Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif said Pakistan could face severe consequences of water scarcity in the coming few years and an Ethiopia-like situation may occur here due to the water blocked by India.
Addressing a press conference on Friday, Asif said the Indus Waters Treaty was not in favour of Pakistan. The government would decide whether it needs to be reviewed or not.
“The water issue has become a matter of life and death for us and we will have to face severe shortage in the coming 10 to 15 years,” he said, adding that previous governments made wrong decisions causing water crisis and today the country is paying the price.
The minister said that India was blocking water and constructing dams on Pakistani rivers. He said that neighbouring countries should consider requirements of Pakistan before constructing their water reservoirs.
Asif said that to avert any unpleasant situation the government needs to adopt water conservation methods — it will also have to control its growing population.
Pakistan has concerns regarding Indus Waters Treaty as under this treaty Pakistan will get less water in the coming years. The government is seriously looking to review this treaty, Asif said.
Additional Indus water commissioner Sheraz Memon said that Pakistan had objection over seven projects of India. He said that India was using water from River Indus therefore the water level has reduced in the river.
He said that India was constructing 53 power projects and seven dams. It has completed 16 projects on river Chenab while another four are under construction.
Memon said India was constructing 850-megawatt Ratle project and warned that Pakistan will approach the International Court of Arbitration if India did not stop the construction of this project.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2013.