India using water as weapon: WAPDA chief

Published: August 19, 2019
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ISLAMABAD: Accusing India of waging “fifth-generation warfare”, the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) said on Monday New Delhi had failed to inform Islamabad about the release of water from a dam in Ladakh that could cause flooding across the border.

Wapda chairman Muzammil Hussain said that the unexpected release of water into the River Sutlej that flows from India to Pakistan was part of an attempt by New Delhi to flout a longstanding treaty between the countries.

“They try to isolate diplomatically, they try to strangulate economically, they’re trying to strangulate our water resources — and water automatically will have an impact on your economy, your agriculture and your irrigation,” Hussain said.

India was using its position upstream to wage “fifth-generation warfare” on the country, he added.

Emergency authorities were preparing on Monday for minor flooding in several areas in Punjab as a result of the unexpected rise in water flow.

“India did not communicate the release of water to Pakistan,” Khurram Shahzad, Director General of the Punjab Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), said.

An Indian government official said release of water was a “routine exercise” during the monsoon season. However, he added that poor relations between the two countries affected the information-sharing. “It was goodwill on our part that we used to share that information … those days are gone.”

Hussain said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “threatened very clearly that he could stop water to Pakistan”, adding: “He couldn’t care less of (for) the treaties”.

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