Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has called upon Pakistanis living abroad to donate money for the construction of dams in the country and stated that water crisis is the single-biggest threat that is looming on the horizon.
Imran, who took oath as Pakistan's PM on August 18, inherited a spiralling economy which needs billions of dollars just to stay afloat. In a televised address to the nation on Friday evening, he did highlight the financial challenges facing his administration but then went on to say that a possible water crisis is a bigger danger. "There is no question that we are faced with several significant problems. Our debt today stands at Rs 30,000 billion but the biggest problem we currently face is the water crisis," he said. "When Pakistan was made, every Pakistani had 5600 cubic metres of water. Today that stands at only 1000 cubic metres."
The cricketer-turned-politician then requested non-resident Pakistanis to donate money so that the problem can be addressed - primarily by kickstarting dam projects. "If every overseas Pakistani donates $1,000, we will have enough to build the dams ourselves. Donate as much as you can. I will safeguard your donations," said Imran, adding that people in Middle East may not be able to give $1,000 but those in the US and Europe can send the amount, and even more if possible.
Imran also attempted to justify asking for donations by stating that Pakistan already has too many international loans to repay and that it may not get another loan. This comes in the backdrop of US warning against any bailout package for the country from the International Monetary Fund.
While money is indeed scarce, water too is in short supply with protesters in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir already accusing Islamabad of diverting water from their lands to better supply its major cites.