want development but ‘Sardars’ are opposing it.

ANP leader Haji Adeel welcomed the announcement of the construction of Bhasha dam and advised the government to forget the Kalabagh Dam for good. He opposed the Akhori dam for being too high. He said that when the NFC announced 47 per cent share in the past, it was not accepted by the provinces. How would they accept 43 per cent share announced by President Gen Pervez Musharraf, he asked. He said those abrogating the Constitution cannot give constitutional guarantees. He said that those giving three rivers to India in 1948 had no representation from Sindh, NWFP or Balochistan.

PML-N leader Sabir Shah said that there was no campaign on Kalabagh dam but the divisive issue was spanned into the nation when it was bracing the earthquake calamity with courage and unity. He said that the president did not consult the parliament or the cabinet while taking major decisions and a call from Bush or Altaf Hussain makes a difference.

He said that the NFC is a right of the provinces but a single person is using these powers. He called the announcement by Gen Musharraf in this respect an insult of people, country and democratic institutions.

Punjab Governor Lt-Gen (retd) Khalid Maqbool said that the feasibility report on Bhasha dam would be completed within three years. He appreciated Gen Musharraf for kicking off an open debate. He said that India, Bangladesh and China had constructed hundreds of dams but we despite being an agricultural country are drilling underground water and letting the river water flow into the sea. He urged the people to think like Pakistanis and shun provincial biases.

Hafiz Hussain Ahmad of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal said that Gen Pervez Musharraf once claimed support of 22 ‘Sardars’ and now his ministers term ‘Sardars’ as miscreants. It depends who is with you as Bugti was a patriot during previous military operation in the 1970s, he said. He asked the government not to pitch provinces against each other.

He asked for taking decisions through institutions, especially the Council of Common Interests, which works on the principle of consensus. Referring to the trend of labelling anti-Kalabagh Dam lobby as miscreants, he questioned the status of Arbab Rahim and Liaquat Jatoi for their opposition to the dam despite their official positions.

He did not agree with the information minister that the speech on Kalabagh dam by the president was prepared before the October 8 earthquake. If that is the case, it means he, even Altaf Hussain, played dramas with the nation. He said that the treatment of the government with his province was lopsided. He asked why the price of gas from Dhodak is Rs222 in Punjab but that from Sui is Rs47 only.

Former Wapda Chairman Zulfiqar Ali Khan said that Mangla and Tarbela dams increased the share of Sindh water from 37 to 42 MAF and the Kalabagh dam will add to it. He said that water level of KBD lake will be 25 feet below from Nowshera and Munda dam will further check the affects of floods in Kabul river. He said that the Kalabagh dam would displace 80,000 in Punjab and 40,000 in NWFP.

Wapda Member Mushtaq Chaudhry said that affectees will be rehabilitated within 5-kilometre radius of the Kalabagh dam lake and the process will be much more organised and efficient than that in previous cases. He said that only 2.5 per cent area of Sindh delta have fresh mangroves whereas the bulk of mangroves forests are in salty water.

He said that 5,000 cusecs water would be released down Kotri on daily basis that would help in freshwater mangroves production.

Rally demands shelving of Kalabagh dam project

HYDERABAD: Activists of Anti-Thal Canal and Kalabagh Dam Action Committee, a conglomerate of 12 parties, took out a big rally here on Wednesday against the proposed construction of the Kalabagh dam and end to ìmilitary operationî in Balochistan.

The rally also demanded of the government to withdraw the proposed construction of any dam on Indus River, including Kalabagh and Bhasha dam.

The leaders of mainstream political, religious and nationalist parties of Sindh, NWFP and Saraiki belt, led the protest rally which took several hours to reach its final destination.

The rally started from Hatri Chowk (by-pass) on the national highway, where thousands of protestors staged a sit-in and later they proceeded to the Hyder Chowk.

They were chanting slogans against President Musharraf, Kalabagh dam and the World Bank.

The participants of the rally demanded of President Musharraf to announce the shelving of the Kalabagh dam project.

