The issue of water distribution from Indus River System came up for discussion in the 42nd meeting of Council of Common Interest (CCI) as government of Punjab has requested to get control of lower portion Chishma Right Bank Canal (CRBC) from Water Resources Ministry. Point of view of Punjab government may be correct but majority of southern districts of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa are also not getting a single drop of water from the River Indus, for which the Charsadda, Mardan and Nowshera based political leadership is solely responsible.
When Indus Water Apportionment Accord had been signed in 1991, an impression was created at that time in PTV current affairs programmes that the issue had settled once and for all. However, ground reality was different as the accord did not open the window for building national consensus for the construction of Kalabagh dam and immediate benefit to Khyber Pukhtunkhwa in the shape of starting work on Chishma Right Bank Lift irrigation project. Consequently, governments of all provinces are complaining against unfair distribution of water resources.
The CCI meeting decided to form a committee, comprising representatives of IRSA and government of Punjab and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa to work out modalities for a bilateral agreement, paving the way for handing over the control lower part of CRBC to Punjab from the Water Resources Ministry. If it does happen, then what will be the guarantee for the provision of funds from the federal government to Khyber Pukhtunkhwa for starting construction work on CRBC lift irrigation schemes and launching Kurram Tangi dam.
The epochs of national level native and non-native politician, who had no stakes in the country and ruled it, have ended, and 2018 polls has heralded an era of native national leadership whose sole preference is to serve the country and its people. Why the current leadership whose political party has formed governments at the center and provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa is reluctant to lead from the front and build consensus on Kalabagh dam?