Early Times Newspaper Jammu
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Use Indus waters to brought Pak to India's knees
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Sept 20: In 1960, in the hope that water largesse would bring about peace, India under Nehru gifted the bulk of the Indus system's waters - and the largest three of its six rivers - to Pakistan under the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) of 19660. The IWT was brokered by the World Bank and it was to the advantage of the aggressor Pakistan. It was Nehru's fifth big blunder. The other four blunders were transfer of power from Jammu to Kashmir, making Sheikh Abdullah a party to J&K's accession to India, application of Article 370 to J&K on January 26, 1950 and application of May 14, 1954 Article 35-A to J&K with effect from May 14, 1944.
The IWT, according to experts, "is by far the world's most generous water pact, both in terms of the downstream country's share of the waters (80.52%) and the aggregate volume of average yearly flows reserved for it (167.2 billion cubic metres)". It is a different story that an ungrateful Pakistan has waged covert or overt aggression almost continuously and is now using the IWT itself as a stick to beat India with, including by contriving water disputes and internationalizing them as part of a "water war" strategy.
It was against this background that PM Narendra Modi had raised the hope that "India would finally revisit the IWT by seizing on the Pakistan Senate's unanimous March 2016 resolution calling for the treaty's re-evaluation". While chairing a September 2016 internal meeting on the IWT, PM Modi warned had warned that "blood and water cannot flow together".
Thereafter, an inter-ministerial committee of secretaries was set up. Concerned officials then reportedly said that "India would now assert all its rights under the IWT, including fully utilizing its share of the allotted waters and expediting its long-delayed hydropower projects".
However, two years later, India, according to strategic affairs experts, "appears to have returned to the former state of affairs". They have opined that "the committee of secretaries, headed by the PM's principal secretary, has fallen by the wayside". "Apart from completing the small, 330-megawatt Kishenganga project after 11 years, India has shown little urgency on Indus Basin water projects. Even as Punjab and other states feud bitterly over water, India's failure to adequately harness the resources of the three smaller rivers reserved for it results in Pakistan receiving substantial bonus waters. Just these extra outflows to Pakistan are many times greater yearly than the total volumes under the Israeli-Jordanian water arrangement," they have further said.
Experts have termed New Delhi's policy towards the IWT as "zigzag policy" and urged the powers-that-be in New Delhi to review it so that Pakistan was brought to the India's knees. They want the powers that be to defeat the Pakistani move aimed at denying people of Jammu & Kashmir the limited water benefits permissible under the IWT. Their upshot is that "India exports water to Pakistan" and "Pakistan exports terror to India". "Make optimum use of Chenab, Indus and Jhelum waters to rein in Pakistan and promote India's geo-political interests in the region" is their suggestion.
It will be seen if the Narendra Modi Government reviewed New Delhi's pro-Pakistan stand on IWT.
 
 
 
 
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