Pakistan misleading people on Indus Water Treaty

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by ajtr, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Lies,lies and more lies

    Chenab shrinks further as India diverts water

    ISLAMABAD: In an alarming situation, the Chenab water influx has dropped by 7 million acre feet (maf) in the last three years following India’s Baglihar Dam construction and its huge water use.

    “The Chenab water inflows plunged from 21 maf to 14 maf in three years and the same situation is projected to exist in the current calendar,” sources privy to the developments reveal while sharing the latest statistics with The News here on Saturday.

    The water quantum of 7 maf is more than Pakistan’s any existing reservoir and even under-construction Basha storage or controversial Kalabagh Dam. “This substantial reduction is badly hitting the Kharif crops, particularly in the Punjab and generally all over Pakistan.”

    “In comparison with 2007, Pakistan is presently suffering a 30 per cent slash in Chenab water availability, and it is a direct consequence of the Baglihar project and massive ground water usage by India through subsidised tubewells installed in its territory around the river,” the sources said.

    The sources explained that the ground water pumping was also a source of reduction in river flows. “Besides, there are dozens of Indian projects in the pipeline on its Chenab River side.” They maintained that the situation would be worse for Pakistan as the neighboring country was planning huge hydropower projects around the Chenab River in its territory.

    Five-year water statistics provide that Pakistan continued to obtain 21 maf water from Chenab till 2007 Kharif. The flows reduced from 21 maf to 16 maf in 2008 Kharif, and just 14 maf in 2009 Kharif, according to the data.

    The official spokesman of the Irsa confirmed that Chenab flows substantially went down from 21 maf in 2008 to merely 7 maf in 2009. “Yes, we, all participants, deeply expressed concerns over the decline in Chenab waters.”

    The Indus River System Authority (Irsa) and four provinces jointly expressed great concern over the water data collected for the last five years on Chenab flows.The issue was discussed on the platform of Irsa’s Technical Committee, also consisting of provincial representatives and water and power sector officials, when it met last Wednesday with Irsa Chief Engineer Aurangzeb Khattak in the chair.

    To a query, the sources said neither the provinces nor the Irsa presented Rabi flows of Chenab River. “The 7 maf slash is noted only in Kharif seasons and the figure may be up to 8 or 9 maf if the Rabi flows are also compiled.”

    The sources categorically said that water inflows from other rivers of the country were normal in the last five years as not only the Irsa but the provinces also presented their own data in the last technical committee.
     
  2. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    If there is very less water in indus,Jhelum and chenab as claimed by pakistan then how come pakistan is constructing a huge diamer bhasha dam expected to be costing around $8.5 billion.

    Pakistan dam plan threatens livlihoods and artifacts
    Pakistan, which gets about a third of its power from hydro-electricity, is planning to build a $12bn dam in an effort to get power to the rugged northern regions.

    But it means blocking the Indus River, in the valleys of Baltistan.

    That would flood villages 40kms upstream and force tens of thousands of people to leave their homes in the shadow of one of the world's great mountains.

    Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder reports.


     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    India asks Pakistan to stop blaming it for water crisis

    * New Delhi tells Islamabad it should first address internal water problems

    By Iftikhar Gilani

    NEW DELHI: Concluding the joint Indus Water Commission talks in Islamabad, India asked Pakistan to stop blaming it for the water crisis persisting in the country and told its neighbour to address its internal water problems, Daily Times learnt on Sunday.

    Indian officials have attributed Islamabad’s water woes to a dearth of storage facilities in Pakistani reservoirs, saying a huge 38 MAF of unutilised water flows into the Arabian Sea every year. Reiterating commitment to the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), Indian official sources said the treaty is a significant Confidence Building Measure (CBM) between the two countries that has stood test of time even during wars. ‘India is fully committed to the treaty in letter and spirit,” they said, adding India will do whatever is possible to address Pakistan’s concerns over the IWT.

    They further asked Pakistan to use its resources in a better way instead of accusing India of stealing its water and dismissed allegations that India was constructing around 60 dams on Pakistani controlled rivers. According to sources around 33 river projects have been identified on western rivers-Indus, Jehlum and Chenab and the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has begun consultations on 106 schemes to produce 18,653 MW of electricity although no decision has been taken on these schemes yet.

    “We have gone beyond the treaty to provide them data to satisfy Pakistan’s concerns,” the Indian officials said. Sources lamented that Islamabad was raising unnecessary technical issues to delay these projects while worldwide scientific studies worldwide have shown decreasing water flows to all rivers with the exception of Indus, whose water was either at the same level or had even increased. According to the sources, the water flow of western rivers in Pakistan’s control was 136 million acre feet (MAF) against 33 MAF in eastern rivers-Sutlej, Bias and Ravi which were controlled by India while 65 per cent of water flows through the Indus.

    Sources said under the IWT, India was allowed to irrigate 1.3 million acres of land while it has only irrigated just 0.7 million acres and New Delhi is allowed to construct 3.6 MAF storage facilities on the western rivers. But contrary to the propaganda, it has not built any facility so far despite the fact that India was granted limited rights to use water of western rivers for domestic, agriculture and hydroelectric purposes
    .
     
  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    India says design of Nimo-Bazgo hydropower project is within limits

    LAHORE: Rejecting Pakistan's call for a change in the design, India today said the design of Nimmo-Bazgo hydropower project was within the permissible limits of the Indus Waters Treaty and there is no need to change it.



    India's Indus waters commissioner G Ranganathan told his Pakistani counterpart Jamaat Ali Shah during the second day of the three-day talks here that there was no need for changing the design.

    During yesterday's talks, Pakistan has sought changes in the design of the Nimmo-Bazgo hydropower project.

    On the second day of three-day talks here, the Indian and Pakistani delegations stuck to their respective positions on the Nimmo-Bazgo and Chutak power projects, over which Islamabad has expressed reservations.

    At the end of today's discussions, Pakistan's Indus waters commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah told reporters the two sides will again hold talks on the Nimmo-Bazgo project tomorrow and also take up the Chutak hydropower plant.

    Ranganathan said India remained committed to the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 and was "designing all power projects as per the criteria permitted under it".

    He said India would address all concerns and reservations expressed by Pakistan.

    During today's parleys, the Pakistani side insisted that the Nimmo-Bazgo project's design was based on the "maximum projected notional figures regarding water and flood flows".

    It insisted that Indian side must take into account actual river flow figures and adjust the design accordingly so that chances of "manipulating water flow" could be minimised.

    Shah also said Pakistan could opt for third party arbitration under the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty if the issue is not resolved amicably.

    The two sides were trying to achieve "convergence" under the terms of the treaty, he added. The talks will conclude tomorrow.
     
