LAHORE — Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi said on Friday that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has overlooked Punjab’s interests in order to further his political career.

Concerning the Greater Thal Canal project, the chief minister stated that if it was not authorised by the federal government by December 13, the credit deal with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) would immediately expire. He said that Shehbaz had wrecked the livelihoods of peasants and cultivators who rely on canal water for irrigation of their crops. He went on to say that while the project had been approved by the National Economic Council’s Executive Committee (Ecnec), the federal government was not serious about it. He stated that the building and restoration of Greater. Thal Canal would be built in stages. 600,000 acres would be irrigated as a consequence.

Concerning the inter-provincial issue over canal water distribution, Mr Elahi stated that Punjab will utilise canal water in accordance with the Water Apportionment Accord (WAA) of 1991, and that if it was not used, it would be dumped into the sea.

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