In Pakistan, Nepal, China, India and Bangladesh burning territorial and water disputes are interconnected and hanging with each other since their inceptions. The water dispute is the major problem which influences the remaining regional issues too. World community remained concern over water conflicts since it could be one of the causes of breaking out of future war. Thus, obviously chances of conversion of traditional to nuclear war increase manifold, when rivals are nuclear powers and equipped with all sort of nuclear arsenals. Pakistan and China always tried to avoid war over water issue despite knowing that India never paid any heed to the demands of neighbouring countries. New Delhi always remained irrational and adopted ridiculous approach in resolving the corps regional issues. It is interesting to know that water grabber India is breaching almost water of 95 rivers in entire South Asia and proved herself a “World Largest Water Grabber”. The major sufferers of her grabbing are Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
Bangladesh has serious conflict over water sharing issues of two prominent rivers Ganges and Brahmaputra which comes out from Himalayan river systems. Farakka Barrage (FB), Teesta Barrage (TB and Riparian River Linking (Link Canal) are the burning issue between India and Bangladesh since the mid-sixties. India violated the norms and treaty through constructing a barrage at Farakka, 18 kilometers upstream from the border resulted into reduced flow of water which caused both immediate and long-term effects including lower agricultural and industrial production, diminution of ground water reserves, affecting soil moisture and its structure. The long-term effects involve changes in the environmental sciences and ecology of delta basin, changes in the hydraulic characters of its rivers and reduced navigation depth.
India has diverted the Gnaga’s water flow to her river Bhagirathi to increase navigability of the Calcutta Port. Bangladesh, however, realized it in 1974 that the Ganges flow due to construction of FB, only 11 miles off the border started scaling down the water flow to Bangladesh by half and at times almost at zero level. Similarly, she has also constructed two link canals, (1) Upper Riparian Rivers Linking: It means linking of 14 Himalayan rivers in Northern India (2) Lower Riparian Rivers Linking: This project involves 16 peninsular rivers including the Ganges and Brahmaputra. The project has virtually cast its eyes for withdrawal of Brahmaputra water for diversion to the water hungry provinces of UP, Bihar, MP, Andhra, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Chennai. Bangladesh launched proteseted number of times at various fora but New Delhi never bordered about international laws and rights of her neighbour.
In 2003, Tipaimukh Dam was proposed for the location at ½ km downstream from the confluence of Barak River and Tuivai River lying on the S-W corner of Manipur state. Due to outcry against negative impacts of the Dam across the border as well as within Manipur and Mizoram states of India, construction of the Dam could not make any headway. Again, India in 2004, however, guaranteed Bangladesh that no further steps would be taken up without any consultation with Bangladesh, but India floated a tender in 2005, opened it in 2006, finalized the design and drawing in 2008, obtained environmental clearance and inaugurated foundation stone laying in 2008. As result of breach of water 80 rivers have started drying-up and 11 rivers have been dead in Bangladesh. It has virtually destroyed the deltaic basin in Bangladesh.
Similarly, India has again involved in water and energy sharing conflict with Nepal too. The Mahakali River is originating in Nepal and flowing into India. 21 Nepalese rivers have a marvelous potential ability to generate 83000 MW electricity through hydro can be exported to neighbours, but due to lack of funds and technology Nepalese were unable to launch large projects. Indian power deficit in northern India is around 9,500 MW. The shortfall can be completed through construction of power projects over Nepalese rives but Nepalese have some serious reservations over India and very rightly feel that they have not been treated equitably under the various water-resource development agreements with India, including Sarada (1920), Kosi (1954) and Gandak (1959).
In fact, India has deliberately made an attempt to put Bangladesh and Nepal at a distance by designing two hydropower projects in Nepal. She was the only country which proven to be a beneficiary of the said projects because of their constructional sites and designs. In this connection she has carried out the augmentation of water for the Ganges to divert water through the link canal to South India. Whereas Nepal has contributed sites for the dams just to complete her genuine need of resolving power problem. Thus, crookedness of Indian engineers Nepal failed to obtain desired advantages of tackling her energy crises. At the same time Bangladesh has started moving towards high-dried scenario, which resulted into tense relations with Nepal. It is point to be noted here that Bangladeshi present government is taking lenient view of major water issues with India probably because of some political compulsions which amount to guarding Indian interest only.
