Nov 02, 2009

Sindh: Sindh Protests over Water Discord

Active ImageThe Sindh government has blamed the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) for violating the inter-provincial Water Apportionment Accord (WAA) 1991, The News has learnt.




Below is an article published by The News International :


“As far as water distribution is concerned, the only thing in vogue is the 1991 Water Accord. The Irsa is a creation of the 1991 accord and the creation cannot alter or violate the accord under which it was created,” an official letter sent to the Irsa by the Sindh government says.

The document was duly signed by Sindh Minister for Irrigation and Power Murad Ali Shah and was addressed to the Irsa through its provincial member Mohammad Khan Memon.“The Irsa decided, in its last advisory committee meeting, not to entertain any provincial pressure in water distribution since all federating units have their representation in the authority to discuss and take vital decisions,” an Irsa spokesman responded when approached.

The Irsa spokesman said not only Sindh Minister Murad Shah but also Punjab Minister Raja Riaz, in their separate letters, had sought water distribution in accordance with their respective province’s interpretations.

“All Irsa members, five in all, unanimously took a decision to go by the accord in accordance with the three tier mechanism instead of accepting any pressure,” he said while expressing indifference to Sindh’s latest letter wherein Irsa was directly blamed for violation of WAA.

Sindh Minister Murad, early October, wrote a letter to the water and power minister, calling for water distribution under para-2 of the WAA which Punjab Minister Riaz has rejected.“It is requested that looking at the people’s government manifesto of equity, the Irsa may be directed for fixing water shares of all provinces proportionate to the allocation given in para-2 of the accord,” Murad’s earlier letter said.

In the latest communication on the Rabi season allocations, finalised by Irsa on Oct 13, 2009, Murad again sent an official communication to the Irsa on Oct 22, 2009. “I want to reiterate to Irsa that as far as water distribution is concerned, the only thing in vogue is the 1991 Water Accord.

“Any use of historic uses in any form will be a violation of the accord as determined by the law division,” his letter reads. “How can Irsa decide to use any criteria in the absence of decision?”The Irsa conveyed in its Oct 15 official letter: “In the absence of any decision by the authority on the issue, it has been decided by Irsa that criteria for Rabi 2009-10 as per practice in vogue may be issued”. However, Murad described this statement as self-contradictory. “In view of the expected pressure, the five Irsa members took a decision not to bow before any pressure,” Irsa spokesman Khalid Idris said.




Below is an invitation to a civil society dialogue on Pakistani water issues:



Civil Society dialogue on

"Pakistan's Water Sector Strategy & Alternative Strategy to Resolve Critical Water Issues"


 Network for Rivers Dams and People (PNRDP) in collaboration with Shirkat Gah organizing a civil society dialogue on

"Pakistan's Water Sector Strategy & Critical Water Issues"

on Saturday 7th, November 2009, at Sindhi Language Authority @ 10.00 A.M sharp

Syed Murad Ali Shah: Minister for Water & Irrigation, Government of Sindh will chair the session and Mr. A N G Abbassi (former chairman technical Committee on water Resources) will deliver the key note presentation


All relevant stakeholders, representatives of farmers and growers' organizations, abadgars, technocrats, water and agriculture experts, affected communities of different mega projects, partners NGOs, politicians, academia, media and other civil society groups will attend the session.






10.00-10.15:       Registration     Key Note Presentation by Mr. A N G Abbassi (former chairman technical Committee on water Resources) will deliver the key note presentation on Water Resources Management & the Case of Affected Communities and Provinces"

11.16-11.45:      Question & Answer Session     Concluding speech by the chair: Syed Murad Ali Shah: Minister for Water & Irrigation: Government of Sindh  


For further details please contact


Zubaida Birwani

PNRDP Sindh Chapter/Shirkat Gah