- Justice Nisar blames people’s lack of trust in govt for poor donations
- DG ISPR says officers of armed forces to donate two days’ pay, soldiers a day’s pay for construction of dams
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar’s appeal to the people to donate wholeheartedly for the construction of the Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand dams has received a lukewarm response so far, with Justice Nisar pinning the blame of lack of donations on the people’s lack of trust in the government.
“The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is giving the impression that the accounts meant for construction of dams were opened by the former government,” said Justice Nisar on Monday. “These funds are established by the Supreme Court. The public is giving us a message that they do not trust the government. People maintain that they would not deposit money into accounts maintained by the government.”
According to the information available at the SC’s website, the SBP maintained account has only received Rs1,326,672 for the construction of dams so far in a country of over 200 million people.
Justice Nisar had on Wednesday ordered the immediate construction of Bhasha and Mohmand dams to address the issue of water scarcity in the country after ministry officials told the court that constructing dams is not a priority of the government.
The CJP appealed to the general public, including Pakistanis residing abroad, to donate generously for the cause.
Chief Justice Nisar initiated the donation process by donating Rs1 million himself for the cause during the hearing of the case pertaining to the construction of Kalabagh Dam.
Following the top judge’s directives, the Finance Division opened a bank account under title Diamer Basha and Mohmand Dams Fund 2018 bearing account no 03-593-299999-001-4 and IBN no PK06SBPP0035932999990014 for raising funds for the construction of above-mentioned dams in the country.
The chief justice’s donation of Rs1 million was the first to be deposited.
The payments into the aforesaid funds were to be received at all branches of the State Bank of Pakistan, all treasuries and branches of National Bank of Pakistan and all other scheduled banks.
In the latest development, the SC on Monday took notice of banks failing to open accounts for the deposit of funds earmarked for the construction of dams in the country.
The hearing was conducted by a bench of the apex court, headed by CJP Nisar. An application forwarded by the Ministry of Finance prayed upon the apex court to expedite the work for the opening of relevant accounts.
Justice Nisar maintained that State Bank’s procrastination was a source of anguish for everyone. “It took three days for the bank to open an account,” he added. “SBP has been unnecessarily making us wait while the people are clueless with money in their hands. We must ask the upcoming chief justices to take care of the issue. Those who are making donations for the construction of dams must be praised.”
Justice Ijazul Hasan maintained State Bank was creating bottlenecks for the general public. “An impression is being made that people don’t want to deposit funds in the account set by the SC,” Justice Hasan said, at which the CJP said that a man had just committed to donating whatever it takes for the construction.
The CJP said that the court would not allow anyone to steal or make a commission from the funds. “We do not want to see any corruption,” he warned, adding the court would remain vigilant during the course of audit.
Furthermore, a secretariat has been established at Islamabad for the Implementation Committee of Diamer Basha and Mohmand Dams (ICDBMD).
WAPDA Chairman Lt Gen (r) Muzammil Hussain will serve as the chairman of ICDBMD whereas Ministry of Water Resources Joint Secretary Syed Mehar Ali Shah has been appointed as ICDBMD secretary.
The first meeting of ICDBMD has been convened at its secretariat on July 12.
ARMY TO DONATE SALARIES FOR DAMS:
Meanwhile, Director General (DG) of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor has said officers of the Pakistan armed forces will contribute to the fund announced for the construction of the Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dam.
“Pakistan’s armed forces are contributing to Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dam fund. Officers of Pak Army, Navy and Air Force will contribute their two days’ pay while soldiers will donate a day’s pay to the announced fund for this national cause,” tweeted Major General Asif Ghafoor.
Pakistan Armed Forces contributing to Diamer-Basha & Mohmand Dam Fund. Officers of Pak Army, Navy and Air Force will contribute their 2 days’ pay while soldiers one day’s pay to the announced fund for this national cause. #DamsForPakistan🇵🇰
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) July 9, 2018
Similarly, Acting President Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani has donated Rs1.5 million in funds established for construction of Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dams.
Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani said on Monday that establishing of the fund by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) was a commendable step and we all needed to play role in this connection. He said that looming water crisis in Pakistan is a national issue and announcing water emergency in the country has become vital.
While announcing Rs1.5 million for Bhasha and Mohmand dams, the acting president also urged overseas Pakistanis for donating generously for the projects of larger national interest.
Meanwhile, Balochistan Caretaker Chief Minister Alaudin Marri has welcomed CJP’s decision for construction of Bhasha and Mohmand dams to improve water reservoirs in the country and said that construction of dams to meet the demand of water in the country is inevitable.
In this regard, the decision of the construction of dams is historic and we consider it a national duty, adding that people of Balochistan should raise funds for this cause.