London: The World Sindhi Congress (WSC) held a protest in London against the construction of large dams on River Indus in Pakistan.
The Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar, who is currently in the United Kingdom, was the chief guest of a fund-raising event for the construction of controversial Diamer Basha dam in Punjab province.
The protest was attended by a large number of Sindhis, Baloch and Kashmiris from across the UK. The demonstrators raised slogans against illegal, immoral involvement of the Chief Justice in the construction of the controversial dam.
The speakers unequivocally and loudly said that Sindh is already facing huge crises due to current diversion through dams, canals, droughts, unavailability of water for agriculture and drinking. The devastation and destruction of delta, ecosystems, sea intrusion have resulted in the demolition of hundreds of villages besides displacing communities.
The agitators highlighted that any new dam on Indus River will completely destroy Sindh and the lives of the Sindhi people. They said that it would be much wiser to use other sustainable solutions for water management at a fraction of the cost of a dam.
The speakers requested the saner elements in Pakistan and international community to stop the “grave environmental injustice and insanity.”
Dr. Hidayat Bhutto, the UK and Europe organiser of World Sindhi Congress, said, “We are protesting against the construction of the dam. We want to protect the Indus delta. No more dams should be built on River Indus. They are blocking and stealing our waters, and destroying our culture and heritage. Our livelihood depends upon this river and we want them to stop this conspiracy.”
“The whole world is against (the construction of) dams. This is an environment disaster. The Sindhi people are against this conspiracy. They are buidling this only for Punjab. I request all the people to not give a single penny for the dam construction,” he added.
Another activist, Abdullah Baloch, said that the construction of the dam would hamper the lives of the people in Sindh and Balochistan.
“We are protesting against the dam as this will affect the people in Sindh and Balochistan. People will not have any water for drinking, agriculture and for other purposes. We will suffer from this. The Chief Justice should take cognisance of this and grant justice to all of us,” he said.
The WSC announced that more such protests against similar fund-raising activities of the Chief Justice will be done throughout the UK in the coming days.