Resolution of water crisis is our highest priority from today: CJP

Resolution of water crisis is our highest priority from today: CJP

ISLAMABAD: The resolution of water crisis would be our highest priority from now onwards, remarked Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday while hearing a case on water scarcity and construction of dams.

During the hearing, Justice Nisar observed that no political parties in the country have water on their agenda, though no issue is as grave as that pertaining to the supply and accessibility of water.

The case was being heard by a three-member bench headed by the chief justice.

The chief justice also spoke about the recent issue of Kishenga Dam, saying the Neelum River has started drying up as the dam has been constructed on Jhelum, of which Neelum is the largest tributary.

“It is a water bomb, an issue being considered extremely critical,” the chief justice observed. “What have we done if we cannot [even] ensure supply of water to our children.”

The CJP also observed that water is a basic need of “the children”, promising he would hear all the cases pertaining to water scarcity and dam construction.

The chief justice said he would hear cases on the water crisis in Karachi on June 9, Lahore on June 10 and then in Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta.

Kishenganga project

The Kishenganga Dam was inaugurated to provide water for a hydropower project, work on which started in 2009. It is one of the projects that India fast-tracked in the volatile state amid frosty ties between the nuclear-armed countries.

Pakistan has opposed some of these projects, saying they violate a World Bank-mediated treaty on the sharing of the Indus River and its tributaries upon which 80% of its irrigated agriculture depends.

The Kishanganga project was delayed for several years as Pakistan dragged India to the International Court of Arbitration, which ruled in India's favour in 2013. India has said the hydropower projects under way in Jammu and Kashmir are "run-of-the-river" schemes that use the river's flow and elevation to generate electricity rather than large reservoirs, and do not contravene the treaty.