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Indo-Pak talks on Nimmo Bazgo project inconclusive




    LAHORE: Pakistan and India have failed to evolve a consensus on the controversial Nimmo Bazgo hydel generation project, being built in held Kashmir on the Indus River.

    “Unfortunately, we could not bridge differences over the Nimmo Bazgo project during the second round of talks,” said Syed Jamaat Ali Shah, Pakistan’s Commissioner for Indus Waters, here on Monday.

    He said homework on various alternatives to project details of 45-MW Nimmo Bazgo could not be done in Monday’s talks. Owing to lingering of the issue, he added, discussions on the Chutak hydropower project could not be initiated.

    As per the agenda of the three-day talks, negotiations on these projects should have been completed on Monday. Now discussion on Nimmo Bazgo and Chutak hydel power projects will continue in the Tuesday morning session.

    According to the agenda items, Pakistan has also expressed serious concerns over the delay in provision of the projects’ details by India. Under the provision of the treaty, India is bound to give technical details of water sector projects to Pakistan six months before the initiation of construction. Pakistan was of the view that a greater period was required for the review of new projects on the western rivers in order to follow the provision of the treaty.

    In many instances, the Pakistan’s commissioner said, details of projects were handed over to Pakistan late and in some cases India gave detail of project even after launching of the construction work. He stressed the need for expediting this process so that convergence could be achieved on these issues.

    Shah asked India to ensure timely availability of river flow data to Pakistan. Pakistan’s demand to install the telemetry system on water sector projects was fortunately attracted patience hearing from the Indian side. However, India said this issue would be finalised after getting opinion from technical experts.

    “There are several tributaries or nullah in Indus basin where measuring of water flow was not carried out routinely. On such sites, not observed or not recorded were mentioned in flow data,” Shah maintained. He admitted that there were a few sites on the Pakistani side where regular gauging of data was not done. However, he stressed as Pakistan was taking steps for regular measuring of flows, India, being upper riparian, should ensure measuring of the water flow. He said the Indian commissioner has assured that he would endeavour to get river flow data from all sites, which is an obligation under the Indus Waters Treaty.

    Speaking on the occasion, Indian Indus Waters Commissioner Arangha Nathan said Pakistan raised certain objections to the projects being constructed by India during talks. “I will only say that we are complying with the Indus Waters Treaty,” he said and added that the objection raised by Pakistan would be looked into in due course of time.

    About delay in communication of technical data of proposed projects by India, he said India always opted to give data to Pakistan in advance. He said it was not fair that Pakistan sought details of projects in response to publication of reports about new projects. Instead, he insisted, India is bound to provide technical data to Pakistan before actual initiation of the construction work on certain project.

    Whenever, we got any query from the Pakistan side, the Indian commissioner said, we sought information from the company concerned and subsequently sent it in time to Pakistan. Answering a question, the Pakistan commissioner said there has been delay on the part of India in communicating project details. He particularly mentioned the Chutak Hydropower project, saying India did not give its information timely.

    “These grey areas have to be addressed in order to make Indus Waters Commission a credible entity,” he stressed. Answering a query about changes in the design of the Nimmo Bazgo project in line with objections of Pakistan, the Indian commissioner said it is like cutting the head according to the size of cap or adjusting the cap as per size of the head. Giving details, he said various formulas had been described in the treaty for height of such projects which should be dilated upon. He said both the parties have different views on this project.

    On the other hand, the Pakistan commissioner underlined the need for making the ongoing talks result-oriented, saying both Pakistan and India should reach conclusive outcome over construction of the Nimmo Bazgo project. “We should decide that whether we can resolve our differences on the platform of the Indus Water Commission or we should continue talks at the bilateral level of two governments.” Or, he maintained, we should seek intervention of a third party for ultimate resolution of project.
     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    'India plans 52 projects to control Pakistan's water'

    BUREWALA – Chairman Indus Water Treaty Council Hafiz Zahoor-ul-Hassan Dahr has said that previous 131 rounds of talks between Pakistan and India under Indus Water Treaty bore no fruits and the latest dialogue would meet the same result.
    He also warned that Pakistan could become another Somalia and Ethiopia.
    Talking to ‘The Nation’ on Monday, Zahoor pointed to various projects launched by India to divert the water flow of three rivers entering Pakistan from Occupied Kashmir and said these projects were aimed at controlling the water of Chenab, Jhelum and Indus rivers, which were illegal and a clear violation of Indus Water Treaty. He said India was constructing 52 illegal dams, including five large ones, of which as many as 32 small dams had already been completed while 12 others would be finalised in 2014.
    Zahoor said New Delhi was also constructing Kargil Dam, the second largest in the world, on Indus, adding that that India was getting support from a consortium of nine non-Muslim countries, four multi-national companies, an international donor agency and three intelligence agencies to accomplish 17 mega water projects for controlling Pakistan’s water. He said India had seized 70 per cent water of Chenab and Jhelum rivers as a result of which over 0.9 million acres of land, being irrigated through Marala Headworks, was now presenting the view of Thar and Cholistan deserts.
    Dahr said the Baglihar Dam was causing an annual loss of Rs140 billion to Pakistan and feared that India would soon stop entire water flow of Chenab and Jhelum rivers, turning 18 districts of Punjab and six districts of Sindh into a desert. He also accused Israel and the US for backing India, which resulted in bulldozing the Indus Water Treaty and lamented the fact that the international community was silent over the issue.
    He urged the government to take the issue seriously to Indian water aggression. “If the rulers fail to adopt immediate measures, India will turn us into Somalia and Ethiopia,” he feared.
    According to him, the anti-Pakistan forces have united and evolved a plan to turn the country into a desert and the irrigation system is being given to a Swedish company on contract to forward the vested interests of India. He said India was spending billions of dollars on this project with the financial support of Israel. He said it was very much clear that the Indian and Israeli lobbies were working on long-term projects to harm Pakistan.
     
  7. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    'India plans 52 projects to control Pakistan's water'

    The Nation, Pakistan
    Published: March 30, 2010



    BUREWALA – Chairman Indus Water Treaty Council Hafiz Zahoor-ul-Hassan Dahr has said that previous 131 rounds of talks between Pakistan and India under Indus Water Treaty bore no fruits and the latest dialogue would meet the same result.
    He also warned that Pakistan could become another Somalia and Ethiopia.

    Talking to ‘The Nation’ on Monday, Zahoor pointed to various projects launched by India to divert the water flow of three rivers entering Pakistan from Occupied Kashmir and said these projects were aimed at controlling the water of Chenab, Jhelum and Indus rivers, which were illegal and a clear violation of Indus Water Treaty. He said India was constructing 52 illegal dams, including five large ones, of which as many as 32 small dams had already been completed while 12 others would be finalised in 2014.