Brahmaputra (Yarlung Tsangpo) and Salween are two free-flowing, un-dammed major rivers in Tibet. The construction of dam over Brahmaputra River has caused tension between India and China and could be a flashpoint for two of the world’s biggest armies. In 2000, India accused China of not sharing information of the river’s status in the run up to landslides in Tibet which caused floods in northeastern India and Bangladesh. Chinese proposals to divert the river have concerned Delhi, whereas china has denied of stopping water. Already strained relations between two nuclear powers (China and India) over territorial issue getting further deteriorated once India alleged China for constructing six dams of over Brahmaputra . Both the countries have fought war in 1962. India has become American ally after disintegration of USSR. To curtail China’s emerging global role, New Delhi in collaboration with US and Israel has launched anti China campaign. It is an open secret now that US has nominated India as her regional vice in Asia. Mrs. Clinton’s in her recent visit addressed India as global power.
Now lets discuss the core issue of two traditional rivals of South Asia. It is a proved fact that after the partition, India went to war against Pakistan to maintain illegitimate occupation of Kashmir which continued in one form or the other from October 1947 until January 1949. Meanwhile, acting upon her shrewd diplomacy, India deliberately stopped the flow of Pakistan’s rivers which originate from the controlled territories of Kashmir. Even at that time, Indian rulers had used water as a tool of political coercion against Pakistan. On the other side, Pakistan sought the help of international arbitration. Consequently, Indus Basin Water Treaty between both the states was signed in 1960 and the World Bank, itself, is the mediator and signatory. The treaty which is still in force, allocates waters of three western rivers of Indus, Jhelum and Chenab to Pakistan while India has rights over eastern rivers of Ravi, Sutlej and Beas. Since the settlement of the dispute, India has always violated the treaty intermittently to create economic crisis in Pakistan.
A controversy arose between the two neighbouring states in 1984 when India started construction of the Wullar Barrage on river Jhelum in its part of Kashmir. New Delhi stopped construction work in 1987 after Pakistan lodged a strong protest over the project, objecting that it violated the Indus Water Treaty. The issue of Wullar Barrage has also been discussed in various rounds of the composite dialogue process between the two adversaries. In the mid 1990s India started another violation by constructing the Baglihar Dam on the Chenab River. In 2005 Pakistan had again sought the World Bank’s intervention to stop construction of the Baglihar dam. Although WB allowed India to go ahead with the project after a few minor modifications, yet it did not permit the interruption of the agreed quota of water flow to Pakistan. Quite contrarily, Indian present tact to reduce the flow of water is a blatant violation of the Indus Basin Treaty.
Regarding negative effects on Pakistan, Syed Jamaat Ali Shah while talking to a daily pointed out that India has deliberately interfered with the flow of river Chenab. He further said that reduced water inflows would bring about huge loss to cropped areas of Punjab, besides causing early depletion of Mangla Dam. He elaborated that India had violated the treaty provisions by putting the water inflow below 55000 cusec in Chenab River at Maralla Headworks. There are also some other fundamental reasons behind Indian shrewd diplomacy by using water dispute against Pakistan. India wants to keep her control on Kashmir which is located in the Indus River basin area, thus contributing to the flow of all the major rivers which enter Pakistan. A report in “New Scientist”, published in 2005 indicated a number of issues in relation to Pakistan. It wrote that Indian violation of the Indus Basin Treaty could lead to widespread famine, and further inflame the ongoing conflict over Kashmir?Pakistan relies on the Indus River and its tributaries for almost half of its irrigation supplies, and to generate up to half of its electricity. Pakistan also fears that India would use various dams as a coercive tool by causing floods in Pakistan through sudden release of waters.
These effects of the report have already been experienced by our country in the past. Unlike India, Pakistan is highly dependent on agriculture, which in turn is dependent on water. Without any doubt, almost 80% of Pakistan’s agriculture is dependent on irrigation. Many of Pakistan’s industries are agro-based such as the textiles industry. Moreover, 70% of Pakistan’s food needs are fulfilled domestically. But India has always dishonoured the accord from time to time to create economic crisis in Pakistan. It is worth mentioning here that Indus Basin treaty over distribution of water resources was concluded after 23 years of Pakistani struggle but once again after 23 years or so controversy rose up in 1984 when India violated the laws of the agreement and started construction of Wuler India will be having a strategic edge, during a military confrontation, enabling it to control the mobility and recoil of Pakistani troops and enhancing the maneuverability of Indian troops.
