Water as a weapon

Pakistan has every right to forcefully pursue Indian violations of the trans-boundary water management agreement


Editorial May 04, 2018

Pakistan and India share a chequered history that is defined by tales of animosity and the general inability to coexist. The partition of the Indian subcontinent created a conflict over everything related to the two nations from history and heritage to precious natural resources like the waters of the Indus Basin.  In 1948, an administrator in India cut off the water supply to a number of canals in Pakistan. The Indian government was quick to label the mishap as a bureaucratic mix-up, but in Pakistan, the bitter memory still lingers.

After several years of painstaking negotiations, in 1960, the contentious issue was resolved when the World Bank brokered an agreement between the two states over how to share and manage the river system. The agreement, known as the Indus Waters Treaty, has survived every phase of the perennially troubled relationship between Pakistan and India. This was a significant development in the unsettling ties between the two neighbours. So much so that former US president Dwight Eisenhower hailed the pact as a “bright spot” in a “very depressing world picture.” However, the agreement has not prevented New Delhi from using this important natural recourse to twist Islamabad’s arm.

Our eastern neighbour has been a constant violator of the accord that has — for decades — prevented what can be termed the water war between the two.  In a bid to constrict Pakistan’s water supply, India initiated a number of hydroelectric dams on the western rivers, including the contentious Kishanganga dam. Although no single dam along the rivers controlled by the treaty may affect Pakistan’s access to water, the cumulative impact of these projects provides India the capability to store enough water to restrict the supply to Pakistan at crucial moments. Pakistan has every right to forcefully pursue Indian violations of the trans-boundary water management agreement with the World Bank.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2018.

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COMMENTS (2)

ahmed41 | 4 years ago | Reply What about giving Indo-Afghan trade, international transit facility ???????
Raj | 4 years ago | Reply Yes, Pakistan can keep on pursuing pursuing etc.etc. Everyione knows how pakistan is wasting waters in an unimaginable manner. So, you keep trying. But there si a simple way to win india's confidence and solve the water issue. That is 'Pakistan should stop sending terrorists to India'. That is all.
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