    Zahoor said New Delhi was also constructing Kargil Dam, the second largest in the world, on Indus, adding that that India was getting support from a consortium of nine non-Muslim countries, four multi-national companies, an international donor agency and three intelligence agencies to accomplish 17 mega water projects for controlling Pakistan’s water. He said India had seized 70 per cent water of Chenab and Jhelum rivers as a result of which over 0.9 million acres of land, being irrigated through Marala Headworks, was now presenting the view of Thar and Cholistan deserts.

    Dahr said the Baglihar Dam was causing an annual loss of Rs140 billion to Pakistan and feared that India would soon stop entire water flow of Chenab and Jhelum rivers, turning 18 districts of Punjab and six districts of Sindh into a desert. He also accused Israel and the US for backing India, which resulted in bulldozing the Indus Water Treaty and lamented the fact that the international community was silent over the issue.

    He urged the government to take the issue seriously to Indian water aggression. “If the rulers fail to adopt immediate measures, India will turn us into Somalia and Ethiopia,” he feared.

    According to him, the anti-Pakistan forces have united and evolved a plan to turn the country into a desert and the irrigation system is being given to a Swedish company on contract to forward the vested interests of India. He said India was spending billions of dollars on this project with the financial support of Israel. He said it was very much clear that the Indian and Israeli lobbies were working on long-term projects to harm Pakistan.


    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-n...-plans-52-projects-to-control-Pakistans-water

    --------


    I'm curious about this report. The $200 billion Kargil dam on the Suru section of the Indus river is well within the western and northern boundaries of the Zanskar range. A flooded Indus river inundates the Srinagar-Kargil-Leh highway virtually every year. Just before Kargil, the Suru meets the Drass river and multiplies its volumes manifold. And the river itself is nourished by melting Himalayan glaciers, with the course of the Indus gradually shifting westward. So the Pakistanies have nothing to worry about this dam per say. Rather they ought to worry about such crude journalism talking about "non-Muslim" companies colluding to turn Pakisthan into another "Somalia and Ethiopia" (whatever the f^ck that means).
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    ^^ its Shireen Mazari edited The Nation newspaper they can always create America-india-israel or christian-hindu-jews or CIA-RAW-Mossad axis up against destroying pakistan.so you see this kind of yellow journalism from the trioka of Ahmed qureshi-Shireen Mazari-Zaid hamid.

    [​IMG]- [​IMG]- [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  9. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    India and Pakistan Feud Over Indus Waters


    A feud over water between India and Pakistan is threatening to derail peace talks between the two neighbors.

    The countries have harmoniously shared the waters of the Indus River for decades. A 50-year-old treaty regulating access to water from the river and its tributaries has been viewed as a bright spot for India and Pakistan, who have gone to war three times since 1947.

    Now, the Pakistanis complain that India is hogging water upstream, which is hurting Pakistani farmers downstream. Pakistani officials say they will soon begin formal arbitration over a proposed Indian dam. At a meeting that started Sunday, ...


    This year the Pakistan province of Punjab—the political heartland of the nation and a major producer of wheat, rice, maize and sugarcane—is facing unprecedented water shortages. At harvest time in Mandi Bahauddin, an area in the north of Punjab province of relatively prosperous farmland, the wheat still grows waist-high but farmers here complain that yields and incomes have dropped by a third in the past five years because of water shortages.In the past, canals used to supply water for irrigation year-round. They are now empty for about four months each year. That forces villagers to pump groundwater, which is fast turning brackish and causing diseases like hepatitis, said Tariq Mehmood Allowana, a local farmer and member of the provincial assembly.Nearby, more than half of the Chenab River bed has become a dusty plain where children play with the flow reduced to a trickle."India is engaged in an economic warfare against Pakistan. If the problem persists for another five years the whole area will become barren," said Mr. Allowana.Pakistan raised the water issue in Washington during an official visit last week. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has signaled that Washington isn't interested in mediating on water issues.A State Department spokesperson pointed to an interview Mrs. Clinton recently did with a Pakistani news channel in which she said it would be "sensible" to stick to the Indus Waters Treaty for resolving disputes.
    The Indian projects that Pakistan says are draining its water resources are primarily on Indus tributaries in Kashmir. Some experts say the water issue is a back-door way for Islamic militants to push their political agenda regarding Kashmir.
     
  10. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Water talks run dry

    Just like the water in the Mangla and Tarbela
    dams, the recent round of talks between the Indus Water Commissions of Pakistan and India have reached dead level. Aimed at removing the many doubts and reservations of both countries — more so by Pakistan — in respect to water distribution, shortage and the construction of controversial new projects — Nimoo Bazgoo and Chutak — the three-day conference produced no significant breakthrough in dispelling these apprehensions.

    An annual deliberation since 1960, when the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) was signed, the Indus Water Commissions met this year to address Pakistan’s innate fear that India’s end goal was to cordon off water to the country by constructing hydel generation projects on the rivers Chenab and Jehlum in occupied Kashmir. Pakistani reservations extended to the accusation that India had designed these projects along the lines of the maximum allowed figures as stated in the Indus Water Treaty. This allows the Indians to stay dangerously close to the limits demarcated by the IWT while retaining the potential to manipulate water flows. It is the design of these projects that is proving to be contentious for Pakistan. It is not surprising then that, parallel to these talks, New Delhi has issued a statement confronting Pakistan’s claims by saying that any shortage faced by its neighbour was due to the adverse weather conditions and lack of rainfall. Although the emotionally wrought Pakistani psyche may be tempted to discount this argument, it cannot be gainsaid that Nature may very well be to blame for the water crises looming over the nation. India’s climate prediction may very well be proved or disproved during further talks scheduled in May of this year in New Delhi, where the advent of summer will bring to light whether the problem has heightened due to ‘facilitated’ water shortage or been eased because of the melting snows.

    Pakistan is also miffed at the fact that India has, allegedly, violated some of the IWT’s fine print by failing to inform Pakistan about the construction of these hydro projects some six months in advance. With India’s denial of almost all the points presented by the Pakistani side, the provision of details regarding such projects falls short of being redeemed.

    However, Pakistan has made some headway in getting India to agree to the setting up of a telemetry system to ensure the measurement of actual river flows, so as to quell doubts about India’s alleged aim to hold back water.

    The outcome has come to the sorry stalemate that if, in the proposed May deliberations, Pakistan and India fail to arrive at any conclusions, the World Bank may have to act as third party arbitrator to sort out the conundrum. Seeing that this guarantor has been the mediator for the occurrence of these talks in the first place, in its presence some sort of reconciliatory possibilities are perceived.

    Although the IWT has been getting its undue share of flak from certain elements who accuse it of being a document legitimising the sell-out of Pakistan’s eastern rivers, it cannot be stressed enough how defiantly the IWT has stood the test of time. India and Pakistan have engaged in wars and hostilities over the years, but the treaty has consistently remained one of the few common meeting platforms for these traditional enemies.

