Hydro politics and interprovincial relations in Pakistan : a case study of the Kalabagh Dam controversy
Abstract: Water has vital importance in all aspects of human life. It is a key natural resource for any country. The demand for water is increasing due to population growth and poor water management. Many countries meet the demand for water by building reservoirs for water storage. The construction of reservoirs however, may provoke conflicts over water resources between the government and other involved stakeholders in these projects. Moreover, these water conflicts may escalate further if the stakeholders already have a history of conflict on the distribution of other available resources. This is a study of politics of water resource management. Empirically, the study focuses on the conflict over the Kalabagh Dam project in Pakistan. The purpose of the study is to explore why there is a continuous conflict between the concerned provinces over the construction of the KBD project. There is a considerable resistance against this project in the smaller provinces despite the increasing demand of water and electricity in the country. The study analyzes that the disputes over the allocation of water from other available resources, distribution of National Finance Commission Awards and resettlement of displaced people from Tarbela Dam Project in the past have further aggravated the KBD conflict. Moreover, ethno-regional politics is hindering the process of communication and a cause of diminishing trust among stakeholders. There is a need to reactivate the Council of Common Interests and improve the functioning of Indus River System Authority in order to manage the KBD conflict.
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