Desperate Modi now plots to run Pakistan dry

Published: September 27, 2016
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Experts say India cannot walk out of Indus Waters Treaty unilaterally. PHOTO: INDIAN EXPRESS

Experts say India cannot walk out of Indus Waters Treaty unilaterally. PHOTO: INDIAN EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reaction post-Uri assault has been full of flip-flops. First, he rattled his sabres — only to back off later. Then, he talked about mounting a global campaign to ‘isolate Pakistan diplomatically’. And now he is threatening to undo the only achievement that has withstood periods of tensions and conflict between the two arch foes.

Modi conferred with his senior aides on Monday to reconfigure the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 — a World Bank-brokered agreement that governs the distribution of water of six rivers between Pakistan and India. “Blood and water cannot flow together,” he was quoted by Times of India newspaper as telling his aides.

Indian prime minister reviews Indus Waters Treaty

At the huddle it was decided that India would ‘exploit to the maximum’ the water of the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum by fast-tracking its building of new hydropower plants along the three Pakistani rivers.

Modi’s threat to run Pakistani rivers dry shows his utter desperation and naivety. International law experts say it is not possible for either country to just walk out of the Indus Waters Treaty. “There is no provision in the Indus Waters Treaty to scrap the agreement unilaterally. If India does so, it’ll violate international law,” BBC Urdu cited Ahmer Bilal Soofi as saying.

“There is no precedent where a country has reneged on an international agreement. Such agreements are not between governments but between states — and states are bound to honour them,” he added. About India’s threat to review the Indus Waters Treaty, Soofi said, “If India scraps the treaty, then it will be considered an aggressive step which could jeopardise regional peace and security.”

Soofi believes the UN secretary general could take suo motu notice, if the Indian threat materialises.

Jamaat Ali Shah, the former Indus waters commissioner, agrees with Soofi. “India cannot walk out of the agreement unilaterally, though the two countries can make changes in the agreement with mutual consensus,” he told The Express Tribune.

Congress tells Modi to bring own house in order before advising Pakistan

Shah believes Modi’s threat is a political gimmick aimed at pressuring Pakistan following the Sept 18 deadly attack on a military base in Uri sector of Indian occupied Kashmir.

He said Pakistan had surrendered 26 million acre feet water of Beas, Sutlaj and Ravi rivers to secure a right over the water of the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab rivers. “The government should take up the Indian threat with the World Bank, which was instrumental in brokering the Indus Waters Treaty,” he added.

A former Pakistani prime minister’s adviser on water and agriculture resources says India is desperate after losing the case on Kishanganga hydroelectric plant in the International Court of Arbitration. “The court had ruled that India was violating the Indus Waters Treaty by building the Kishanganga plant,” Kamal Majeedullah told The Express Tribune.

The Indus Waters Treaty was signed in 1960 in a bid to resolve disputes, but India’s ambitious irrigation plans and construction of thousands of upstream dams has continued to annoy Pakistan, which depends on snow-fed Himalayan rivers for everything from drinking water to agriculture.

Modi threatens to ‘isolate’ Pakistan globally

The World Bank – then called the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development – had brokered the treaty which was signed 56 years ago by Jawaharlal Nehru and Ayub Khan. According to the agreement, India got a right over water of the rivers Beas, Ravi and Sutlej, while the rivers Indus, Chenab and Jhelum came under Pakistan’s control.

Majeedullah said India was already stealing water from Pakistan’s rivers. “The International Telemetry System should be installed to monitor the flow of water from India,” he added. “Pakistan should not allow a revision of the treaty which was brokered by the World Bank.”

A senior government official, however, laments that the water issue doesn’t figure anywhere on the priority list of Pakistani policymakers. “We had an acting Indus water commissioner who had been working on an ad-hoc basis since 2012,” he said. “This is the situation of the body that is assigned to sort out contentious water issues with India.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (37)

  • TooTrue
    Sep 27, 2016 - 9:12AM

    Water stoppage will start the war that no one wants.Recommend

  • mushtaq
    Sep 27, 2016 - 9:32AM

    Does India know that winds that pass the walls of Himalaya,will also be effected because of the drought,heat,and thus this whole wind current which reaches India,north bangladesh,pass through plateaus,then Taiwan,Japan will be effected.In retalition,Pakistan should develop weather weapon like Haarp.These winds are lifeline to northern India too.They had a documentary at NHK Japan about importance of the winds which pass through Pakistan side Recommend

  • An Indian
    Sep 27, 2016 - 9:34AM

    @TooTrue:
    And killing Indian soldiers won’t? India has followed Gandhi’s philosophy far too long. Now time to hurt the enemy where it hurts.Recommend

  • Khurram
    Sep 27, 2016 - 9:36AM

    Pakistan does not care. We have all weather friend China on our side. We will get water from China Recommend

  • Khurram
    Sep 27, 2016 - 9:38AM

    India cannot play with Pakistan. The fight for Kashmir cannot be stopped now. Pakistan does not care. We have all weather friend China on our side. We will get water from China Recommend

