Sep 7, 2018 (PKonweb Report): Hours after PM Imran Khan appealed to the Pakistani for donations to build dams in the country, ARY Digital Network CEO and Karachi Kings owner Salman Iqbal made a contribution of USD 100,000 (Rs1.23 crores) in the dams fund.
Mr. Iqbal announced the donation on social media. He tweeted, “After the initiation of CJ and the PM’s appeal to Pakistanis to extend support to the govt for building dams. ARY announced a contribution of $100,000 to the fund. I request all Pakistanis to come forward! We have to help our country as we owe everything to our motherland!”
Bahria Town Chairman Malik Riaz Hussain also made contribution to the dams fund. He donated Rs 5 crore in the fund after the premier’s appeal. “Each one of us can make a difference. United we stand for #Pakistan #DonateForDams #PakistanZindabad,” he said on Twitter.
Malik Qaiser Awan, an overseas Pakistani based in Qatar has decided to donate $100,000 to PM-CJ dam Account.
From Saudi Arabia, Rohail Ahmed Manj, an electrical telecom engineer donated $1000.
Palwasha Jabbar Khan, a doctor in making, tweeted: “I will donate 200$ for dam fund from my pocket money this month and will keep donating 100$ every month.I request everyone to participate in it donate according to your capacity.Even if you can pay 1$ still go for it.Little drops of water make the mighty ocean.”
A Pakistani doctorate researcher in international law and jurisprudence donated 1600 pound.
Yasir Khan, a Pakistani student studying in Germany, donated EUR700 to the dams fund.
“No one will come from the outside to help us build this dam. Dams have been crowd funded before. I promise you I will protect your money.”
The Prime Minister while speaking to the nation in a brief televised address on Friday evening to appeal for donations to the dams fund set up by the Supreme Court requested overseas Pakistanis to contribute like they used to do for the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital.
PM Khan asked all countrymen specially overseas Pakistanis (nearly 9.5 million) to make as many donations as they can to the dams fund in dollars to plug the country’s depleting foreign exchange reserves as well as provide funding to start building dams, which he said he would personally oversee.
He said right now, the government did not have enough money to build dams, but if the nation supported the government in this endeavor, Pakistan could build a dam over the next five years as it’s vital for the future generations.
According to him, Rs2 billion had so far been collected in the Chief Justice fund for dams.
“I will safeguard your donations [against misuse],” he promised.
“If every overseas Pakistani donates $1,000, we will have enough to build the dams ourselves,” the prime minister said.
“This fund will only be used for building dams. I know not every overseas Pakistani will be able to give $1,000, especially the ones working in the Middle East. To them, I would say that donate as much as you can. But the overseas Pakistanis in Europe and the United States, I want them to send at least $1,000 or even more if they can,” he said.
The prime minister cited the example of Egypt, which he said had launched a similar drive to build dams using its own resources.
“They were not getting any external loans; no one will give us any loans from outside either,” he said. “We already have so many loans that we are finding hard to repay, so no one is going to loan us anymore. We alone will have to build this dam, and we can. We just have to make up our minds.”
“Our debt today stands at Rs30,000 billion but the biggest problem we currently face is the water crisis,” the premier said.
“I promise to you that I will safeguard your money,” Khan Sahib added.
The premier commended Chief Justice Saqib Nisar for initiating the dams fund. “I want to commend Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar [for starting the dams fund], but this was not his job,” he said. “This was the job of civilian leaders who knew this was going to swell into a crisis but did nothing to thwart it.”
“I want to take over the fund-raising and want overseas Pakistanis to contribute like they used to do for the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital, he said.
As part of his address to the nation, Khan Sahib also gave a big picture on the water crisis being face by the country.
“When Pakistan was made, every Pakistani had 5600 cubic meters of water. Today that stands at only 1000 cubic meters.”
“We have storage capacity of only 30 days for water when the safe period for water storage is 120 days. India has a capacity of 90 days. This is why making the dam for us is so important.”
Warning of the rapid depletion in Pakistan’s water resources, the premier said the country would face drought-like conditions by 2025 if immediate steps were not taken.
The statement comes hours after the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) issued the second drought alert for the year, and advised all the stakeholders to be ready to handle the situation as it is expected that dry conditions will cause water stress in the cultivated areas of the country due to limited supply of irrigation water for Kharif crops.