    It must be borne in mind that, at the end of the day, the ecosystem plays by its own rules that transcend political boundaries. Rational solutions ought to be sought instead of playing the blame game. We are living in an era of unpredictable climate change where the only way to battle the elements is to increase cooperation and mutual acknowledgment of a common problem. *
     
  11. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    This article nails pakistani politician's/media's/army's/jehadis' lies about india stealing water point by point. must be read......


    Vicious anti-India propaganda in Pakistan on Water issues

    Pakistani politicians, officials and media are in the grip of a vicious anti-India propaganda on water issues. General Ashfaq Kayani has stated that India will remain the focus of Pakistani military doctrine so long as Pakistan has unresolved issues with India. He included water and Kashmir among the unresolved issues. In its recent strategic dialogue with the United States, Pakistan also sought to involve the US in the resolution of India-Pakistan water issue.

    [​IMG]

    The debate in Pakistan on India-Pakistan water issues has heated up. Water is being projected as an existential issue. India is being blamed for the water crisis in Pakistan. The key points of the debate are that India is violating the Indus Water Treaty, and that it is stealing Pakistan’s waters and turning Pakistan into a desert. An interesting nuance in the debate is that the water issue is even more important than the Kashmir issue. The talk of “water war” with India that could expand into a nuclear war is quite common. The following is a sampling of some recent comments made in the Pakistani media:

    Dawn quoted the former Foreign Minister Sardar Asif Ali as saying that “if India continues to deny Pakistan its due share, it can lead to a war between the two countries.” (18 January 2010)
    In a similar vein, PML(Q) Chief Chaudhary Sujat Hussain said that the water crisis between Pakistan and India could become more serious than terrorism and can result in a war (Dawn, 18 January 2010).
    Majid Nizami, Chief Editor of Nawi Waqt group of newspapers, said that “Pakistan can become a desert within the next 10 to 15 years. We should show upright posture or otherwise prepare for a nuclear war.” (Dawn, 18 January 2010).
    Politicians are ratcheting up the rhetoric. Members of the Punjab Assembly passed a resolution to deny India trade transit facility until the resolution of the Kashmir dispute and issues related to water distribution (Dawn, 27 January 2010).
    Member of the Punjab Assembly Warris Khalo said that India would “remain an enemy” until the Kashmir dispute and water issues are resolved. (Dawn 27 January 2010).
    Palwasha Khan, Member of National Assembly, accused India of perpetrating “water terrorism” against Pakistan and said that “experts foresee war over the water issue in the future and any war in this region would be no less than a nuclear war.” (Daily Times 17 February 2010).
    In a recent debate in Pakistan’s National Assembly, several members urged the government to impress on New Delhi “not to use” Pakistan’s share of water (Daily Times, 25 February 2010).
    Dr. Manzur Ejaz, a commentator, writing in Daily Times (3 March 2010) warned that “unless Pakistan was assured on the supply of water, it will never abandon the proxies that can keep India on its toes by destabilizing Kashmir.” He further added: “for Pakistan the territory of Kashmir may not be as important as the water issue.”

    [​IMG]

    At the official level too, Pakistan is raising the salience of the water issue in India-Pakistan relations. Salman Bashir, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary, was quoted by Dawn (26 February 2010) as saying that Pakistan had handed over some documents to the Indian side during the Foreign Secretary level talks with the hope that India would consider resolving the water issue within the Indus Basin Water Treaty. He added that India had been informed about its violation of the Indus Water Treaty, storage of water, India’s plans to build more dams, the Kishanganga Hydel project, pollution in the sources of water and glacier melt. Salman Bashir said, “Water is a very important issue for us and Pakistan wants constructive engagement with India.” (Dawn, 26 February 2010.)

    President Zardari has, in the past, raised the water issue several times. In an op-ed article in Washington Post (28 January 2009), he wrote that the water crisis in Pakistan was directly linked to relations with India and if this was not resolved, it could fuel extremism and terrorism. Zardari had also taken up the water issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in 2008 and complained that India’s diversion of water from the Chenab river was causing agricultural losses in several districts in Pakistan. Pakistan, according to media reports, has demanded compensation from India for the loss of agriculture due to diversion of waters.

    The notable aspect about the Pakistani debate over water is that it is highly jingoistic and uninformed. The Indus Water Treaty of 1960 governs the sharing of waters between India and Pakistan. The Treaty, signed with the help of World Bank mediation, apportions the water between India and Pakistan. A significant feature of the Treaty was that it apportioned 80 per cent of the water of the Indus River Basin to Pakistan and only 20 per cent to India. This fact is never highlighted in the Pakistani discourse on the Indus Water Treaty. Pakistanis also conveniently ignore the fact that the Treaty gives India the right to construct run-of-the-river dams on the Western rivers (Indus, Chenab and Jhelum) as well as construction of 3.6 Million Acre Feet (MAF) of storage facilities. India has not yet constructed any storage dam on these rivers despite the fact that the Treaty permits it. This point is also overlooked in the Pakistani media. Nor has India used the full potential of irrigation from the Western Rivers as permitted under the Treaty.

    The Pakistani debate is silent on the fact that even though the Treaty gives India the right to use the waters of the Eastern Rivers (Ravi, Beas, Sutlej), Pakistan is getting free 2 MAF of water through these rivers because India has not been able to fully utilize the waters of these rivers. The poor state of water structure on the Indian side has allowed this water to flow into Pakistan free.

    A frequent Pakistani complaint is that India is “stealing” Pakistan’s water. But no evidence is given to support the allegation. Since India has not built any storage facilities, where would it store the water? Whatever water India takes from the Western rivers is for non-consumptive use allowed under the Treaty. The Pakistani Indus Commission is regularly supplied with the data on this score.

    The Pakistani side has complained of the reduced flows of water in the Western rivers. The fact that there are seasonal variations in the flow of water due to differences in monsoon and glacial melt is normally ignored in the Pakistani discourse. Jamaat Ali Shah, the Head of Pakistan’s Indus River Commission, has stated in an interview that India and Pakistan should “look beyond” the Treaty to discuss such issues as the impact of climate change on water resources. Unfortunately, the Treaty, which is a technical document, does not envisage discussion on climate change or environmental issues as these were not issues in 1960.

    Undoubtedly, climate change will emerge as a major factor affecting the health of glaciers and rivers in South Asia. India and Pakistan need to discuss these issues seriously. Instead, Pakistani politicians, media and military officers are fanning baseless anti-India rhetoric.