Heavy contingents of police and Rangers were deployed to face any untoward incident.

Prominent among those who addressed the rally include Action Committee convener and PPP Sindh chief Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly Nisar Khuhro, Awami Tehreek chief Rasool Bukhsh Palejo, Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party chief Dr Qadir Magsi, Awami National Party central Vice-President Ghulam Mohammed Bilour, PML-N leaders Makhdoom Shahnawaz, ARD Sindh chief Zain Ansari, Hameed Asghar Shaheen of Saraikistan Qaumi Movement, Jamaat-e-Islami Sindh chief Dr Mumtaz Memon, MMA provincial President Asadullah Bhutto, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam leader Khalid Mahmood Soomro, MPA Abdul Rehman Rajput of JUP, Gul Mohammed Jakhrani of Sindh National Front and PPP legislator Makhdoom Jameeluz Zaman. The rally turned into a public meeting at Hyder Chowk.

Besides several PPP MPAs, the rally was participated by a large number of women activists of various political and nationalist parties who kept on raising slogans against proposed construction of dams.

Addressing the protestor, Qaim Ali Shah said the wold powers can see this protest rally attended by millions of people of Sindh and other provinces, rejecting the policies of rulers and construction of dams on Indus River.

He said President Musharraf in his address to the nation on Tuesday didn’t mention the shelving of the Kalabagh dam but announced it would be constructed by 2016.

He said the people of Sindh through their unity would reject all the anti-Sindh projects of rulers and never allow the construction of the Kalabagh dam on Indus River.

He said that all parties of the province were united on water issue and would continue their struggle until Kalabagh dam project was shelved forever.

Rasool Bukhsh Palejo saluted the people struggling for the safety of their homeland and Indus River.

He said Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah made it clear that the army would have no role in affairs of the government. Palejo said the rulers are heading to destroy Balochistan through bombardment.

He said President Musharraf has no legal right to rule the country and announce such controversial projects.

Nisar Khuhro said the people of Sindh have proved that there consistent struggle has eventually forced the rulers to delay the controversial Kalabagh dam. He said instead of providing rights to the oppressed nations the government is killing innocent people in Balochistan.

Chairman of STPP Dr Qadir Magsi said that millions of people had gathered in Hyderabad to reject the government policies on dams, including Bhasha and Kalabagh. He said that until justice would be provided to people of Sindh they would not accept any project on Indus River and even children of province were aware of their right on Indus River.

Ghulam Mohammed Bilour said the Kalabagh dam project is aimed at drying up the land of the Sindh province and expressed complete solidarity with the people of Sindh.

MNA Asadullah Bhutto, Mumtaz Memon, Khalid Mahmood Soomro and MPA Abdul Rehman Rajput of MMA said the policies of President Musharraf are creating differences among the provinces.

Makhdoom Shahnawaz and Zain Ansari of the PML-N termed the protest rally in Hyderabad referendum against the policies of the government. They demanded of the government to shelve the controversial projects, including the Kalabagh dam.

Hameed Asghar Shaheen said that construction of dam on Indus River would be disastrous for the people of Sindh and Saraiki belt.

Gul Mohammed Jakhrani, Abrar Kazi and Makhdoom Jameel said the protest movement would continue until its logical end.

President’s announcement on dams, NFC termed extra-constitutional

KARACHI: Terming the government’s announcement of dams plan and NFC Award as an extra-constitutional act bypassing all the democratic norms, the opposition parties said that the act has proved that the country was being run in a dictatorial manner as Gen Pervez Musharraf has no right to take such decisions.

The opposition parties declared that the Constitution did not permit General Musharraf to take suo moto decision on the issues which were of crucial importance to all the four federating units. They were of the view that the Constitution had an inbuilt procedure in the form of Council of Common Interest (CCI) where such contentious issues should be discussed and debated for reaching a consensus.

