Sindh-Punjab water dispute: AT calls for appointment of international commission
HYDERABAD, May 24: Awami Tehrik leaders have called for appointment of an international commission to solve decades-old dispute over water share in Indus and other rivers between Sindh and Punjab.
Addressing a demonstration and sit-in outside the press club here on Monday in protest against acute shortage of water in the province, AT president Ayaz Latif Palijo, Hakeem Zangejo, Ms Rozina Bhutto and Nazeer Memon called for releasing 35 MAF water downstream Kotri barrage and compensation to Sindh for “theft of its share in water”.
They said that Sindh had been robbed of its share in Indus waters since 1859 and many commissions and committees had been constituted since then to solve the water dispute between Sindh and Punjab but they failed to find a solution.
They said that an agreement was signed between the two provinces in 1945 under which Sindh was to be given 75 per cent of water from the Indus and 25 per cent from other rivers.
In 1960, they said, Ayoub Khan’s government sold out three rivers to India and built Mangla and Tarbela dams from the proceeds of the rivers’ sale and installed tens of thousands of tube-wells only in Punjab.
Although Sindh had 25 per cent share in these rivers, it received nothing and similarly, the province had 25 per cent water share in Mangla dam but it was receiving nothing, they claimed.
But Punjab was taking away thousands of cusecs of water per day through Chashma-Jhelum and Taunsa-Panjnad link canals at the expense of Sindh where even drinking water was not available in many districts, they said.
They said that whatever little water was available was taken away by Mirs, Pirs, waderas and sardars in connivance with irrigation department at the cost of poor farmers and peasants.
The gathering adopted a resolution, calling for appointment of an international commission to solve water dispute between the two provinces, release of 35 MAF water downstream Kotri barrage and adequate compensation to Sindh for theft of its share in water.
It demanded that no dam or canal should be constructed on the Indus and Chashma-Jhelum, Taunsa-Panjnad link canals and Greater Thal Canal should be closed down.
Wapda employees have no hand in loadshedding: union leader
The general secretary of the Pakistan Workers Federation, Abdul Latif Nizamani, said on Monday that Wapda employees had nothing to do with loadshedding and they were with people.
Addressing a demonstration outside the press club in protest against delay in promulgation of a law to replace the Industrial Relations Act 2008, he blamed wrong policies of the government for nagging menace of loadshedding.
A large number of activists of the Pakistan Workers Federation and Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Central Labour Union attended the demonstration.
Mr Nizamani said that attacks on Wapda employees because of loadshedding were completely unjustified and if anyone was to be targeted it should be the government.
He said that IRA 2008 expired on April 30 and the government had promised to enact a law before its expiry in conformity with rectified ILO conventions 87 and 98 but it had not been done yet.
Tuesday, 25 May, 2010