Pak's Sindh govt, farmers threaten protest over 'theft' of provincial waters

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Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari

Sukkur [Pakistan], May 16 (ANI): Farmers of Pakistan's Sindh province and workers of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have threatened to stage a sit-in protest at the Sindh-Punjab border to seal it if the 'theft' of the province's waters is not stopped.

While addressing a press conference on Saturday, Sindh's irrigation minister Sohail Anwar Siyal said that the PPP will stage the protest under the leadership of party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Dawn reported.

Strongly criticising Punjab province, led by Chief Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) Usman Buzdar, for opening link canals and thus causing an acute shortage of irrigation water in Sindh, Siyal asserted that the party will also move a resolution over the constant "theft" of Sindh's water.

He and Sindh's information minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah alleged that Sindh's share in water was being taken away by the Punjab province by opening the Chashma-Jhelum and Taunsa-Punjnad link canals and that they were not being closed despite repeated opposition.

Siyal also mentioned that Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah took up the matter at a meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) "but the incompetent Imran Khan-led federal government is not taking any notice of it".

The ministers also said that the central government and Punjab had also launched a five-megawatt power generation scheme on the canals due to which Sindh was not receiving its share in water.

"Sindh is facing up to 50 per cent shortage of water... We do not only talk of Sindh's rights, but also the rights of all federating units," they said.

Shah also criticised PTI allies - Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) - for not raising their voice for Sindh's rights, reported Dawn.

"They (MQM-P) always claimed to be owners of Karachi but today, when this metropolis is facing a water crisis, they are keeping mum," he said.

Both ministers reiterated that the inefficiency of the federal government has caused a great deal of damage to the country's agriculture sector and national economy. (ANI)