Clearing the air: ‘India not behind water shortage in Pakistan’

Published: July 10, 2015
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Media reports have put the blame on India for grabbing more than its allocated share, depriving Pakistan of the much-needed necessity. PHOTO: FILE

Media reports have put the blame on India for grabbing more than its allocated share, depriving Pakistan of the much-needed necessity. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Turning away from what usually becomes a back-and-forth blame game, Pakistan’s water regulator has come out defending India, saying the neighbours are not responsible for water shortage on this side of the border.

While dismissing widespread reports blaming the neighbours, Indus River System Authority (Irsa) Chairman Rao Irshad Ali said India was using less than its allocated share under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) signed between the two countries.

Ali made the disclosure in a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power chaired by Senator Iqbal Zafar Jhagra here on Thursday.

Media reports have put the blame on India for grabbing more than its allocated share, depriving Pakistan of the much-needed necessity. The two countries, engaged in a number of battles on various topics, have also been arguing about the water issue, building their arguments on controversial dams built by India on Pakistani rivers.

However, Ali said the media reports are “propaganda”.

Read: Indus basin teaty: ‘Pakistan-India water issues exaggerated’

“Reports in media about India getting more water is a propaganda. India is using water only to produce electricity,” he said, adding that the neighbours are getting less compared to their allocated share of water.

Building the case for dams

Meanwhile, Ali said the province would have been getting more water if the government had gone ahead with building the Kalabagh and Diamer-Bhasha dams.

Load-shedding issue

The Senate body was also briefed about the load-shedding issue that has gripped more areas than it has spared in the country.

During the meeting, Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali said uninterrupted power supply was not possible unless the power transmission system was improved. His statement comes a day after he informed the Senate that the menace of load-shedding would end by 2017-18.

On Thursday, he said that culprits involved in power theft in Sukkur and Quetta had turned into a big mafia against which the government had taken action and cut off their electricity supply.

Issue of K-Electric

The standing committee also decided to conduct a performance audit of K-Electric – the power utility mainly responsible for distributing electricity in Karachi – through the Auditor General of Pakistan.

Recently, K-Electric has come under fire after the heatwave in the metropolis was made worse with frequent power breakdowns. While the power utility blamed it on the surge in demand, the public has been less than forgiving after around 1,300 people died due to various reasons as a result of the heatwave.

Read: Pakistan miles ahead of India in improving water and sanitation: study

Pakistan Peoples Party’s Senator Taj Haider said the standing committee should write a letter to the Auditor General of Pakistan to conduct a performance audit of the power utility as the company resists sharing its data with auditors.

The water and power minister added that the agreement between the National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) and K-Electric’s management was to receive  650MW of electricity from the national grid. However, K-Electric was able to receive 950MW and did not switch on its own generators.

“K-Electric, which has to pay Rs100 billion to the federal government, has transferred its own investment abroad and misstated its generation capacity,” he continued.

The minister also complained that power distribution companies resort to stay orders if, and when, the government decides to initiate any sort of action against them.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th,  2015.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • mahakaalchakra
    Jul 10, 2015 - 6:29AM

    I hope this is not termed as blastfehmi !

    I am waiting for the second shoe of water-war to fall by unnaming RAW.Recommend

  • Bharat
    Jul 10, 2015 - 9:01AM

    This man may not be living much longerRecommend

  • satender rajput
    Jul 10, 2015 - 9:07AM

    Hope he is not booked under blasphemy for speaking truth.Recommend

  • SuperNeo
    Jul 10, 2015 - 9:26AM

    I have full sympathy with this guy.Please provide him full security. god bless you sir.Recommend

  • Indian
    Jul 10, 2015 - 9:27AM

    A new RAW agent in town. LOLRecommend

  • Last Word
    Jul 10, 2015 - 9:35AM

    It is heartening to learn that sanity has finally prevailed in Pakistan on water sharing issue for which India had been blamed un-necessarilly for a long time. India has always honoured its international obligations of peaceful coexistence and treaties with Pakistan but the latter continues its hostile attitude towards India. Cordial relations is a must for prosperity of the people of both countries and one sincerely hopes that mindset of our neighbour changes soon for the betterment of all. Recommend

  • Milind
    Jul 10, 2015 - 9:40AM

    Hopefully the other powers-that-be in Pakistan also clear the air on the misinformation or false blame spread about
    1. Indian role / RAW activities in destabilizing Pakistan,
    2. Muslims being persecuted in India
    3. India being Pakistan’s eternal enemy and ready to attack it or not accepting the partition
    and so onRecommend

