So many years have passed since the independence, but the government of Pakistan still cannot use its resources properly. People are far from fulfilling their basic requirements, such as electricity and water, even though we have so many coal reserves that we can meet our energy requirements for more than the next 100 years. We can make electricity by using coal and can even import it by successfully managing and executing the resources available. The second basic problem in Pakistan is water. India has completed 40 dams on the Jhelum and Chenab Rivers, of which, four large, and 16 small, have become operational. India is also building the third largest dam in the world, called Kargil, on the Sindh River. Pakistan depends heavily on agriculture, which in turn depends on water. Kalabagh dam will have an installed capacity of 2400 MW initially and 3,600 MW as a last resort, if it ever gets made. The Water and Energy Development Authority of Pakistan estimates that the annual electricity generated in Kalabagh will be equivalent to 20 million barrels of oil, saving fuel that would otherwise be needed to produce thermal energy. The water problem will be solved only when the decisionmakers forget their personal interests and think of Pakistan first. We have so many resources that we do not have to ask from other countries, but the only hurdle in the way is the callous attitude of our leaders and their innate habit of corruption. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (CJP), Mian Saqib Nisar recently tried to solve this problem himself. He donated 1 million rupees as an initiative for the construction of two dams: Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand dams. This shows his commitment to solve the many challenges of water and electricity shortages head on. The country’s total water storage capacity is less than the minimum requirement of 30 days, as compared to the global standards of 120 days of coverage. It is estimated that this extreme situation will come to a head by 2025 unless a new additional capacity is achieved. The country’s per capita water availability has decreased from more than 5,300 cubic meters in the 1950s, to about 1,000 cubic meters now, which is the benchmark for scarcity After the Pakistan army started donating their salaries for the dams, the Supreme Court employees also announced that they would follow suit and contribute funds for the construction of the dams as well. A statement from the Supreme Court established that all officers (BS-16 and above) will donate two days of salary, and the staff (BS-20 to 15) one day’s salary of the current month for the construction of the dams. The State Bank of Pakistan announced that the accounts dedicated to collecting donations for the Diamer Bhasha and Mohmand Dam are now in operation worldwide at the respective bank branches in order to raise funds from Pakistanis abroad as well. Notwithstanding, the politicians have entirely failed to develop a consensus to deal with the increasing water issues faced by Pakistan today. In such catastrophic conditions, if the army and judiciary have decided to take matters in to their own hands in order to save our coming generation from water scarcity, than there is no need for raised eyebrows. Pakistan has been jolted by the recent discovery that the levels of ground water have also been decreasing. This is because we have been using it for years and the government has done nothing to stop people from exploiting this precious resource. Another worth-mentioning issue in this regard is that the country’s water storage capacity has also gone down by approximately 35 percent. This is mainly due to the continuous accumulation of sediments that has been eroding the space available to store water in the dams. The Director General of the Pakistan Meteorological Department, Ghulam Rasul, said that we are already faced with the shortage of reservoirs to store rainwater for future use. Therefore, this additional decrease in the storage capacity of the existing reservoirs will worsen the situation in the future. During the current monsoon season, Pakistan is not storing rainwater in dams, but is releasing it to create enough storage space to cope with a situation similar to a flood. Generally speaking, the country’s total water storage capacity is less than the minimum requirement of 30 days, as compared to the global standards of 120 days of coverage. It is estimated that this extreme situation will come to a head by 2025 unless a new additional capacity is achieved. The country’s per capita water availability has decreased from more than 5,300 cubic meters in the 1950s, to about 1,000 cubic meters now, which is the benchmark for scarcity. So by keeping in view the alarming situation we find ourselves in, the initiative taken by our Chief Justice and the Pak-Army is commendable to say the least. We need to donate as much as we can to save ourselves, and while our Politicians are busy in getting elected, e can help do their jobs for them. If the Executive does not seem to work, than the other two organs of the state: Legislature and Judiciary must step up in its stead. It is time to quit the bickering and secure the country’s future. The writer is a Quetta based columnist and an Independent researcher. He can be reached at [email protected] Published in Daily Times, July 20th 2018.