Pakistan's campaign on water issue against India, Real or a Charade?

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New Delhi, Mar 10 (ANI): The Kashmir issue which has been the main rallying point to galvanize support across the social, political and military spectrum of Pakistan for decades seems to be loosing its magic to stoke anti -India sentiments.

Civil society of Pakistan seems to have understood the repercussions state policy of espousing terrorism , following the death of over 5000 Pakistanis in resultant violence.

Pakistan and its proxies have realized that they have exhausted the potential of Kashmir issue, and have replacied the 'K' word with 'water'.

Recently Lashkar-e -Toiba chief Hafeez Saeed accused India of waging 'water wars' on Pakistan, In fact, Saeed has decided to launch a nationwide movement against India on the issue.

He alleged that India has been constructing dams illegally and diverting waters from Pakistani rivers.

Similar sentiments were 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 concurrently raising similar bogey and taking common stand on water issue demonstrates and substantiates that there is a calibrated strategy. It shows the 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, to capture popular imagination and generate 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 for utilizing them for drinking water, navigation, limited agricultural use and for generation of hydro-electric power by constructing run of the river power projects. But keeping Pakistani sensitivities in mind India has so far not exploited its legitimate rights under the Indus Water Treaty.

The Indus Waters Treaty clearly says that India is allowed maximum storage on the western rivers of 3.6 MAF storage. But Pakistani propaganda alleges that India is guzzling all the water.

No storage capacity has been created by India 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 the Indus Basin. Eastern rivers Sutlej, Beas and Ravi were given to India and western rivers Chenab, Jhelum and Indus were allocated to Pakistan.

The Western rivers 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 and rainfall which have an impact on quantum of the flow of water in the rivers.

However the 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 the rivers flow into Punjab, which does not provide adequate amount of water to the provinces of Balochistan and Sindh. Pakistan finds it convenient to say that India is playing mischief.

According to Pakistan's own admission a great deal of wastage of water is taking place ; it is going unchecked into the sea i.e. 38 MAF is wasted. A 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 that the commissioners are expected to meet again in May.

Certain sections of Pakistan media are being used to carry out a campaign. Hafeez Saeed was quoted by a Pakistani national daily to allege that India has built 62 dams whereas only 33 hydro-electric projects have been undertaken and India has already provided the information to Pakistan. By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)

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