Water is becoming a major point of contention and a new way by Pakistan’s hyper-active and over-enthusiastic fundamentalists to hit on India. Pakistan’s contention is that India is building dams on the the Indus and related rivers to stop the water from going to Pakistan. A number of fanatics in Pakistan have even gone to the extent of using this imaginary grievance to threaten a Nuclear Attack on India. Among them are – Convener of the Pakistani chapter of the Kashmiri secessionist organizations’ alliance, Syed Yousaf Naseem, Pakistani editor Majeed Nizami, and even Nawaz Shareef alluded to this. Nizami said in Roznama Nawa-i-Waqt published from Pakistan (October 27, 2008) “If, in order to resolve our problems, we have to wage a nuclear war with India, we will.”
The origin of the rivers is in India or in Tibet:
- Indus River: originates in Chinese-controlled Tibet and flows through Jammu & Kashmir.
- Chenab: originates in India’s Himachal Pradesh state, travels through Jammu & Kashmir.
- Jhelum: originates in Jammu & Kashmir and flows into Pakistan, finally joining Chenab.
- Sutlej: originates in Chinese-controlled Tibet, flows through Himachal Pradesh and Punjab before joining the Chenab.
- Beas and the Ravi: originate in Himachal Pradesh state and flow into Pakistan, emptying into the Chenab
Indus Waters Treaty the water-sharing treaty was signed in Karachi on September 19, 1960 by the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the then President of Pakistan Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan. The World Bank (then the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) is a signatory as a third party.
In 2005, Pakistan approached World Bank to intervene, which it declined but said that it could appoint a neutral observer. In 2007, Professor Raymond Lafitte of Switzerland came back to reject most of the Pakistan points. India did make changes like reducing the dam’s height by 1.5m!! Pakistanis were obviously not satisfied with that conclusion.
The fanatics in Pakistan are meanwhile not deterred. They are building their own imaginary dams that they say India will build on the ground. According to them, India has plans for 10 dams while 52 are already ongoing. Jamaat-e-Islamis Syed Salahuddin is not short on rhetoric at anytime anyways and he comes up with even more on this:
“An attempt is being made to change the character of the population of Kashmir by inhabiting it with Hindus depriving Pakistan of water [editorial note: coming from Jehadis who killed and forced Pandits out of their parental homeland is utter hypocrisy]. Until now, India has not accepted the existence of Pakistan. The 160 million people of Pakistan support the Kashmiri mujahideen , making this fight the essence of Pakistan’s national interest. The Israeli and Brahman imperialism can only be defeated by jihad and the use of force. Jihad will continue to liberate every corner of Kashmir from the Indian occupation.”
So, the moral of the story is.. if you want any Pakistani to listen to you.. throw in some Hindus and Jews and create stories that has been told rhetorically since the time of Mohammad and voila.. you got the ideal conspiracy theory that will boil the blood of all Pakistanis – intelligent or otherwise!
Of course, officially Pakistan’s Water and Power Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf and Jamaat Ali Shah, Pakistan’s Indus Water Commissioner – have come out and made statements which decry all that the fanatics are saying.
In late June 2009, Pakistani Water and Power Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf observed that India does have a right to build dams, but that it cannot stop the flow of water into Pakistan in order to fill the dams.(Roznama Jasarat, Pakistan, June 23, 2009) In fact, Jamaat Ali Shah, Pakistan’s Indus Water Commissioner, gave a rare candid interview in April 2008, stating that the Indian water projects currently undertaken do not contravene the provisions of the 1960 Indus Water Treaty. Noting that India can construct dams within the technical specifications outlined in the treaty, Shah acknowledged: “In compliance with the Indus Water Treaty, India has so far not constructed any storage dam on the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum rivers. The hydroelectric projects India is developing are on the run-of-the-river waters of these rivers, projects which India is permitted to pursue according to the treaty.”(Roznama Nawa-i-Waqt, Pakistan, April 6, 2008.)
So there you go! Maybe the fanatics in Pakistan may want to check with their Government officials after all.