While reacting over the speech of Gen Pervez Musharraf, PPP President Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that General Musharraf’s announcement had violated the very spirit of the Constitution. His speech on the core and controversial issues related to the construction of two reservoirs, the NFC Award and the Balochistan situation, he said, adding that the decision of making Bhasha and Munda dams as well as allocation of share to the provinces from the divisible pool and subvention in the NFC Award tantamount to taking autocratic and extra constitutional measures.

He said that the CCI has representation from all four provinces and other interested segments of society and once a matter was approved at this forum then the parliament takes up the issue.

The PPP leader was of the view that the dams were constructed to store additional water, adding, "But there is hardly any water available in the River Indus, which is quite evident as the entire downstream riverbed is dry and Rota system is being applied at Sukkur barrage to provide limited water for Rabi crop".

While commenting on the speech of President Gen Pervez Musharraf, Vice President PML-N Sindh, Sardar Rahim, termed it an expression of self-arrogance as the General (Pervez Musharraf) time and again used the word "I" which, he said, was inappropriate.

"Thanks God, he (President) did not make the announcement about Kalabagh dam but of Bhasha and Munda dams," he said, adding that the President had once again bypassed the parliament by making announcement on water reservoirs, NFC Award and Balochistan situation.

"He (President) totally ignored the procedure adopted in parliamentary democracy where contentious issues are brought before the parliament and after proper discussion and debate appropriate decisions are taken. But he took the arbitrary decision both in water reservoirs and NFC issues for which he invoked an article of the Constitution, which was inappropriate to make such an important decision on the distribution of funds from the federal pool to the four provinces," Sardar Rahim remarked.

"What is it a mockery that a person who trampled the entire Constitution and ousted the elected government is now taking refuge in the Constitution to justify yet his another wrong," the PML (N) leader said.

Business cream backs President on dams

LAHORE: Noted business leaders in the country have strongly backed President Musharraf’s decision to construct five new dams till 2016, terming it a revolutionary step aimed at changing the fortune of the poverty-ridden public.

Musharraf’s decision has been lauded by President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Chaudhary Saeed, Central Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Ahmed Kuli Khan, former FPCCI/LCCI President Iftikhar Ali Malik, Chairman Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) North Zone Mian Khurshid Alam and President Lahore Chamber of Commerce Mian Shafqat Ali.

Talking to The News here Wednesday evening, all the afore-mentioned business leaders viewed that improved water storage would not only irrigate 33 million acres of barren land, but would also help in producing sufficient hydro-electric energy which was nearly seven times cheaper than the thermal power.

Chaudhar Saeed and Iftikhar Malik were unanimous in their points of view that if Musharraf failed to construct the Bhasha, Munda and Kalabagh Dam, no ruler in Pakistan would ever touch the subject as has been the case since 1976 when Tarbela Dam, country’s last storage facility, was completed.

They opined that low riparian areas like Sindh, in particular, and other parts of the country at large, should be absolutely gleeful over President’s decision as more reservoirs would fulfill their agrarian and industrial requirements and thus enhance the living standard of nearly 70 per cent rural population which otherwise accounted for 25 per cent of the national GDP of $ 110 billion.

The formidable FPCCI duo remarked," The gross storage capacity of Mangla, Tarbela and Chashma Dams is just 18.37 Million Acre Feet (MAF) and even this figure has declined by 4.89 MAF due to silting. This capacity is further expected to shrink to 6.37 MAF within the next six years, which is equivalent to the storage capacity of one dam! We, therefore, need two or three large dams of 6 MAF each by the year 2020, otherwise an inevitable drought will greet our coming generations. We salute General Musharraf for taking the bold initiative."

Mian Khurshid Alam maintained," The five new dams would help the GDP surge over $ 140 billion mark, which is a dream situation. Around 35 Million Acre Feet of water flows unutilized to the sea in our country which is a sorrow state of affairs and it should be deemed criminal on part of the vested interests who oppose this issue, just for the sake of an opposition."

The PTA boss said it was a pity that while China, Turkey, India, Iran and Japan possessed 253, 113,28, 52 and 97 small and medium dams above the 50-foot height respectively, Pakistan only had 3 for its requirements.

