Khursheed Shah warns of protests at Punjab’s borders

HYDERABAD: The highways connecting Hyderabad to Karachi and Punjab remained clogged on Wednesday for several hours as the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) held protests against load-shedding and water shortage in the province.

Khursheed Shah warns of protests at Punjab's bordersAt a protest held on the Hyderabad bypass, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah and other PPP leaders fumed with rage as they spoke.

The rally suspended traffic movement on the National Highway and M9 Motorway for several hours. “Give water to the poor people of Sindh, otherwise, you will find this flood of people in protest at Punjab’s border,” the opposition leader warned the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N)-led federal government.

The Indus River System Authority has curtailed Sindh’s share from the apportioned seasonal share of the Indus water by 53%. The existing gross shortage of water in the country stands at around 42%

Shah asked the federal and Punjab governments to stop supply of water from the Indus River to the Thal and Chashma-Jhelum link canals and divert that water to Sindh. He claimed that the people of Karachi and the rest of Sindh did not have water even for drinking. “Are we not Pakistanis?” he asked.

“Don’t test the patience of people lest they take the alam [standard] of Karbala to march against the Yazids of this era,” Shah warned. He added that the PPP did not intend to politicise the issue of water but it only wanted a rightful share of water for Sindh.

The opposition leader claimed that despite repeated complaints and protests in Parliament over the issues of water shortage and power cut, the federal government remained indifferent. He added that the PPP leadership was compelled to take to the streets to vent their anger and warn the federal government of political implications of denying the due supply of water and electricity to the province.

“Sindh will raise its voice [for unity] of Pakistan unlike others who [raise their voices] for Pakhtuns, Seraikis, Balochs or other sub-nationalities,” Shah asserted. The opposition leader gave credit to the PPP for strengthening the federation and giving autonomy to the provinces.  He criticised the PML-N and its leader Nawaz Sharif for attempting to weaken the federation.

“The N-league never gives due importance to the smaller provinces,” alleged Senator Moula Bux Chandio. He accused Nawaz of trying to disintegrate the country.

The senator went on to say that the Centre objected to the Indian move of constructing Baglihar Dam because it feared Pakistan’s share of water will be stored and utilised for irrigation through that dam. “But when it comes to Sindh, the same Centre is not ready to give the due share of water to its tail-end province.”

Chandio also contested the federal government’s claim of exponentially increasing the electricity production during its ongoing tenure. He questioned whether the people of Sindh lied when they repeatedly complained about power suspension.

The senator lambasted Nawaz for heaping scorn on the judiciary because its judgments did not favour him.

Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro, MNA Nawab Yousuf Talpur and others also spoke at the rally.

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