The Kalabagh Dam (KBD) is a proposed multi-purpose water reservoir that the Government of Pakistan (GOP) is planning to develop across the Indus River with the aim of securing Pakistan’s water resources. Although the GOP originally scheduled construction to commence in 1960s, the project continues to be delayed. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the background of the long stalemate surrounding this project. After providing an overview the project’s history and the viewpoints of anti-construction groups, this paper analyzes recent efforts to jumpstart construction of the KBD, including the response by Pervez Musharraf’s government, which designed the current plan in the 2000s. This paper also examines political parties’ attitudes to the KBD and public opinion in Pakistan. The main conclusions are as follows. (1) As seen in the Sindh–Punjab water dispute over the Indus River, distrust between the federal and provincial governments as well as among the provincial governments persists in Pakistan. Because the GOP failed to build mutual trust and consensus on the KBD throughout the country, it is difficult to overcome these factors. (2) The Pakistani military, which has a history of intervening in politics, has great interest in water-infrastructure projects and has supported the KBD project in the past. However, in recent years, they have prioritized other water-infrastructure projects.
Natural soda resources in Inner Mongolia were recognized as raw materials for the chemical industry during modernization in East Asia in the early 20th century. These resources were known to the Han, who settled in banners from the middle of the 19th century, and small-scale production of natural soda was carried out. Although the rise of domestic capital and foreign capital investment in China at the end of the Qing dynasty led to industrialization and increased the demand for natural soda, the market was subsequently lost to foreign-made soda ash. In the 20th century, eastern Inner Mongolia entered Japan’s sphere of influence as part of Manchuria, and Japan showed interest in eastern Inner Mongolia’s natural soda resources as one component of Manchuria’s mineral resources. Around this time, World War I broke out, and both Japan, which was struggling to import soda, and China began to pay more attention to eastern Inner Mongolia’s natural soda resources, conducting surveys as well as research and development. However, with the independence of the Chinese ethnic soda industry due to the war, the development of natural soda resources in eastern Inner Mongolia declined. This paper clarifies the role of Inner Mongolia’s natural soda resources in the development of modernized industry in East Asia by examining the historical background of the development and decline of natural soda resource utilization in eastern Inner Mongolia.