Khurshid Alam stated further," Similarly, in the category of large dams having a height over 200 feet, Pakistan just enjoys the services of the Gomal Dam as compared to China (59), Turkey (22), India (6), Iran (28) and Japan (35), which hence reveals all about our national priorities. 

Sindh should realize that about 44 MAF sweet sub-soil water available with it can be used through tube-wells elsewhere in the country, but not within its geographic boundaries because this sub-soil water here is highly saline. The only viable and prescribed remedy left for Sindh, therefore, is to have more dams if it wishes to make up for this unfortunate deficiency."

APTMA Chief Ahmed Kuli Khan and LCCI President Mian Shafqat Ali added," Pakistan comes first. There is no doubt that Pakistan is facing acute water shortage. The announcement of new dams has surely broken the 30-year long impasse on this subject and it goes without saying that ample water holds the key to reduce joblessness in the country."

Ahmed Kuli Khan said the country was passing through a very critical stage, asserting he was in favour of more reservoirs if they served as quinine to cure all the ills haunting the nation.

He elaborated by saying, "The country should remain intact and total cohesion should prevail. If dams lead to country’s prosperity, they should be constructed. But, I reiterate that dams should simply bring life to the nation and nothing else. Total consensus on this topic should be ensured."

LCCI President Mian Shafqat was firm in airing that the country should ratify the construction of all dams at the earliest because its existing live storage capacity was hardly 12 MAF or less than 10 per cent of the average annual river flows as compared to the international average of 40 per cent.

Announcement of dams breaks 30-year impasse

LAHORE: Despite planned launching of the Bhasha dam by early February 2006, the actual work on the reservoir will not be initiated before 2009.

However, regardless of a tangible progress on construction of water reservoirs, Pakistan has finally been able to break impasse of about 30 years following announcement made by President Pervez Musharraf to build four dams till 2016.

No dam was constructed since the Mangla and Tarbela dams, due to reasons best known to successive governments. It was drought of the late 1990s and after that forced policymakers to start reconciliation process for construction of dams in the country amid dwindling water availability that was depleting at a fast rate - like melting block of ice.

As per Wapda documents, preparation of tender documents and detail engineering would complete in early 2008. In the meantime, additional investigation studies and model testing would be completed. The pre-construction activities including land acquisition and upgradation of 323-km road (from Havelian to the dam site) would be completed by 2008. Subsequently, visible construction work on dam would be launched by 2009. The dam is expected to complete in 2016 on Indus river.

Interestingly, the construction work on Akhori dam in the Punjab will be completed in late 2014, about two years before the Bhasha dam. Compared to the Bhasha dam, the Akhori dam, an off-channel storage is much easier to build as it would take only six years to complete.

On the other hand, the Munda dam on the Swat river was also announced by President Musharraf to start work soon after launching of construction on the Bhasha dam.

As per much-hyped Wapda’s vision 2025, the Munda dam would cost $567 million and will generate cheap electricity of 740 MW. Originally, the Munda dam had been included in phase III, (2011-2025) of Wapda’s vision 2025.

However, the Munda dam multi-purpose project was included in the National Water Resources Development Programme as a ‘pair project’ with the Kalabagh dam.

It will help control flood in Nowshera and sorrowing areas. An American firm, AMZO Corporation had already been given the go-ahead for the construction of Munda multipurpose dam. The dam will have capacity 0.7 million acres feet (MAF).

The NWFP government will get Rs 361 million from the federal government as water use charges on annual basis after the commissioning of the project, according to documents of the agreement.

The Munda dam will be constructed on build own operate and transfer (BOOT) basis in the private sector, having a total tenure of 25 years. The project is expected to be commissioned by 2011-12. The main benefit of the Munda dam besides flood control is availability of cheap electricity in just five to six years.

Durrani welcomes Musharraf’s decision on dams

PESHAWAR: Provincial Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani has welcomed the announcement by President Gen Pervez Musharraf regarding the construction of Basha, and Munda dams and NFC award and termed the decisions as best in the interest of the country.

