India’s water terrorism against Pakistan

INDIA has offered resumption of secretary level talks to Pakistan as a “calculated initiative”. However, far from this signalling renewed composite dialogue, India wants to talk only on terrorism.

Pakistan should talk on terrorism with India, but put forth its own agenda on this subject, with water terrorism as the first item. After all, how else does one describe Indian efforts to deprive Pakistan of its water life line? Not only is it going ahead with Baglihar, it is also actually stealing water through pumps so that Pakistan becomes a desert, and totally dependent on Indian agricultural products. The worst act of state theft and terrorism by India is its stealing of the Chenab waters. It is now in the process of constructing the 646 ft high Swalkot Dam on the river – a dam far larger than Mangla and Tarbela. This will ensure that Pakistan gets not a drop of the Chenab water which is Pakistan’s right under the Indus Waters Treaty.

It is shameful that the international community has allowed India to renege on its international treaty commitments with impunity. But the most despicable aspect is that the Pakistan government has maintained a strange acceptance of Indian shenanigans on all issues, especially the water issue. President Zardari had declared grandiosely that he would write a letter to Indian Premier Manmohan Singh on the stealing of the Chenab waters by his country. Of course the letter never went and the Pakistani state has merely watched as India has moved to choke off all river waters to Pakistan. Only now the Foreign Office spokesperson hinted that Pakistan may go to the ICJ if India continues to violate the Indus Waters Treaty. But this is merely fooling the Pakistani people since we know the ICJ cannot do anything in the face of Indian defiance.

It is time to deal with the waters issue on a war footing as our survival as a sovereign nation depends on access to the waters life line from Occupied Kashmir. For anyone who thinks Kashmir is merely an emotive issue for Pakistan, think again. It is essential to our survival. Already this government has been conceding ground to India in terms of trade and a strange silence over its growing support to militancy and terrorism in Pakistan through Afghanistan. But the water issue is literally a matter of survival for Pakistan and we have to ensure that Sialkot Dam does not get built.

State terrorism by India has to be highlighted by Pakistan and ended. So, if India is not prepared to resume the composite dialogue but only wants to talk on terrorism, this is Pakistan’s opportunity to begin this dialogue with India’s water terrorism against Pakistan. After all, depriving a state of its internationally guaranteed waters life line is terrorising a nation into starvation and death. The Nation

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