  • pk
    Jul 10, 2015 - 9:41AM

    Blaming others for own failure is easiest thing to do. To accept own failure and take corrective measures requires courage and hard work. Sadly not only Pakistan but whole Muslim ummah have chosen easiest path, to blame others.Recommend

  • Neutral
    Jul 10, 2015 - 9:47AM

    How can we forget Jamat ali shah and his version of such stories !Recommend

  • Lmao
    Jul 10, 2015 - 10:15AM

    Raw agent for sure. How can he speak the truth and confuse the people who for hears have been convinced that india is building dams to steal Pakistani water.
    Why is he allowing facts to come in the way of a great deception. Recommend

  • Vectra
    Jul 10, 2015 - 11:14AM

    Some pakistani calling this man RAW agent for speaking truth,not surprised this happens in every other case and happens only in pakistan.Had India was at fault then pakistan would not have lost all Indus water case in International Court of Arbitration.Recommend

  • sharabi
    Jul 10, 2015 - 11:19AM

    The lack of Pakistani Comments here is validation of this fact that THEY ALREADY KNEW THIS FACT, because Pakistan has lost every case in International court.Recommend

  • An Indian
    Jul 10, 2015 - 12:55PM

    Where are the nukes? Where are the nukes?
    No threat here of nuking us Indians because we’re NOT stealing water from you.

    This article feels incomplete without a mention of Nukes….Recommend

  • Parvez
    Jul 10, 2015 - 12:56PM

    Water is not short it is grossly mismanaged………and the cover up is to blame someone else.Recommend

  • Khan
    Jul 10, 2015 - 2:14PM

    Pakistan does not need outside enemy, it’s own appoint irrigation experts are enough. For Allah sake, we have one of the best civil engineers and dam experts in the world, they are working within country, in world bank and other international organization, then why government only find idiots to investigate, calculate, read carefully IWT, present team seems cannot even read properly English written terms n conditions of IWT let alone defending country interest. Their assets needs to be investigated, surely investigators will find they are living over n above their respective income.Recommend

  • Gp65
    Jul 10, 2015 - 3:19PM

    @Khan: your comment implies that the man who has given a clean chit to India must have been bribe to do so by India. This is bizarre because it appears that you’re unwilling to give up your preconceived notions. Why do you think that Pakistan has lost every case on in this water treaty in front off on international tribunalRecommend

  • Ashraf
    Jul 10, 2015 - 4:13PM

    Israel must be responsible then.Recommend

  • Jul 10, 2015 - 6:14PM

    @Khan: Khan saheb with people like you in Pakistan “Pakistan does not need outside enemy,” as more hate more propaganda and more expenditure on armed forces will finally prove to be sufficient for destruction. Recommend

  • MSH
    Jul 10, 2015 - 6:30PM

    Must thank him for speaking the truth.Recommend

  • Allaisa
    Jul 10, 2015 - 7:17PM

    @Khan Before criticizing others of lack of English knowledge, should you not improve your English?Recommend

  • Sandip
    Jul 10, 2015 - 7:32PM

    @Khan: They should have appointed you instead, right?Recommend

  • Babloo
    Jul 10, 2015 - 7:44PM

    Please research : The last Indus water chief of Pakistan, who said that India has never violated the treaty a few years ago, took political asylum in Britain.Recommend

  • vasan
    Jul 10, 2015 - 9:45PM

    All Indus Water commissioners of Pakistan have always said this. Even the ex Foreign minister Qureshi said this. If people in the know, people who have the data speak the truth, then it is not acceptable in Pakistan, irrespective of the number of times the truth is spoken. If u listen to hawks, then MQM is bribed by RAW, TTP is bribed by RAW, NAwaz is bribed by India, Indus water commissioner is bribed by India, Awami league is bribed by India, Zardari is bribed by India, Benazir was bribed by India. Gosh, India must be the richest country in the world to keep throwing money at Pakistanis and it must be its biggest donor,
    ET Pl post my frustration,. Recommend

  • Bairooni Haath
    Jul 10, 2015 - 11:24PM

    Unfortunately blaming Pakistanis for their own water woes does not make a talk show with great ratings!Recommend

  • observer
    Jul 11, 2015 - 3:24AM

    @Parvez:

    “Water is not short it is grossly mismanaged………and the cover up is to blame someone else.”

    All of what you say is true. However, there is a larger and more fundamental problem called population explosion. Pakistan’s population has grown by six times from the time of Pakistan’s creation while the water resources have remained the same. What this means is that, today, the per capita water availability is only one sixth of what it was in 1947.Recommend

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