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Pakistani churches donate funds for construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dams

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Churches from Lahore Diocese have donated funds for the construction of dams. In this regard, the Archbishop of Lahore Sebastian Shaw had directed priests in his diocese to deposit collections from two Sundays as donation to the fund for the construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams. Pakistan stands on the threshold of a severe water crisis; more dams are needed on urgent basis in order to evade water and power crisis.

Diamer Bhasha Dam fund

Archbishop Shaw directed his priests to make ready the collections till August 15. The prelate’s official letter to the priests read: “As the chief justice of Pakistan has suggested that every person should contribute a minimum of 10 rupees (US$0.08), therefore you are advised to have a second collection for two Sundays and every faithful should contribute 10 rupees each towards this cause. As a Christian community, we have always played a vital role in building Pakistan. Knowing the crises of water and electricity, let us contribute our share towards the national cause.”

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This effort attracted praise from local Muslim clerics. Allama Asghar Arif Chishti-Chairman of the Sunni Ulema Forum, told UCA News: “This is his noblest effort. Pakistan belongs to everybody. Water and power crises should be addressed at every level… We shall share the story of the Catholic Church’s contribution at pulpits, in madrassas (Islamic seminaries) and inter-religious gatherings.”

After the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Saqib Nisar’s issued orders to initiate construction of Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams in the fiscal year 2018-19; State Bank of Pakistan set up a bank account titled ‘Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand Dam Fund-2018’. Pakistanis living in Pakistan and abroad are pouring donations in fund. The estimated cost of the Diamer-Basha Dam is around 1,450 billion Rupees.

In line with the Indus River System Authority, Pakistan’s current water storage capacity is 13.7 million acre-feet (MAF) for the 138 MAF of water flowing into the country. In order to avoid falling into the pit of water and power crisis, this capacity needs to be increased to 25 MAF.