SEP 8, 2018: Chief Justice Saqib Nisar The CJP, who will retire in four months, said Saturday he will take up the work of guarding the Bhasha dam after retirement and if need be will build a hut and start living there.
The CJP was having an informal conversation with journalists at the Supreme Court Lahore Registry, during which he appreciated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s request to overseas Pakistanis for assistance in overcoming water crisis. PM Imran made the request a day earlier during a televised address to the nation.
Earlier, while having an informal conversation with an NGO delegation, Justice Nisar said overseas Pakistanis are willing to send money for the construction of Diamer-Basha dam.
“Pakistanis are capable of constructing dams with their own resources,” said the chief justice of Pakistan.
“We have [high] expectations from overseas Pakistanis who have always helped Pakistan in times of need,” the CJP said, adding “We will try to protect their interests.”
According to reports, there has been uptick this week in donations from within the country and from overseas Pakistanis for the dam. Billionaire Pakistani American has pledged $1 billion for the dam. And, the Associations of Pakistan-Americans (APA) on Thursday donated US$16,000 to the Bhasha dam fund as they marked Pakistan’s Independence Day in Bolingbrook, Illinois, US.
About his decision to ask the public for funds to construct the dam, the chief justice said the country has given a lot to its people and it is now time for the public to return.
“The step that the Supreme Court took has become the notion of entire public.”
Besides the construction of dam, Justice Nisar stressed on payment of country’s debts. “History will not forgive us if loans of Pakistan are not paid back.” The country’s debt has risen to US$90 billion.
Sheikh Rashid announces Rs10 ‘dam tax’ on railway tickets
Sheikh Rasheed announced Saturday night that a new tax worth Rs1-10, varying according to different ticket prices, would be added to the price of train tickets as the Ministry of Railways’ contribution towards the dam-building fund.
The federal minister was speaking here at a deal-signing event where the Ministry of Railways and the Jamshoro Power Company Limited (GENCO-I) made an agreement on coal supply.
The additional money generated through the ‘dam tax’, which Rasheed estimated to be valued at Rs100 million annually, would be handed over to the dam-building fund, led by Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, the chief justice of Pakistan.