  • abhi
    Sep 27, 2016 - 9:44AM

    Nawaz sharif now has no place to run. China has recently showed that there is no need of accepting an order from international court. Why can’t India do the same?Recommend

  • Sabi
    Sep 27, 2016 - 9:48AM

    Dont worry it wouldn’t happen they know the consequences. Pakistan has the deterrence.Recommend

  • Sabi
    Sep 27, 2016 - 9:48AM

    Dont worry it wouldn’t happen they know the consequences. Pakistan has the deterrence.Recommend

  • ajeet
    Sep 27, 2016 - 10:02AM

    Pakistan didn’t honor the simla agreement, so there are precedents. When did Bilal become international expert?Recommend

  • Rajesh
    Sep 27, 2016 - 10:21AM

    Misguidance. What Modi has said is that going forward we will make full utilization of our share of water as per the treaty. Yes we can block the water but inlike Pakistani political masters we have too much integrity and compassion. Stop spreading lies Tribune.Recommend

  • ZAK
    Sep 27, 2016 - 10:25AM

    Why should Pakistan be dependent on rivers from India. We have sufficient rains. Karachi was flooded this year. Why cannot we use that?Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Sep 27, 2016 - 10:31AM

    Modi and his tantrums.Recommend

  • Jawad
    Sep 27, 2016 - 10:35AM

    Water in india comes from China. China will block water entering into india. Recommend

  • bashgul
    Sep 27, 2016 - 11:02AM

    India provoking Pakistan to press the nuclear button.Recommend

  • Bilal
    Sep 27, 2016 - 11:09AM

    @abhi: unfortunately India is not China.Recommend

  • Khurram
    Sep 27, 2016 - 11:34AM

    After Indus War Treaty, Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan is under reviewRecommend

  • raw is war
    Sep 27, 2016 - 11:44AM

    @Jawad:

    We don’t need the water, 81% of this goes to Pakistan. Recommend

  • Vectra
    Sep 27, 2016 - 1:07PM

    I dont know what many people says or not but the fact is water is the life line of human body and only 2 days of now water can bring a man to it knees and in next 3 days may be perish.So both sides of LOC should keep all this bravado withing and analyze what goes wrong.Infact IWT is a weapon which is more dangerous and fearful than even nuclear weapons so keep all the ego like we can do this and we can do that withing because if no not water one cant do anything even if he wants to do many things.

    As for above article then yesterdays meeting in India by Modi is not about revoking IWT and the same was reported by Indian media as well,instead the yesterdays decision by India on IWT is about more effective utilization of Indus rivers and increase of the India’s share in IWT.Anyways that itself was damaging given now population size as compared to what it was during the signing of IWT in 60’s.Recommend

  • harkol
    Sep 27, 2016 - 1:26PM

    @TooTrue:
    What we currently have is a war. If people cross borders and attack citizens of other nations, it is war. Has happened time and again like in Mumbai, Pathankot, recently Uri… India can declare that what happened in URI is an ‘act of war’ and abrogate all treaties with Pakistan.

    In any case, Pakistan has violated other treaties with India. Especially Shimla Agreement, when it harps on UN resolution or asking for 3rd party intervention.Recommend

  • FAZ
    Sep 27, 2016 - 2:13PM

    @Rajesh:
    India has already studied the treaty and its loopholes. These hydroelectric projects date back to 1988. By the way, the compassionate India generates 450MW of electricity so far in Kashmir and gives them back only 12% share. As a result 08hrs of load shedding is a routine in KashmirRecommend

  • BruteForce
    Sep 27, 2016 - 2:18PM

    “International law experts say it is not possible for either country to just walk out of the Indus Waters Treaty.”

    Absolutely rubbish. Pakistani people should not be lied to like this.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1707812.stm

    This is an example of US withdrawing from a treaty with Russia!

    “Defending the American people is my
    highest priority as commander in chief
    and I cannot and will not allow the
    United States to remain in a treaty
    that prevents us from developing
    effective defences,” Mr Bush said at
    the White House Rose Garden.

    It is perfectly possible for India to withdraw unilaterally from the treaty and ask for 50-50 share, which is fair and would deprive Pakistan of nearly half the water it gets!!!

    India’s GDP will double and triple in the next few decades. India should look at using its leverage to withdraw from an unjust treaty.Recommend

  • modicant
    Sep 27, 2016 - 2:42PM

    I think we all need to stop day dreaming. No nation can live without water and if someone or some country is trying to run you dry it will eventually lead to war. So war it will beRecommend

  • Ali
    Sep 27, 2016 - 3:05PM

    Can’t we just dump some radioactive waste in their rivers in order to reciprocate this act of kindness?Recommend

  • Vectra
    Sep 27, 2016 - 3:28PM

    The above commentator BruteForce is right when he points out that no one in the world including UN can do any thing if India decides to scrap the treaty wholly as he cited US and Russian example.But i would also like to add some Pakistanis own opinions as well.

