Benazir asks government to resolve water shortage issue
* Former PM warns of riots if issue not resolved immediately
ISLAMABAD: Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister and chairperson of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), has expressed concern over water shortage in different parts of the country and demanded the government give top priority to building small dams and lining of the canals to overcome the problem, a PPP media cell statement said on Tuesday.
Ms Bhutto said that some people in Johi in Dadu district had threatened to set themselves on fire if the government did not deal with the shortage of drinking and irrigation water immediately.
“It was reported earlier that the Drigh Lake in Larkana and the Manchar Lake in Dadu have nearly dried up. The aquatic life in the Drigh Lake has perished and the huge wildlife sanctuary built around the lake has turned barren,” said Ms Bhutto.
The PPP chairperson said that she was perturbed over reports of the artificial water shortage in parts of Sindh, the Seraiki belt and in Baluchistan because of the government’s apathy towards the problem despite pleas and protests by the people. She said that the water shortage problem could be overcome by building small dams, lining the water canals and preventing the discharge of saline water into the lakes.
Ms Bhutto said the PPP government had planned to resolve the issue but certain forces overthrew it. She said the military regime could follow those plans and address the water issue in Sindh. “It is most unfortunate and deplorable that the rulers are busy in dirty politics and have no time to address issues like these,” she said.
The former prime minister warned the government to immediately address the issue and save the situation from turning worse. Water-related riots will begin if the problem is not resolved, she added.
Online adds: Ms Bhutto condemned the killing of three PPP workers near Fateh Jang and asked the government for the early arrest of the killers.
The killing of the three youths on Monday were targeted political murders to deter the opposition from challenging the regime’s candidate in the elections, said Ms Bhutto. She said the incident was a continuation of state brutalities against opposition’s political workers. None of the assassins have been arrested so far, she added. The former prime minister said the government had failed to control law and order in Pakistan.