KARACHI: This refers to the article published in your esteemed newspaper. We ought to thank Anjum Niaz for raising the issue of water scarcity and the threats it imposes. Good to see that there, at least, are few among us who are worrying about an issue as important as water scarcity and talking about it and ringing the alarm bell. But to answer her question: “Is anyone listening?” anyone can guess that no one is. They are either too dumb to understand or too busy plundering whatever little resources we have. They are doing what thieves do; but we, as a nation, are guilty of subverting our own interests by electing the kind of reckless, ignorant, uncaring lot that’s actively doing us in. You are doing just fine and can be at peace with yourself that you did your bit and warned us.
By the way, the caring folks, mentioned, who suggest the warpath to sort out this issue with India are, well, not much of friends, certainly not caring. Can’t agree with the secretary general of the Oxbridge Society, who thinks the time for hydro-diplomacy is long over and opines, “We should abrogate all treaties with India. It only understands the stick.” Perhaps India does. But we ought to be smarter than that and not hand it over to them!
Best option is for us, the people, to refuse to accept the prevailing indifference and raise so much hell that those who must are forced to do all that is necessary now. If “building hundreds of thousands of small dams” is the best way to conserve water and overcome this existential threat then it must be done. Believe me they’ll listen if we are loud enough and persistent enough.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2017.