AN exclusive report appearing in this newspaper has highlighted the Indian water aggression against Pakistan and criminal apathy and negligence on the part of the relevant authorities in the country in responding to the grave challenge. The report reveals that apart from its plans to construct dozens of water reservoirs in Occupied Kashmir, India is also contemplating legislative measures to strengthen its hold on water resources in violation of the Indus Basin Treaty.
As per implications of the proposed legislation, rights of Pakistan over the Western rivers of the Indus basin allocated to Pakistan would be restricted. India, since long, is steadily and systematically implementing a plan that would give it much leverage over the rivers flowing into Pakistan. There are genuine apprehensions that India could use it as a weapon to destroy agriculture and economy of Pakistan. These fears are not imaginary as already India has designed several dams in clear violations of the World Bank brokered Indus Basin Treaty and was not willing to modify their designs as per satisfaction of Pakistan. This has forced Pakistan to knock the door of the arbitrator as per provisions of the Treaty. It is all the more unfortunate that there is no due realization of the Indian designs and the need to safeguard water interests of the country zealously. It was height of irony that in the past the man entrusted with the responsibility to protect rights of the country in this regard played a dirty role allegedly for the sake of a few bucks and is now enjoying a cozy life abroad. All this happened in the presence of multi-layer of security agencies responsible for watching and overseeing interests of Pakistan. Pakistan being an overwhelming agrarian country, there is dire need to ensure availability of irrigation water on a sustainable basis. Regrettably, our Parliamentarians bring frivolous personal matters for discussion on the floor of the two Houses and have no time and interest to raise the real issues of the country on which rests the future of our coming generations. We would also urge the Government to form a permanent think tank to study deeply the water issues and come out with firm plans for implementation.