Speaking at a seminar on water issues, Ghulam Mustafa Khar has repeated most of what he had said earlier in an interview to a local newspaper back in April 1997. According to him, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto had expressed her willingness to construct Kalabagh dam and had directed all her Chief Ministers to try to build a consensus for the project. The Prime Minister, in presence of her coalition partners, had acknowledged the importance of Kalabagah dam saying it was a must for progress of the country. She used to get furious whenever I (i.e. Mr Khar) made statements in favour of Kalabagh dam, but later she gathered reports from other independent sources that convinced her that it was most necessary for the interests of the country. In presence of all her Chief Ministers, including Abdullah Shah, Aftab Sherpao, Zulfikar Magsi, Arif Nikai, as well as Special Assistant Naseer Ullah Babar and Mr Hamid Nasir Chatha, she said that I was right in supporting the dam. Naseer Ullah Babar told her that she had herself directed them to oppose the Kalabagh dam. How could he now mould opinion of the masses in favour of the dam? At this, she explained that she had asked them to oppose the dam when Zia-ul-Haq had raised the issue and she could not support the dictator who had killed her father. But now fresh reports about the project had convinced her and so she wanted the Chief Ministers to start preparing grounds for it. When Naseer Ullah Babar still continued to oppose the dam, she said all those who would oppose the dam would be working against interests of the country. We have no other source of water and must utilize the water of Indus River by building Kalabagh dam. There is no other way otherwise there will be skeletons dotting the land from Khyber to Karachi. Let me dispel the notion that Kalabagh dam is vital for Punjab only. It is equally beneficial for Sindh. Kalabagh dam is more important than Kashmir or the nuclear bomb; we can use the bomb only if we are still alive. That is Mustafa Khar, quote-unquote, verbatim. Since 1997, I must have quoted Mustafa Khar in my letters to the press no less than fifty times without getting any rebuttal from Benazirs legal eagles. Now that Mustafa Khar has again gone public let the people named above confirm or deny what he has said. Of course, as soon as she was out of power, she started opposing the dam again because it then became Nawaz Sharifs dam. Shakespeare was not far wrong when he said, The evil that people do lingers on, the good is oft interred with their bones. -KHURSHID ANWER, Lahore, March 18.