    The Pakistani media is also dishing out ill-informed opinions on the Neutral Expert’s determination on the Baglihar dam. It may be recalled that India constructed the Baglihar dam on river Chenab. The dam became operational in 2008. However, the commissioning of the dam was delayed by Pakistan as it took the issue of the dam’s design to the Neutral Expert provided for in the Indus Water Treaty. The Neutral Expert upheld the design parameters of the Baglihar dam, particularly those relating to the location of “spillways”, “pondage” and height. The Neutral Expert stated clearly that sediment control, which dictated the design parameters, was crucial to dam construction. He also upheld India’s view that the first objective of “pondage”, to which Pakistan had objected, was to regulate the flow of the river to meet consumer demand.

    Pakistan considers the waters of the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum as “its waters”. Pakistani jihadist groups routinely link jihad with struggle over water in Kashmir. Hafeez Saeed, chief of the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Tayebba, has threatened jihad against India over water issues. The Pakistani media is silent on the fact that the people of Jammu and Kashmir regard the Indus Water Treaty as unfair since it places restrictions on the use of these waters. Thus, on one hand Pakistanis support the “freedom struggle” in Kashmir, while on the other they would deprive Kashmiris of the use of water in the Western rivers.

    The Kishanganga hydroelectric project is the next point of contention likely to sour India-Pakistan relations. The Kishanganga river is a tributary of the Jhelum. It originates in Jammu & Kashmir, enters Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) after Gurej, flows along the Line of Control (LoC) as the Neelum river and joins the Jhelum at Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. India is planning to build a hydroelectric project on this river. It will be a run-of-the river project which will require diverting the water of the Kishanganga river through an underground tunnel. Pakistan has objected to the Kishanganga hydroelectric project. It is contemplating taking the issue to the Court of Arbitration and the Neutral Expert in accordance with the terms of the Indus Water Treaty. India is confident that it has a valid case on the Kishanganga project.

    There appears to be a deliberate attempt in Pakistan to use the water issue to inflame public opinion against India. This appears to be a part of the larger design of the Pakistani military to drive home to Western interlocutors the continued salience of India in Pakistan’s security calculus. Though Pakistan is facing the prospect of destabilization due to radicalization of its society, the Pakistan Army continues to project India as the number one threat. The water issue is being used to divert attention from 26/11 and the larger issue of terrorism, which India regards as the main issue between India and Pakistan.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2010
  12. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    http://www.timesnow.tv/Pakistani-foreign-minister-lets-water-secret-out/articleshow/4342060.cms

    Pakistani foreign minister lets 'water' secret out?


    In what could come as a filip for India in its water disputes with Pakistan, the Pakistani Foreign Minisiter Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said in an interview to a Pakistani channel, that his country's water woes are because of their own wastage and not because of India.

    Qureshi has confessed that Pakistan's water woes are primarily due to wastage on its own soil and not because India is hogging water upstream.

    "The total average canal supplies of Pakistan are 104 million acres/ft. And the water available at the farm gate is about 70 million acre/ft. Where does the 34 million acre/ft go? It's not being stolen in India, it's been wasted in Pakistan," Qureshi said in the interview.

    The confession comes at a time when Pakistan has expressed reservations about India building the a hydroelectric power project on the Kishenganga River which is a tributary of the Indus.

    Islamist groups in Pakistan have taken up the water issue as a new focus. Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed had recently warned that there could be war over water-sharing between Pakistan and India.

    India and Pakistan have had a slew of disagreements regarding the sharing of water from rivers common to both countries.

    In 1984 India proposed to build the Tulbul Navigation Project on River Jhelum. India claimed that the project would make Jhelum navigable during the summer. But Pakistan has opposed construction saying that India can control the flow of water forcing India to stop work. Then in 1992 Pakistan had also raised objections to the now complete Baglihar dam that India has built over River Chenab. Pakistan has claimed that the Baglihar project is a violation of the Indus Water Treaty of 1960 which guides water sharing between India and Pakistan.

    Pakistan's latest complaint is against the hydroelectric power project that India is building on River Kishanganga project. Pakistan has claimed that any effort to influence the water flow of the Indus upstream will affect its plans of building a power project downstream.
     
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  13. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-n...2010/India-will-not-use-Pak-water-says-Nathan


    LAHORE - India Wednesday assured Pakistan that New Delhi would not use a single drop of water from Islamabad’s share of waters.
    Before leaving for India, the Indian Indus Water Commissioner G Auranga Nathan told reporters here at Allama Iqbal International Airport that India would not “use a single drop from Pakistan’s share of water.”
    He also said that Nimo Bazgo and Chutak hydropower projects of India on Indus River would not stop water flow. He said Indian projects would just recycle the water for energy and throw it back into the river. “In this way India will not steal share of Pakistan’s water,” he reiterated.
    The Indus Water Commissioner of India further said that the both sides discussed several issues during the three-day parleys here in Lahore and consensus was found on some issues while a number of others were left. “We will discuss the remaining issues in next round of talks,” he added.
    Meanwhile, Jamaat Shah Pakistan's Indus Water Commissioner saw off the 9-member Indian team at the airport.
     
  14. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    This confession is in the series of confessions pakistan made in past coming off from rhetoric as in case of 26/11 attackers confession that kasab is not pakistani but then accepting it later when evidences were dumped on them .and the confession in case of kargil that attackers were mujahideen not pak army..The thing is pakistanis are incessant liars as Christine fair says.
     
  15. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    A water war out of thin air


    Pakistan’s complaint over water-sharing is a device used to mobilize public opinion against India. It deserves a blunt response

    It is often difficult to make sense of words uttered in anger. And Pakistan is an angry country. It has now whipped up another dispute with India out of thin air. It has alleged that India is “stealing” its river waters. It has alleged that New Delhi is violating the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 that governs the use of river waters by the two countries.
    Pakistan’s allegations, at the moment, centre on the Nimmo-Bazgo and Chutak hydroelectric power projects over the Indus river in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). The allegation is that by going ahead with these projects, India is trying to divert river waters that rightly belong to Pakistan.

    A meeting earlier this week between the Indus water commissioners of the two countries to discuss the “dispute” in Lahore remained inconclusive. It had to, for keeping matters inconclusive is Pakistan’s aim.
    The facts are simple. By the 1960 treaty, Pakistan is allowed unfettered use of Indus, Chenab and Jhelum rivers. India cannot store any water from these rivers or stop them from flowing to Pakistan. India can construct hydroelectric power projects over these rivers, but has to allow a free flow of water. It can go in for “pondage”, i.e., water being held behind a dam for a short time (say, as it flows into turbines to generate electricity) but even this is limited. This is very different from storing this water, say, for major irrigation projects. In addition, India must share designs of these projects, water flow data and a host of other information with Islamabad.
    Since 1960, India has executed the terms of the treaty in letter and spirit. But now, out of nowhere, the civilian government in Islamabad has created a new issue. Its effort is to ensure that these projects never take off. Pakistan has a good track record of derailing such projects in the past. The Wullar Barrage project (in J&K) has been stalled for two decades now. The Baglihar project (again in J&K) could proceed only because the government of India showed the will to move ahead.
    Islamabad’s complaint is a red herring, a device used to mobilize public opinion against India to deflect attention from serious inequities in water sharing between different provinces of Pakistan. It’s an old trick to keep India on the defensive. There is no reason to be defensive. A blunt response will serve our interests well.
    Are Pakistan’s water disputes with India artificial? Tell us at [email protected]
     
  16. RPK

    RPK Indyakudimahan Senior Member

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  17. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    India not responsible for water shortage: envoy



    Sharat Sabharwal urges Indus Commission to play ‘more effective’ role; says resolution of outstanding disputes requires terror-free environment; Moinuddin Haider says India has to show greater generosity

    Sunday, April 04, 2010
    By Imtiaz Ali

    Karachi

    The Permanent Indus Commission (PIC), which was established under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) of 1960, should be used more effectively to address the water problems between India and Pakistan, Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Sharat Sabharwal, said on Saturday. Around 104 meetings have been called thus far under the PIC.

