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LAHORE: Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, while chairing a meeting about water reserves and the availability of water in the province here on Tuesday, said that making water a political issue is contrary to the national interest.

A detailed briefing was given to the CM about the prevailing water situation in the province.

The meeting regretted point-scoring by Sindh and expressed its concern over water shortage in Punjab.

The CM stressed that Sindh's objection about the provision of more water to Punjab is inaccurate adding that water was continuously supplied to Sindh at the time of sowing of crops there and when crops are being sown in Punjab, the hue and cry by Sindh is preposterous. Punjab can divert its water share to any canal according to the need and tested gauges have also been placed in Punjab to compile water data, he said. On the other side, the CM pointed out that there is no verified record of the collection of water data in Sindh.

He added that water shortage is a technical issue that can be resolved through the constitution of joint teams of IRSA, Punjab and Sindh. He pointed out that Sindh earlier agreed to install the telemetry system but refused afterwards.

He asserted that the Sindh government is quoting wrong data on the issue of water; and due to the mismanagement of the Sindh government, water is still being released to the ocean from Kotri downstream. He added that the Punjab government has sent a letter to IRSA to depute inspectors for ensuring correct reporting about water. How can the issue of water shortage in Karachi be linked with Punjab as it has always taken care of every other province as an elder brother, the CM emphasized and suggested that politics over water issue is improper for everybody.

Moreover, the CM in a statement said the negative political narrative, espoused by the PDM, has met a natural death as the people have abandoned the rejected elements.

The CM said efforts to revive the PDM will not succeed as the artificial alliance has ended in a fiasco. PDM has broken too early as the opposition has no common cause or agenda, he continued. In fact, the opposition parties have joined hands to save their booty; he said and added that it is in everybody's knowledge that the PDM was an association of mafias with no concrete agenda for the country. These people have no courage to run a movement and their claims of tendering resignations and holding a long march were also false, he maintained.

In another statement, the CM said the country is facing unusual circumstances due to the corona pandemic. It is, therefore, all the more important to concentrate on the forthcoming budgetary priorities. The social sector, especially health and education, will be given importance in the upcoming annual development programme. He directed to further curtail the unnecessary expenditures in the next financial year and stressed upon the public sector departments to follow strict financial discipline to promote austerity.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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