ONE would very much like to wish that PML-Q MNA Bushra Rehmans dream that Kalabagh Dam would soon become a reality, comes true, and she gets the due credit for picking up the courage to raise the issue when even the erstwhile strong exponents of the project have become quite despaired. However, right now, the strong hope she expressed on the floor of the National Assembly caused a furore, so emotionally charged that one member believed it to be an article of faith with him not to ever let the dam take physical shape and others from the Awami National Party, led by Haji Pervaiz, used the now familiar expression - popularised by Law Minister Babar Awan in his defiance of the Supreme Court order to implement its NRO verdict - 'upon their dead bodies. Nevertheless, PML-Q MNAs, led by Raja Hayat Hiraj, came to her rescue and lent her their support and so did PML-Ns Abid Sher Ali and Hanif Abbasi. In the meantime, opposing voices from outside the Parliament, lacking both understanding of the long-lasting advantages of the reservoir and the concern for the overall national interest, are also being heard. One expected responsible people, instead, to comprehend the far-reaching consequences of the current twin crises of water and power shortages and to dispassionately assess the merits of Kalabagh, rather than sacrifice it at the alter of narrow squabbling at getting the royalty from power generation. Somehow, a skewed sense of preserving provincial or local benefits - and unthinking, dogged insistence to stick to a position once taken on impulse - have befuddled the question of immense advantages of a big reservoir created at the most natural site of Kalabagh would afford. The dam would provide a regular, measured flow of water in the right quantity and at the right time for the crops, as well as for domestic and industrial uses; and it is not just Punjab that would be the beneficiary. Other provinces down the line would have their needs equitably addressed. It would also go a long way in controlling floods, expect for those caused by local rains. Cheap, hydropower in a large quantity would be another spillover that would light homes, run industries and power tubewells not in any particular province, but all over the country. One would fervently hope that Kalabagh exponents, inhabiting any part of the country, would seriously work towards convincing the people around them to shed their prejudice exposing its illogical nature. The argument put forward by Punjab Finance Minister Tanvir Kaira that since Kalabagh was a controversial dam on which the provinces disagree, one should not get involved in it, is defeatist. The need is for a bold move on the lines of the NFC and for the central government to openly acknowledge Kalabagh as the need of the hour.