IndusRiver_optSTAFF REPORT LHR: Participants representing civil society, water experts, researchers, activists, environmentalists, politicians and deltaic and fishing communities have expressed their concern over the ecological destruction of Indus River and Indus Delta and demanded restoration of the natural flow of the Indus.

“Water is a fundamental element of life on the land, and thus access to water is a human right that must be protected equally for all people, in all places,” was the declaration at the recently held national water conference in Islamabad. The Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) had organised the conference.

PPP leader Taj Haider, quoting irrigation expert ANG Abbasi, who designed an assessment report for Musharraf government, said Bhasha dam is being built, despite the fact there wiis no more water available in the river systems of the country. “There is no operational criterion for Chashma Jehlum Link Canal and Taunsa Barrage. There should be consensus on set criteria to avert differences by small provinces.”

PFF Chairperson Mohammed Ali Shah said that dam construction is the part of global politics. “There is a strong lobbying group, which has investors and dam building industry has become a lucrative business for dam builders, investors, politicians and consultants.”

Awami Jamhoori Party leader Abrar Qazi, Zulfiqar Shah of PILER, Mustafa Baloch of Strengthening Participatory Organisation, Dr Dodo Maheri, General Secretary Sindh United Party, Senior Journalist Ishaq Magrio, Saeed Baloch, Jameel Junejo, Mustafa Meerani, Gulab Shah, Ayoub Shar of PML-N and others also spoke.

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