    Sabharwal was speaking at the function organised by Karachi Council on Foreign Relations (KCFR) and the Pakistan-India Citizens Friendship Forum (PICFF). He said that the Commission could function as a ‘consultative dispute avoidance body’ and solicit opinions regarding technology from national and international experts. The Commission could then work towards the implementation of these suggestions.

    The PIC, Sabharwal said, was the best forum to resolve all such matters, while Article IX of the IWT provided a mechanism for settlement of the differences and disputes which are beyond the purview of the PIC.

    The IWT provides an ‘elaborate framework’ for the distribution of water and resolution of disputess, he said. The Indian envoy, however, regretted that some quarters in Pakistan had made attempts to ‘inflame public passions’ over the water issue. ‘Angry statements’ targeting India can neither increase the quantity of available water, nor can such statements become a substitute for the mechanism in the IWT to resolve differences regarding its implementation, he maintained.

    Sabharwal said that New Delhi had no ‘storage and diversion canals network’ to withhold Pakistan’s share of water, and all claims to the contrary were baseless allegations.

    The IWT itself was the result of eight years of negotiations over water issues between India and Pakistan, with the help of the World Bank. The treaty laid down the framework to resolve disputes through bilateral means, neutral experts or a court of arbitration, he said, adding that the IWT also permitted “limited use” of water of Western Rivers by India for “domestic use, agriculture use, generation of hydroelectric power etc,” subject to conditions to protect the interests of Pakistan.

    India had this far not utilised its entitlement to the waters of the Western Rivers, he said, adding that India had undertaken 33 hydroelectric projects, out of which 20 had a capacity of 10 megawatt (MW) or less. “Of late, it has been alleged in Pakistan that India was responsible for its water shortage. These claims have nothing to do with reality,” the envoy said. “New Delhi had provided Pakistan its share of water even during the wars of 1965 and 1971, and during other periods of tense relations.”

    He pointed out that reduced flow of water into Pakistan from time to time was not the result of any violation of the IWT by India or any action on its part to divert such flows or to use more than assigned share of water from the Western Rivers. Instead, water flows in the rivers depended on melting of snow and quantum of rainfall. He said that India had also suffered serious droughts in 2009 and rainfall during the monsoon season was 20 per cent less than normal. Even winter rains have fallen far short of normal.

    Water flows in the three Western Rivers have followed a curve moving up and down, depending upon climate factors from year to year, Sabharwal said, adding had there been any truth to the allegations of India building infrastructure to progressively deprive Pakistan of its share of water, the water flows would have showed a progressive decline.

    Under the IWT, India had provided information of all projects to Pakistan, which sometimes resulted in ‘endless delays and cost over-run,’ he said. “In the case of the Baglihar project on Chenab, for instance, neutral experts, at the request of Pakistan in 2005, upheld India’s design approach and suggested only minor changes in the scope of construction,” he said.

    He also urged Pakistan to adopt better water management and avoid wastage of water in time of increasing scarcity.

    Referring to the Pakistan Water Sector Strategy Report of 2002 and the World Bank’s report of 2005, the Indian envoy said that much of the water infrastructure in Pakistan was in a state of disrepair and water loss between canal heads and farms was around 30 per cent.

    “We need to resolve all outstanding issues in an environment free from terrorism,” he said, adding that no treaty could work without trust; and the IWT had developed a degree of trust.

    Jang Group Managing Director Shahrukh Hasan then spoke about the significance of ‘Aman Ki Asha,’ which was launched by the Times of India and the Jang Group, in their quest for peace. He said that a large number of Indian journalists will arrive in Pakistan soon to talk about the role of the media in defusing tensions. A code of conduct for the media will likely be chalked out during a two-day conference; issues regarding media coverage beyond conflict will also be discussed.

    Lt. Gen. (retd) Moinuddin Haider of the KCFR said that composite dialogue should bring some progress on issues and it should not be restricted to talks only. He said that India has to show greater generosity of spirit in order to settle problems. The Pakistani leadership had realised that extremism and terrorism would destroy the country and had made Herculean efforts to control it, he said, adding that Pakistan needed sympathetic views from India on this issue. In a light mood, he wondered how much water was left for Pakistan after India built 33 hydroelctric projects.

    Liaquat Merchant of the PICFF said that confidence-building measures were a means to settle disputes and both countries had no option but to become friends.
     
  18. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Discourse on India-Pakistan water sharing hots up

    Anita Joshua
    ISLAMABAD: As public discourse on the water component of India-Pakistan relations takes on a shrill note with charges like “stealing water” and “water wars” being levelled against India, High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal on Saturday said India had never hindered water flows into Pakistan even during the 1965 and 1971 wars.

    Describing the allegations as “preposterous,” Mr. Sabharwal used the platform provided by the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations and Pakistan-India Citizens Forum to counter the “apprehensions, misconceptions, misinformation and allegations pertaining to India that characterise the debate on water scarcity in Pakistan.”

    Of the view that the Indus Waters Treaty had served the two countries well, the High Commissioner said those who questioned its fairness should note that it assigned 80 per cent share of water of the Indus system of rivers to Pakistan.

    Pointing out that the Treaty permitted the limited use of water from the Western rivers of the Indus system by India, he added that this entitlement had not been fully used till date.

    As against the storage entitlement of 3.6 MAF, India has built no storage so far. Of the 1.34 million acres permitted for irrigation, only 0.792 million acres is being irrigated, he said. “We have exploited only a fraction of the hydroelectric potential available to us on these rivers.”

    Out of a total potential of 18,653 MW, projects worth 2,324 MW have been commissioned and those for 659 MW are under construction. “In any case, even after India starts using its full entitlement of water from the Western Rivers under the Treaty, it will amount to no more than 3 per cent of the mean flow in these rivers.”

