RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Army has donated more than Rs 1 billion to the fund set up by the Supreme Court for construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams.
Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa met Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar at the Supreme Court and handed him over a cheque of Rs 1.05 billion during the meeting.
According to military’s spokesperson Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, the army chief conveyed to the chief justice that ““Pak Army shall continue to contribute towards nation building as a national institution.”
The chief justice, in his letter to the CJP, informed that the junior commissioned officers/soldiers of the army will donate two-day salary while army officers/ will give their one-day salary to the dam fund.
He also mentioned in the letter that Army’s welfare organizations also made donations for the fund.
Public response to dam funding
The influx of donations especially gained momentum after Prime Minister, in his televised address on September 7, made a compassionate appeal to overseas Pakistanis and citizens to donate for the dam.
“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,” Mr. Khan said in his address.
“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.”
The prime minister asked all overseas Pakistanis 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.
“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.
In July this year, the Ministry of Finance had opened an account under the title of “DIAMER-BHASHA AND MOHMAND DAM FUND –2018” following the Supreme Court orders.
The account was opened in pursuance of order of the Supreme Court to the federal government, Wapda and the executive authority to take effective measures in light of unanimous decisions of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) to develop the 4,500MW Bhasha dam and 700MW Mohmand dam.
A day after the fund was set up, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar deposited Rs1 million as a donation in the account from his personal account.