The Kalabagh dam is a proposed hydroelectric dam planned be built on the Indus River by theGovernment of Pakistan. The proposed site for the dam was situated at Kalabagh in MianwaliDistrict of the Punjab province, bordering the pakhtunkha.The dam project was controversial since its inception. In December 2005, General PervezMusharraf, President of Pakistan, announced that he would build the dam in the larger interest of Pakistan. In May 26, 2008, Federal Minister for Water and Power of Pakistan, Raja PervezAshraf, said that the "Kalabagh Dam would not be constructed" and the project is now cancelled.He said due to the "opposition from NWFP, Sindh and other stakeholders, the project was nolonger feasible
The proposed construction of the Kalabagh Dam triggered a bitter controversy among the four provinces of Pakistan, namely Punjab, Sindh, pakhtunkha, and Balochistan. The only provincewhich is in favour of this dam is Punjab, which is the strongest of the four provinces, as usuallythe government is mainly centralised in it. The other three provinces have expresseddissatisfaction: their provincial assemblies passed unanimous resolutions condemning the proposed dam. Hence, the project was still under consideration only.According to some small controversial groups, the tailender has a legal and natural right on river.However it has been nullified by Indians who are building 62 dams in Kashmir virtually dryingup all the river. They claim no dam or reservoir can be built without permission and endorsementof the tailender, i.e., Arabian Ocean. In the case where the tailender is not usingwater, i.e., building a water reservoir, a reservoir can be made upstream.Impact assessments of the proposed dam have shown that while it will provide storage andelectricity, the dam will also have adverse impacts on the environment, as can be expected fromany large dam. It will also displace a large number of people.While proponents point to the benefits, the adverse factors have been played up by the opponentsof the dam. As a result, the dam has been stalled by claims and counterclaims since 1984.
Punjab needs more water to keep up with the growing population and industrial demands on itsagriculture. A dam at Kalabagh would also supply cheap hydro-electric power to the wholecountry.The annual outflow of water into the Arabian Sea is considered a "waste" in Punjab, which feelsthat water can be used to irrigate infertile lands.