    Referring to the charge that India was acquiring the capacity to withhold Pakistan's share of water, Mr. Sabharwal said those who made these allegations completely ignored the fact that this would require a storage and diversion canals network on a large scale. “Such a network simply does not exist and figures nowhere in our plans.”

    As for the reduced flows into Pakistan, he said it was dictated by the melting of snow and quantum of rainfall, not violation of the Treaty by India. Stating that it was natural for questions to arise on the implementation of any treaty, he said India believed that the Permanent Indus Commission was the best forum to resolve all such matters.
     
  19. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The writer does not give enough credit to IWT which has worked despite enmity between treaty states. It says Pakistan is fearful that India would /might use its leverage if all dams are constructed. It doubts intention of India to inflict major damage on Pakistan through mechanism of IWT without showing any proof, except saying that Baghlihar was filled up when PaKistan needed water. It also blames Indian media for not objectively reporting official indian position and existential vulnerabilities of PaKistan . It overlooks what Pakistan is saying and doing vis-a-vis many Indian concerns. There is very little doubt in India that Pakistan actively encourages terrorist acts, even plans directs and executes which would not be possible if Pakistan state is not involved.

    It then asks India to be magnanimous and reinterpret treaty in such a way that forgoes leverages which is available to it.
    Unfortunately , the article does not say that official forum including IWT comm and Foreign Minister have duly acknowledged that India is not in violation of IWT. The problem faced by PK in irrigating its agri field is of its own making. The article expects that official Indian position should be that we deliberately violate IWT due to enmity with PK whereas media reports that India is in full compliance with IWT.

    Upshot of this is
    1. Be courageous for the existence of Pakistan
    2. Give leadership to become truly great power and good neighbour
    3.Invite Pakistan for IWT
    4. Delink IWT from other issues.

    Essential article asks India to take initiative to open pandora's box without any commensurate benefit except removing legal uncertainty ( pakistan not challenging any and all IWT projects of India, however he is not in a position to guarantee that).

    In my view article fails to make any case for India to seek any of the four positions when it comes to Pakistan, especially when it is not yet proved that IWT has broken down.

    Existential problems of pakistan and its bad neighbourly behaviour is of its own making and they should make amends and prove their credentials to the writer. WE don't need such lecturing.




    War or peace on the Indus?



    Saturday, April 03, 2010
    John Briscoe

    Anyone foolish enough to write on war or peace in the Indus needs to first banish a set of immediate suspicions. I am neither Indian nor Pakistani. I am a South African who has worked on water issues in the subcontinent for 35 years and who has lived in Bangladesh (in the 1970s) and Delhi (in the 2000s). In 2006 I published, with fine Indian colleagues, an Oxford University Press book titled India's Water Economy: Facing a Turbulent Future and, with fine Pakistani colleagues, one titled Pakistan's Water Economy: Running Dry.

    I was the Senior Water Advisor for the World Bank who dealt with the appointment of the Neutral Expert on the Baglihar case. My last assignment at the World Bank (relevant, as described later) was as Country Director for Brazil. I am now a mere university professor, and speak in the name of no one but myself.

    I have deep affection for the people of both India and Pakistan, and am dismayed by what I see as a looming train wreck on the Indus, with disastrous consequences for both countries. I will outline why there is no objective conflict of interests between the countries over the waters of the Indus Basin, make some observations of the need for a change in public discourse, and suggest how the drivers of the train can put on the brakes before it is too late.

    Is there an inherent conflict between India and Pakistan?

    The simple answer is no. The Indus Waters Treaty allocates the water of the three western rivers to Pakistan, but allows India to tap the considerable hydropower potential of the Chenab and Jhelum before the rivers enter Pakistan.

    The qualification is that this use of hydropower is not to affect either the quantity of water reaching Pakistan or to interfere with the natural timing of those flows. Since hydropower does not consume water, the only issue is timing. And timing is a very big issue, because agriculture in the Pakistani plains depends not only on how much water comes, but that it comes in critical periods during the planting season. The reality is that India could tap virtually all of the available power without negatively affecting the timing of flows to which Pakistan is entitled.

    Is the Indus Treaty a stable basis for cooperation?

    If Pakistan and India had normal, trustful relations, there would be a mutually-verified monitoring process which would assure that there is no change in the flows going into Pakistan. (In an even more ideal world, India could increase low-flows during the critical planting season, with significant benefit to Pakistani farmers and with very small impacts on power generation in India.) Because the relationship was not normal when the treaty was negotiated, Pakistan would agree only if limitations on India's capacity to manipulate the timing of flows was hardwired into the treaty. This was done by limiting the amount of "live storage" (the storage that matters for changing the timing of flows) in each and every hydropower dam that India would construct on the two rivers.

    While this made sense given knowledge in 1960, over time it became clear that this restriction gave rise to a major problem. The physical restrictions meant that gates for flushing silt out of the dams could not be built, thus ensuring that any dam in India would rapidly fill with the silt pouring off the young Himalayas.

    This was a critical issue at stake in the Baglihar case. Pakistan (reasonably) said that the gates being installed were in violation of the specifications of the treaty. India (equally reasonably) argued that it would be wrong to build a dam knowing it would soon fill with silt. The finding of the Neutral Expert was essentially a reinterpretation of the Treaty, saying that the physical limitations no longer made sense. While the finding was reasonable in the case of Baglihar, it left Pakistan without the mechanism – limited live storage – which was its only (albeit weak) protection against upstream manipulation of flows in India. This vulnerability was driven home when India chose to fill Baglihar exactly at the time when it would impose maximum harm on farmers in downstream Pakistan.

    If Baglihar was the only dam being built by India on the Chenab and Jhelum, this would be a limited problem. But following Baglihar is a veritable caravan of Indian projects – Kishanganga, Sawalkot, Pakuldul, Bursar, Dal Huste, Gyspa… The cumulative live storage will be large, giving India an unquestioned capacity to have major impact on the timing of flows into Pakistan. (Using Baglihar as a reference, simple back-of-the-envelope calculations, suggest that once it has constructed all of the planned hydropower plants on the Chenab, India will have an ability to effect major damage on Pakistan. First, there is the one-time effect of filling the new dams. If done during the wet season this would have little effect on Pakistan. But if done during the critical low-flow period, there would be a large one-time effect (as was the case when India filled Baglihar). Second, there is the permanent threat which would be a consequence of substantial cumulative live storage which could store about one month's worth of low-season flow on the Chenab. If, God forbid, India so chose, it could use this cumulative live storage to impose major reductions on water availability in Pakistan during the critical planting season.