It is mentionable here that India is already weakening Pakistan by sending miscreants from Afghanistan, who are creating unrest through bomb blasts and suicide attacks in wake of already strained relations between Islamabad and New Delhi. In these adverse circumstances, by employing water as a political instrument of shrewd diplomacy, India continues to intensify various political, economic and social crises in Pakistan. She has the support of tripartite alliance of the US, Israel and India is against Pakistan and they have now started propaganda that Pakistan’s nuclear programme is not in safe hands. The fact is that highest rate of nuclear proliferation have even been noticed only in the case of India. There were total 152 theft cases of uranium which include even disappearance of complete shipment. Murders and abduction of number nuclear scientists and staff have also left a big question mark over the safety of nuclear arsenals too.
The world seems standing at the brink of another world war because of failure of emerging weak role of UNO and uni-polar system. The power relations are defining the world as an ‘overruling cleavage’ of the international system. The unfair race of economic growth in terms of capturing natural resources, unequal division of wealth, global wave of organizational and state terrorism, selfish policies of super power, craving smaller sates, current financial global crunch and the collapse of the Soviet Empire are the factors which are accelerating the time so rapidly that destruction of world seem to be very nearer.
The dramatic political and strategic changes of Asia related to South Asian region in latter half of the twentieth century has further deteriorated the world peace. The main characters of prevailing insecure environment and regional instability are, India, US, Afghanistan’s puppet government, America, Israel and some of European allies. The capturing of natural resources for enhancing economic growth is basically a power thirst of US and her Police Watch Man (India). According to Indian philosophy wealth obtaining and power seeking are interlinked and two sides of the same coin. The Indian unflinching quest of grabbing natural particularly water resources are seem to be putting devastating effects on her neighbours, Pakistan , Bangladesh and Nepal , thus pushing South Asian Region into war. We all knew that still China and the Eastern Asian region are major center of ‘expanded reproduction’ even when America is facing the worst financial crises of her history. Washington in collaboration with India is on the policy of capturing oil rich central Asian Regions, containment of China, suppressing Iran , capturing Asian Market to boost her economy and supporting Israel on Palestine Issue . Her Police Man (India) increased the insecurity in the context of state collapse, terrorism, fundamentalisms, humanitarian disasters in South Asia, Regional Water conflicts, economical and finical crises are going to be catastrophe for the people and likelihood of a serious inter-state armed conflict over water resources will be soon. To avoid disaster UNO should interfere and should devise some regional policy of using natural resources. At the same time, there is a need to condemn Indian nefarious hegemony design to enhance the regional economic growth and prosperity.
Here is a very famous saying, ‘Why bomb military installations, bridges, ports, fuel depots incurring humongous monetary costs and retaliation, when ends can be achieved by merely turning off the tap?’ Water has always been a social weapon of control and exploitation. Jawaharlal Nehru called dams the “temples of modern India.” Today’s India sees these ‘temples’ as tools of war. Let’s not forget our identity and culture as a Pakistani and let’s not be a puppet in the hands of foreign antagonists. The looming water crisis, if unattended, will prove fatal for Pakistan, China, Bangladesh and Nepal and India too. Now choice is with delinquent child (India) to implement the international laws and respect the already concluded pacts.
Recently, US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake said India might make agreement for buying nuclear plants and 126 fighter jets from the US, worth about $20 billion. The purchase of the said armaments and already presence of nuclear weapons shows the ulterior and exterior motives of Asian Water Grabber. There is need to stop India from further snatching, seize and confiscating of the rights of the other regional countries. The territorial disputes, water issues, Indian policy of storming terrorism are leading towards the war. At the end, I again emphasize that if war brake out then it would be converted into Nuclear War since survival of the Pakistan depends upon the use of nuclear arsenals in her self defence. Thus, SAARC, ASEAN and UNO should play their roles to resolve regional burning issues like Kashmir and Water problems of Asian countries.