Govt should not construct KBD to please Punjab: Wali Khan
By Ghafar Ali
PESHAWAR: The government will not be allowed to construct the controversial Kalabagh Dam to please Punjab, said Senator Asfandyar Wali Khan, Awami National Party (ANP) central president, on Saturday.
“We are Pukhtoons and Pukhtoons never betray their commitment. We had opposed the construction of the dam from the beginning and we will continue our resistance,” Mr Khan told a public rally at Chowk Yadgar.
The rally was arranged to observe the 17th death anniversary of Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan, the party’s founder, better known among the Pukhtoons as Bacha Khan. Senator Khan said their resistance was not based on feasibility reports or technical committees but on Bacha Khan’s statement that the construction of the dam was a conspiracy against the Pukhtoons.
He said three units of the federation had reservations about the construction of the dam and only Punjab favoured it, adding that the government faces a choice between the solidarity of Pakistan and the Kalabagh Dam. “The rulers should not only toil for the prosperity of Punjab because Punjab alone is not Pakistan,” he said.
He said ANP did not want to infringe upon the rights of Punjabis, Sindhis or Baloch but added “our aim is to get our due rights for our future generation”. The ANP leader also criticised the government for deploying troops in Sui and urged that the issue be resolved politically. “Issues cannot be resolved by force, nor can dialogues be successful if they are held at gun-point,” he said. He held President Pervez Musharraf responsible for the chaos in different parts of the country. “The question of Musharraf’s uniform is not a solution to the chaos, however, disorder and lawlessness have increased since Musharraf took over,” he said.