    Views on "the water problem" from both sides of the border and the role of the press

    Living in Delhi and working in both India and Pakistan, I was struck by a paradox. One country was a vigorous democracy, the other a military regime. But whereas an important part of the Pakistani press regularly reported India's views on the water issue in an objective way, the Indian press never did the same. I never saw a report which gave Indian readers a factual description of the enormous vulnerability of Pakistan, of the way in which India had socked it to Pakistan when filling Baglihar. How could this be, I asked? Because, a journalist colleague in Delhi told me, "when it comes to Kashmir – and the Indus Treaty is considered an integral part of Kashmir -- the ministry of external affairs instructs newspapers on what they can and cannot say, and often tells them explicitly what it is they are to say."

    This apparently remains the case. In the context of the recent talks between India and Pakistan I read, in Boston, the electronic reports on the disagreement about "the water issue" in The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu, The Indian Express and The Economic Times. (Respectively, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...-diversionary-tactic-/articleshow/5609099.cms, http://beta.thehindu.com/news/national/ article112388.ece, http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-...-The-next-testing-ground/Article1-512190.aspx, http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Pak-heats-up-water-sharing/583733, http://economictimes.indiatimes.com...route-to-attack-India/articleshow/5665516.cms.)

    Taken together, these reports make astounding reading. Not only was the message the same in each case ("no real issue, just Pakistani shenanigans"), but the arguments were the same, the numbers were the same and the phrases were the same. And in all cases the source was "analysts" and "experts" -- in not one case was the reader informed that this was reporting an official position of the Government of India.

    Equally depressing is my repeated experience – most recently at a major international meeting of strategic security institutions in Delhi – that even the most liberal and enlightened of Indian analysts (many of whom are friends who I greatly respect) seem constitutionally incapable of seeing the great vulnerability and legitimate concern of Pakistan (which is obvious and objective to an outsider).

    A way forward

    This is a very uneven playing field. The regional hegemon is the upper riparian and has all the cards in its hands. This asymmetry means that it is India that is driving the train, and that change must start in India. In my view, four things need to be done.

    First, there must be some courageous and open-minded Indians – in government or out – who will stand up and explain to the public why this is not just an issue for Pakistan, but why it is an existential issue for Pakistan.

    Second, there must be leadership from the Government of India. Here I am struck by the stark difference between the behaviour of India and that of its fellow BRIC – Brazil, the regional hegemon in Latin America.

    Brazil and Paraguay have a binding agreement on their rights and responsibilities on the massive Itaipu Binacional Hydropower Project. The proceeds, which are of enormous importance to small Paraguay, played a politicised, polemical anti-Brazilian part in the recent presidential election in Paraguay. Similarly, Brazil's and Bolivia's binding agreement on gas also became part of an anti-Brazil presidential campaign theme.

    The public and press in Brazil bayed for blood and insisted that Bolivia and Paraguay be made to pay. So what did President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva do? "Look," he said to his irate countrymen, "these are poor countries, and these are huge issues for them. They are our brothers. Yes, we are in our legal rights to be harsh with them, but we are going to show understanding and generosity, and so I am unilaterally doubling (in the case of Paraguay) and tripling (in the case of Bolivia) the payments we make to them. Brazil is a big country and a relatively rich one, so this will do a lot for them and won't harm us much." India could, and should, in my view, similarly make the effort to see it from its neighbour's point of view, and should show the generosity of spirit which is an integral part of being a truly great power and good neighbour.

    Third, this should translate into an invitation to Pakistan to explore ways in which the principles of the Indus Waters Treaty could be respected, while providing a win for Pakistan (assurance on their flows) and a win for India (reducing the chronic legal uncertainty which vexes every Indian project on the Chenab or Jhelum). With good will there are multiple ways in which the treaty could be maintained but reinterpreted so that both countries could win.

    Fourth, discussions on the Indus waters should be de-linked from both historic grievances and from the other Kashmir-related issues. Again, it is a sign of statesmanship, not weakness, to acknowledge the past and then move beyond it. This is personal for me, as someone of Irish origin. Conor Cruise O'Brien once remarked, "Santayana said that those who did not learn their history would be condemned to repeat it; in the case of Ireland we have learned our history so well that we are condemned to repeat it, again and again."

    And finally, as a South African I am acutely aware that Nelson Mandela, after 27 years in prison, chose not to settle scores but to look forward and construct a better future, for all the people of his country and mine. Who will be the Indian Mandela who will do this – for the benefit of Pakistanis and Indians – on the Indus?
     
  20. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    ‘Pakistan must improve storage to avoid water woes'

    Sandeep Dikshit
    ‘Should use available water during lean season by constructing storage projects, canals'
    India has not used any of the western rivers' waters to avoid strain on Pakistan's resources

    [Available water] is not being stolen by India; it is being wasted in Pakistan: Qureshi

    NEW DELHI: India feels Pakistan should improve its storage capacity to ensure adequate water flow during the lean season instead of raising the pitch over sharing of river waters.

    India had offered joint storage under adequate supervision, which would address the immediate water needs of Pakistan and cater to its requirements if the need arises and as per the Indus Water Treaty (IWT).

    In fact, it is to avoid any strain on Pakistan's water resources that India has so far refrained from using any of the water of the western rivers for storage, which is allowed under the IWT. Of the water permitted to be used for irrigation, India has been using only two-thirds, officials associated with sorting out water issues between the two countries point out.

    While both countries agree on the usefulness of the IWT, India's view that Pakistan should immediately undertake better utilisation of the available water during the lean season by constructing storage projects and canals is backed by a World Bank report, as well as a recent statement by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

    In an interview to a Pakistani channel on April 2, Mr. Qureshi said: “It is not being stolen by India. It's been wasted in Pakistan. The total average canal supplies of Pakistan are 104 million acres per feet. And the water available at the farm gate is about 70 million acre per feet. Where does the 34 million acre per feet go? It is not being stolen in India; it is being wasted in Pakistan.”

    Officials, who provided the transcript, say they have the video clip to prove their claim.

    The World Bank report that they cite, titled ‘Pakistan's Water Economy Running Dry,' states: “When the river flow is variable, then storage is required so that the supply of water can more closely match water demands. Relative to other arid countries, Pakistan has very little storage capacity.”

    Instead, Pakistan is making the “mistaken assertion” — as made out in the non-paper submitted by it during the meeting between the Foreign Secretaries on February 25 this year — that Islamabad has full control over the waters of the three western rivers.

    The notion that Pakistan has a veto over the water flow in the three western rivers (the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum) goes against the spirit of the articles and annexure of the IWT. And it is because of this notion that Pakistan is raising objections over the projects implemented by India “in accordance with the Treaty” on the western rivers.

    To prove their point, they refer to a clause which states that Pakistan has unrestricted use of only those waters of the western rivers, which India is under obligation to let flow after its own use under the provisions of the Treaty.

    Care was being taken to ensure that all hydroelectric projects on the western rivers were run-of-the-river (which do not consume any water) and did not affect Pakistan's interests in any manner, the officials said.
     

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