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Titling Dam Funds ‘Begging’ is Shameful: CJP

Islamabad (September 11, 2018): The Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar sternly remarked on Tuesday that those calling dam funds ‘begging’ should be ashamed of themselves.

While hearing a case pertaining to the early construction of Punjab Kidney and Liver Institute, the CJP said, “The construction of dam is in national interests and we are gathering funds for it.

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Those criticizing the move are dishonourable, remarked Chief Justice of Pakistan during the hearing of the case.

He said these are mean people who think this way. When opponents didn’t find anything else they started objecting to the construction of dams, Justice Nisar said and added these people should be ashamed of leveling such accusations. Earlier on September 10, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa presented a cheque of Rs. 1005.99 million to Chief Justice Saqib Nisar as a donation to the Diamer-Basha and Mohmand dams fund set up by the apex court, read a statement issued by the SC.

COAS presented the cheque in a meeting with him at Supreme Court of Pakistan.

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In July, the armed forces of Pakistan had announced to contribute funds for the construction of Diamer-Basha and Mohmand Dam.

“The officers of army, navy and air force will contribute their two days’ pay, while soldiers [will be donating] one day’s pay to the announced fund for this national cause,” military’s spokesperson had said.

Last week, Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to the nation in a brief televised address to appeal for donations to the dams fund set up by the Supreme Court.

“We have the storage capacity of only 30 days for water when the safe period for water storage is 120 days. India has a capacity of 90 days. This is why making the dam for us is so important.”

Warning of the rapid depletion in Pakistan’s water resources, the premier said the country would face drought-like conditions by 2025 if immediate steps were not taken.“I want to commend Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar [for starting the dams fund], but this was not his job,” he said. “This was the job of civilian leaders who knew this was going to swell into a crisis but did nothing to thwart it.”

“I want to take over the fund-raising and want overseas Pakistanis to contribute like they used to do for the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital, he said.

The prime minister asked all overseas Pakistanis to make as many donations as they can to the dams fund in dollars to plug the country’s depleting foreign exchange reserves as well as provide funding to start building dams, which he said he would personally oversee.

“I will safeguard your donations [against misuse],” he promised.

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