Instead of worrying about what is happening in neighboring countries, Pakistan’s first concern should be what is happening internally. This was the recommendation of the President of Pakistan’s leading business federation, the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).
For decades when confronted with the fact that Pakistan has a water problem, not enough water for irrigation and not enough for drinking or sanitation, Islamabad’s explanation has been to blame India and say that India has broken the Indus Waters Treaty and extracted more water than it is allowed.
Mr Ghazanfar Bilour, President of FPCCI, asked the right question: Why is it that Pakistan’s leaders are “more concerned about dams being built by a neighbouring country and less concerned about building dams itself.” He further stated that all of Pakistan’s efforts to date to prevent “other countries” (namely India) “from building dams have remained futile as international institutions and the world community is not supporting our stance.” Hence, what Pakistan should do is instead is to “stop our efforts on the external front and focus on the internal front to ensure availability of water to save Pakistan.”
Mr Bilour pointed out that what Pakistan faced was not water scarcity but a lack of water conservation. “Egypt has the capacity to store water enough for 1000 days while Israel having its 60 percent area as the desert is exporting water while Pakistan can store water for thirty days.”
His recommendations were to build small dams “across the country as mega projects attract controversies which are against the national interests” and further to find some way to prevent the wastage of “thirty million acre-foot or ten trillion gallons of water every year to the sea which can be used to quench the thirst of masses while revolutionising the agricultural and industrial sector.”