SC set next week to hear Kalabagh Dam case

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court (SC) on Monday ordered to conduct hearings over Kalabagh Dam and water cases in next week.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar said that the court will hear these cases on first priority as water scarcity is a biggest problem of the country. I have reopened 32-year-old cases, he added.

He also assured to hold proceedings over all such petitions and directed the claimants to get ready.

On September 16, 1991 the Council of Common Interest (CCI) had given a go ahead to the dam in its sixth session. Interestingly, the then four provinces had approved and shown consent for construction.

In the ninth meeting of the CCI on May 9, 1998, the case was reviewed. Further interestingly both the sessions were held during former Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif’s government. Despite the fact that CCI had green lit the project, the case had to go to the court.

Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered federal government on November 29, 2012 to start construction. However, the governments in the past several tenures seem to have catered to political interests only.

In addition to the high courts (HC), the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan was also approached in the matter as numerous pleas were filed from time to time. Replies were also sought from the government but Kalabagh Dam remains in ink till date.