Original Articles

Seraiki Waseb seeks justice from Chief Justice

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhmmad Chaudary took suo-moto action against  unauthorized  diversion of floodwater and wilful breaches in the embankments of barrages and canals in Sindh and Baluchistan .The  three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday are hearing  the alleged breaches in embankments of barrages and canals case. But surprisingly suo-moto case is restricted to breaches in Sindh and Baluchistan and doesn’t include breaches in punjab and will not ask government of Punjab to explain there position on breaches in southern punjab.

Christian Science Monitor

PML-N leaders behind inundation of Muzaffargarh

* CSM report claims man-made flood devastated district after political pressure caused Irrigation Dept to disregard procedure

ISLAMABAD: Political interests played a key role in the inundation of Muzaffargarh district as recommendations to manage the flood were overruled at the last moment to protect the fields of a few powerful landlords, said a report appearing in The Christian Science Monitor on Monday.

The investigative story in the journal points towards a “nexus of interests” between feudal families and senior bureaucrats, who benefited from the decision, while 1.5 million were displaced, 51 people killed and 337 schools destroyed.

All along the Indus River lie floodgates known as barrages. The flood control plan for Punjab stipulates that if the water pressure behind any gate grows too large, the right bank should be breached with explosives.

At Taunsa Barrage, the left wall protects Muzaffargarh district, home to 3.5 million people. The right wall protects a less populous district, with at least 17,000 acres of “pondage” land set aside to hold flood-waters.

However on August 2, as the Indus waters swelled perilously close to the known breaking point of the Taunsa Barrage, officials led by the Punjab secretary of irrigation made the decision not to breach the right bank, the report said.

In the early hours of August 3, the Indus burst through the left bank instead, inundating some 400,000 acres of the district. Standing on the Taunsa Barrage, the contrast between the two areas cannot be clearer. The vast tracts of unharmed land, which fall in the neighboring district lie to the west, while the inundated Muzaffargarh district is to the east.

Many locals allege that two powerful families, the Hinjras and the Khosas, both from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) illegally occupy the flood-basin area.

“They put pressure on the irrigation secretary and the district coordination officer,” says Member National Assembly (MNA) Jamshed Dasti.

More striking still was the denial offered by PML-N senior leader Zulfiqar Khan Khosa.

According to documents seen by the CSM, Khosa signed off in June on flood-fighting plans prepared by the Irrigation and Power Department.

However, when asked whether he had any dealings with the Irrigation and Power Department, Khosa angrily denied he was ever briefed on the plans, and claimed he did not know anyone in the department.

Asked why he chose to disregard the Taunsa Barrage’s standard operation procedure of breaching section, Rab Nawaz, the Irrigation and Power Department secretary, offered that the front section of the barrage had not come under threat and therefore he had not felt an immediate need to breach the right section.

Local residents are now hoping for a favorable outcome by the three committees instituted to investigate the issue.

“Those responsible must be punished according to the law,” says Naeem Khan, a local engineer who was contracted to do repair work on the barrage in 2005. “We know these misdeeds have occurred, and we are prepared to fight in court if we don’t see justice,” he said. app

Source : DailyWaqt

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Humza Ikram

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  • Takht-e-Lahore hardly cares for its Saraiki subjects.

    Chief Justice Iftikhar Cuaudhry himself belongs to a Punjabi elite family of Faisalabad. Half of his family are active members of the Sipah-e-Sahaba and the other half are in PML-N. He won’t waste his time on the petty people of the Saraiki region.

  • The story of apathy of PML-N doesn’t end here…Mr. Zulfiqar Khosa is privy to all the flood management planning as well as he is the person who represented the CM at National Disaster Management Council meetings. There are lot more to be taken account for; most brazen act of Punjab government and its motorcycle riding Khadam e Aala (read Tandoor-e-Aala) was failure to attend pre-monsoon meeting. The meeting is convened every year at National level prior to flood season and in the light of Met forecasts flood management is planned. The meeting is attended by all the Chief Ministers, Chief Secretaries, Secretary Irrigation, and Army Representative. The importance of this year’s meeting is obvious from what happened after July 31, yet nobody from Punjab went to the meeting despite several reminders—neither the CM, nor his CS/Sec Irrigation. Disaster Management is a provincial subject and Punjab’s commitment towards the people of province is also manifest from the fact that provincial disaster management authority was not made functional until the end of August. This isn’t all Mr. Khalid Sherdil has been appointed the DG of the newly formed Provincial disaster management authority and his father Mr. A Z K Sherdil is nominated as the member in newly formed NODMC…father will check the performance of his son…so much for transparency and accountability…the Squinted & Skewed Chief has as usual failed to take notice of this…..