Khanpur Dam

Khanpur Dam is a dam located on the Haro River near the town of Khanpur (NWFP), about 25 miles (40 km) from Islamabad, Pakistan. It forms Khanpur Lake, a reservoir which supplies drinking water to Islamabad and Rawalpindi and irrigation water to many of the agricultural and industrial areas surrounding the cities.

The dam was completed in 1983 after a 15 year construction period believed to have cost Rs. 1,352 million. It is 167 feet (51 m) high and stores 110,000 acre feet (140,000,000 m³) of water. [cite web|url=|title=Overseas Pakistanis Foundation, Dams|accessdate=2006-10-30]

The History of Khanpur Dam

The dam was built by Field Marshall Ayub Khan whos son Gohar Ayub had a grudge with local feudal Chief of Gakhars, Sultan Raja Erij Zaman Khan and Raja Sikander Zaman. The dam was believed by many as a way for Ayub Khan to settle the political score with Ghakhars.

The forefathers of local Ghakhars Rajas were gifted much of the local land by the British during the nineteenth century. The British rewarded Gakhhars for their cooperation in defeating Sikhs but deprived local Awan and other farmers of their land. When the decision to build Khanpur Dam was made, The Rajas wanted to receive the compensation for all land thus depriving all the locals of their land-rights. The locals desperately wanted to receive compensation or new lands in the nearby New Khanpur, an alternative town for all the refugees.

The local community, lead by Abdul Bashir Khan (the father of Saeed Khan), the young Secretary of Khanpur’s WAPDA Union in the early 1970s, took on the Ghakhars and their friends in the NWFP parliament. Amid threats and intimidation, the campaign succeeded in uniting most local villagers who had nothing but their lands. Abdul Bashir and his fellow activists decided to take there campaign straight to then NWFP Governor Hayat Sherpao by camping outside the Governor House for days. Abdul Bashir and his fellow activists left Peshawar only after they had succeeded in winning the land rights for the people of Khanpur NWFP.

The locals were promised free water and electricity by WAPDA and then Provincial and Federal governments but to this day are still waiting.

Pictures of Khanpur Dam

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