Texas: Expressing concern over the construction of a dam on the Indus River, Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) criticised Islamabad for continued disregard for the water rights of those residing in lower riparian areas in Pakistan.
“It is distressing to see that Islamabad has consistently shown total disregard for the point of view of the lower riparian province, specially the tragic situation in the coastal districts of Sindh where over three million acres of fertile land and several towns and villages have come undersea intrusion.
As a result, hundreds of thousands of people have lost their livelihood and they have been displaced from their homes. They have never been paid any compensation and no government, present or past, has ever put in place legally binding safeguards to save depleting southern delta and Indus river ecosystem,” said SANA president, Mohammad Ali Mahar.
“No obstruction on River Indus will be acceptable that has any latent or obvious potential to divert or choke the free flow of Indus. Water regimes have been imposed on Sindh without province’s representation,” he added.
The SANA executive Council has formed a “SANA Indus Water Rights Committee” to work with various subject matter experts and stakeholders of the lower riparian areas to study the issue and find solutions for mitigation of risks and threats to collective human and water rights of natives.
The proposed Indus Water Rights Committee will be authorised to represent SANA.
Last week, Sindhi political activists had said that the construction of Kalabagh Dam on the Indus River was an `illegal, unethical and immoral attempt` by Pakistan to deny life to the Sindhi people, during an event titled “Construction of Dam – denial of life to Sindhi People” held on the sidelines of the 39th Session of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The activists further claimed that Kalabagh Dam was tantamount to a death warrant for Sindh province, and would not be accepted under any compulsion.