    I saw this 10 mins video on You Tube discussion of Pakistan media titled “India Can Break Indus Water Treaty – Nobody can Stop India – Pak Media ”

    Its says when the anchor asked WB is a guarantor its expert panel reject it saying WB has no role as guarantor in this IWT in legal aspect but some in financial aspect and that too during the signing of treaty in 60’s and it is all written in IWT.

    So this means if WB can’t take legal consideration then it only mean India is unstoppable if it decides to scrap IWT completely but India is unlikely to it.

    But in my opinion i will just say that don’t make war with India as it is common world wide that in war situation every thing is considers fair,so if India declare militants crossing from Pakistan to India an ‘act of ‘war then no one can stop India.Recommend

  • Saurav
    Sep 27, 2016 - 3:36PM

    @Khurram, Only 20% of Chinese have access to clean water. Be assured rest 80% of drainage would be routed to Pakistan’s all-weather-friend.Recommend

  • Zen
    Sep 27, 2016 - 4:30PM

    @Pakistani:
    Pray that these are just Modi’s tantrums. Hope you know the consequences of being thirsty.Recommend

  • Singh
    Sep 27, 2016 - 5:00PM

    In February 2013 the Hague ruled that India could divert a minimum of water for their project.[6] In this partial award, the court upheld India’s main contention that it has the right to divert waters of western rivers, in a non-consumptive manner, for optimal generation of power. The International Court of Arbitration gave its “final award” on 20 December 2013, wherein it allowed India to go ahead with the construction of the Kishanganga dam in Jammu & Kashmir over which Pakistan had raised objections.Recommend

  • ilya khan
    Sep 27, 2016 - 5:18PM

    @TooTrue:
    Yes sir. You are absolutely right. In fact I am old enough to remember that the then Foreign Minister of Pakistan Manzur Qadir had given a policy statement that a unilateral abrogation of the Indus Water Treaty by India would be considered as Declation of War.Recommend

  • Tom
    Sep 27, 2016 - 6:31PM

    Treaty is a treaty between nations. World bank was a facilitator. Some stupid experts from Pakistan and India say that it can’t be revoked is utterly false. But India abrogating the treaty would make India seem as a big bully. And the world opinion will be against India if it does. But in the end the nations decide if they want to keep the treaty or not, not World Bank, UN or anyone else. If India decides to abrogate the treaty it will, nothing pakistan can do about it. Recommend

  • Tom
    Sep 27, 2016 - 6:33PM

    Treaty is a treaty between nations. World bank was a facilitator. Some stupid experts from Pakistan and India say that it can’t be revoked is utterly false. But India abrogating the treaty would make India seem as a big bully. And the world opinion will be against India if it does. But in the end the nations decide if they want to keep the treaty or not, not World Bank, UN or anyone else. If India decides to abrogate the treaty it will, nothing pakistan can do about it. And it will also give China opportunity to play withe rivers flowing to India and Bangladesh as there is no treaty between India and China.Recommend

  • TooTrue
    Sep 27, 2016 - 6:37PM

    @An Indian:

    You’re free to have your own red lines. If you feel they’ve been crossed then act accordingly. Water is ours.Recommend

  • Irfan
    Sep 27, 2016 - 6:53PM

    @An Indian:
    India started it all and Pakistan will finish the remaining game Recommend

  • Vectra
    Sep 27, 2016 - 7:08PM

    Plz read this

    “Pakistan use of state-reared terrorist groups can be invoked by India, under Article 62 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, as constituting reasonable grounds for withdrawal from the Indus treaty. The International Court of Justice has upheld the principle that a treaty may be dissolved by reason of a fundamental change of circumstances.”—As per Vienna Convention Rules

    Seems India has more hard grip this time.Recommend

  • Srinivasulu Mekala
    Sep 28, 2016 - 2:00PM

    I know this treaty can be scrapped. I will not reveal it here.
    You can feel confident when you see the certificate that the enemy has no brains. Now I will prove it. The moment Dawood Ibrahim delivered, the moment Mumbai, Pathankot, Gurdaspur and Uri terrorists are brought to justice and punished, the next minute India would have been at the talking table. But my enemy rather would continue further such provocations under the blackmail of terror and nuclear war. Sooner or later this brainless enemy has to give up this blackmail or perish. Perish may be a better choice for the brainless and a good riddance for the peace loving world. Not even a millimeter of land will be ceded. That is the bottom line even if nuclear war or world war three is inevitable. IWT can be scrapped, and Pakistan WILL HELP US DO THAT WITH IMPUNITY. A moronic enemy is an asset.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Sep 28, 2016 - 2:47PM

    @Zen:
    You know what happens when the tantrums get too much?!! Recommend

  • Zen
    Sep 28, 2016 - 4:41PM

    @Pakistani:
    No. Tell me.Recommend

  • Zen
    Sep 28, 2016 - 7:44PM

    @Pakistani:
    What happens when tantrums get too much?Recommend

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