Pak water cry against India: Charade or Real?

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 10, 2010 07:00 hrs

Kashmir issue which has remained a main rallying point to galvanize support across the social, political and military spectrum of Pakistan for decades seems to be loosing its magical formulae of stoking anti India sentiments.

After all over 5000 Pakistanis are killed in the terrorist violence, civil society of Pakistan have understood the repercussions of Pakistan state policy of espousing terrorism.

Pakistan and its proxies have realized that they have exhausted the Kashmir issue and there are very few takers left therefore they have come up with latest catchphrase replacing the 'K' word with water.

Recently Lashkar-e -Toiba chief Hafeez Saeed accused India of waging water wars on Pakistan, Infact, Saeed has decided to launch a nationwide movement against India on the issue. He alleged India of constructing illegal dams and diverting water from Pakistani rivers.imilar sentiments are expressed by Islamabad and the issue also came up at Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary level talks.

Sources have told ANI that Pakistan intentionally took up complex technical issues pertaining to the ongoing hydel projects in Jammu and Kashmir during the talks.

Hafeez Saeed and Pakistan Government raising similar bogey and taking common stand on water issue demonstrates and substantiates the calibrated strategy on one hand and also shows the unholy collusion between the two, the point India has been making to the International community for quite some time .

India sees the latest rhetoric on water aired by Pakistani state and its proxies as a coordinated effort to create anti India hysteria, which can capture popular imagination and have a positive resonance within Pakistan.

According to the Indus Water Treaty, India does have a right on three western rivers the Chenab, the Jhelum and the Indus for domestic use including for drinking water, navigation, limited agricultural use and for generation of hydro electric power by construction of run of the river power projects. But keeping Pakistani sensitivities in mind India has so far not exploited its legitimate right entitled by the Indus Water treaty.

Treaty clearly says that India is allowed maximum storage on the western river of 3.6 MAF storage, but contrary to Pakistani propaganda that India is guzzling all the water, so far India has not done a single unit of storage.

No storage capacity has been created so far. IWT also entitles India to irrigate crops from waters of the western rivers i.e. 1.34347 MAF , this is the area India can irrigate , till 2008-2009 India has irrigated only 0.7924 MAF , less than two third of the entitled capacity is being used.

Indus Water Treaty had cut across Indus Basin, Eastern rivers Sutlej, Beas and Ravi were given to India and western rivers Chenab, Jhelum and Indus were allocated to Pakistan. Western rivers combined which have gone to Pakistan carry almost four times the water of the three eastern rivers.

According to experts, the flow of rivers is fluctuating because of fluctuating amount of snow melt, fluctuation of rainfall and that impacts the flow in the rivers, it impacts the quantum of waters in the rivers.

However Indus River, which carries 65 percent of the total water is an exception, data shows that since 2000 flow of the river Indus is increasing.

New Delhi also feels that Pakistan is trying to deflect its domestic water problems and inter provincial grievances by creating the India bogey, what is actually happening is that river flows into Punjab which does not provide adequate amount of water to the southern provinces Balochistan and Sindh and it is convenient to say that India is playing mischief.

According to Pak's own admission a great deal of wastage is taking place and is going unchecked into the sea i.e. 38 MAF is wasted. There is also Permanent Indus Commission in place, commissioners from both sides have been meeting regularly and so far there have been 111 tours and 103 meetings of the commission and despite the rhetoric the commissioners are expected to meet again in May.

Certain sections of Pakistan media is also producing misplaced reports, Hafeez Saeed was quoted by a Pakistani national daily that India has built 62 dams whereas only 33 hydro electric projects are under the works and India has already provided the information to Pakistan.

India believes that all the major projects which Pakistan is objecting to are mainly located in Jammu and Kashmir and If Pakistan have objections they are denying the people there legitimate rights as far as water is concerned under the IWT.

Three western rivers are actually in Kashmir Tulbul on Jhelum, Baghlihar on Chenab and there are other projects on the western river for the benefits of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)

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