ANP constitutes Anti-KBD Front
PESHAWAR: The Awami National Party (ANP) has formed an Anti-Kalabagh Dam Front (AKBDF) to mobilise public opinion and counter the government’s move to build the controversial dam.
ANP Provincial President Begum Nasim Wali Khan announced this in a press conference at the Peshawar Press Club on Friday. The ANP leader said the anti-dam committee would have dialogues with all political parties to convince them and muster their support. “I ask all those in favour of a strong federation and parliamentary system to come forward and resist the move,” she said.
Begum Wali added the anti-dam committee would visit various districts of the province to create awareness among people and apprise them of its negative affects on the province. She appealed to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund not to provide funds for the controversial dam.
Strongly protesting President Pervez Musharraf’s statement in which he said that like other dams, Kalabagh Dam would also be built with consensus, Begum Wali said, “Kalabagh Dam is no longer an issue because it was buried a long time ago and even President Musharraf had said the matter is over and it’s on record.” She added that there was no room for more discussions about it because it was a ‘non-issue’.
Describing President Musharraf as a “de facto” president, Begum Wali said he had raised the issue to divert public attention from genuine issues like the Legal Framework Order (LFO) and his uniform. However, she said, “The danger is always there.”
She said any ruler who exploited the Kalabagh Dam issue for vested interests and to divert public attention from real issues would always lose power.
Begum Wali said Sindh, the NWFP and Balochistan were all opposing the dam and had passed anti-dam resolutions. “What are we going to eat if agricultural lands in Mardan, Swabi, Nowshehra and Charsadda are submerged?” She said only Punjab would benefit from the dam’s construction.
Begum Wali said senior ANP leader Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour would be the front’s chairman while its members would be Aqil Shah, Haji Muhammad Adeel, Farid Toofan and Mian Iftikhar Hussain. She said the front would organise its first seminar on September 14.
Begum Wali expressed no confidence in the judiciary and said a court would validate the Kalabagh Dam. She added that the dam would not be allowed at any cost.
Prominent ANP leaders including Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) Bashir Ahmed Bilour, Afrasiab Khattak, Farid Toofan and Mian Iftikhar Hussain and a large number of party workers were present.