"This would not only upgrade the country’s agriculture but would also improve people’s standard of living," a handout quoted the chief minister as saying.

He said the people of NWFP had been demanding commencement of work on the construction of Basha and Munda dams that would generate electricity on the one hand and cope with the shortage of water on the other. Durrani thanked President Gen Pervez Musharraf for announcing the construction of Basha dam and complying with the government’s stance.

"Few days back, we decided to convince the president and prime minister to announce the construction of Basha dam and our decision was rational," he maintained.

Terming the decision of the president in favour of country’s unity, the chief minister said the projects would benefit the country as well as the four provinces.

Crediting the government for the decision regarding National Finance Commission award, he said "Keeping our recommendations in esteem, the president has announced at least 50 per cent share for the provinces." He said the share of NWFP had reached Rs 9.71 billions and termed it MMA government’s victory.

The chief minister said the announcement of NFC award and construction of Basha dam would boost the economy of NWFP and would leave positive effects on the social and economic status of NWFP dwellers.

Meanwhile, In a statement issued here on Wednesday, Minister of State for Water and Power, Engineer Amir Muqam lauded the decision of President General Pervez Musharraf for announcing construction of five water reservoirs and enhancement of provinces’ shares in the federal divisible pool in NFC award.

The minister said that President Musharraf has proved that he wanted to unite all provinces on such crucial issues.

PML-N, ANP hail construction of Bhasha, Munda dams

PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Awami National Party have welcomed the construction of Bhasha and Munda dam and defusing tensions among the provinces on the issue of controversial Kalabagh dam.

PML-N parliamentary leader in NWFP Assembly Anwar Kamal Khan told The News on Wednesday there was a demand in the province for abandoning the construction of controversial dam to avoid 1971-like situation.

He said the Punjab was isolated on the issue of the Kalabagh dam, as all the three provinces were against it. "Even the B-team of the federal government was also opposed to the Kalabagh dam," he added, referring to the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA).

He observed that the president should have announced desilting of the Tarbela dam, as its life was decreasing by the phenomenon. "The NWFP would be deprived of Rs 6 billion net hydel profit from the project if the situation is not improved at Tarbella."

Welcoming the construction of the Bhasha dam, Khan stressed the dam could provide water to 700,000 acres of barren lands in NWFP. "After the Water Accord-1991, the Frontier’s share of 1.2 MAF water is wasted because there is no canal or any other system to utilise it."

He said the MMA government has also failed to plead its case in the National Finance Commission, as the president’s increase of provinces share from 42 per cent to 45 per cent was nothing.

He reminded that the Frontier was contributing Rs 29 billion as central excise duty only from tobacco and all the benefit on that formula was given to Punjab ignoring their demand for distributing it on the basis of poverty.

He said 50 or 60 per cent should have been distributed on the population and rest of the resources on the basis of poverty and revenue generation.

He said the NWFP, Sindh and Balochistan were contributing to the federal divisible pool but all the benefits were given to the Punjab.

Similarly the influx of Afghan refugees had badly destroyed the infrastructure in the NWFP and Balochistan but their suggestions regarding subvention were also ignored. "We had demanded increase in subvention on a flat rate but the government included the Punjab and Sindh in it despite the fact both the provinces had refused to accommodate Afghan refugees in the past", Anwar Kamal said.

The ANP, in a statement, welcomed the announcement of the construction of Basha and Munda dams and hoped that President Musharraf would take similar decisions in future, which prevented any confrontation.

The statement explained that the party had never opposed the construction of water reservoirs in the country and always demanded commencement of work on a dozen of projects.

The ANP rejected president’s stand on Balochistan, adding that it was purely a political issue that could be resolved only by political means.

In a separate statement, leader Ayub Khan said after the construction of the Bhasha dam there was no need for the Kalabagh dam. He didn’t agree with the statement of President Musharraf in which he said that he had ignored the apprehensions of Sindh and the NWFP that Kalabagh dam was more dangerous.

He said that due to countrywide protest the president ignored the construction of Kalabagh dam and preferred to build the Bhasha dam.