PROFESSOR ALI SUKHANVER
According to the media reports a reduced flow of water at Head Marala has recently been noticed by the Pakistani water management authorities. This reduction in water flow would prove very much harmful and disastrous to the crops on a large area ofPakistanand it may lead to a situation of famine causing whole sale starvation. Snatching water fromPakistanand turningPakistaninto a wasteland has ever been an Indian desire. To fulfill her evergreen desire of changingPakistaninto a dry land,Indiahas been working on different water projects since long. These projects include Kishinganga Project, the Baglihar Hydroelectric Plant, the Wullar Barrage Project and so many others.
The construction of the Wullar Barrage on the River Jhelum would provideIndiatotal control over River Jhelum and with the help of this projectIndiawould be in a position to deprivePakistanof water of River Jhelum during winter seasons. This barrage would certainly affect the water of River Neelum also and it is feared that the water of River Neelum diverted towardsWullarLakewould be consumed withinWullarLakeand will not go in River Jhelum. Kishinganga Project is also one of the worst examples in this regard. The Kishinganga Hydroelectric Project on the River Neelum is located near the Line of Control in Indian Occupied Kashmir. Under the Kishinganga Project,Indiahas diverted the water ofNeelumRiverthrough a canal system. The River Neelum is calledKishingangaRiverwhen it passes throughIndiaand the water of the River Kishinganga is reserved forPakistan’s Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project, work on which started in 1989. The diversion of water in Kishinganga project will decrease water flow at Neelum-Jhelum project and generation capacity of this project will reduce by 20%. Moreover it will adversely affect agriculture inNeelumValleyand Muzaffarabad District of Pakistan.
According to the Indus water Treaty, exclusive rights of the western rivers water are with Pakistan but India has been violating these rights for the last many decades. World Bank’s arbitration court is also very well aware of the injustice done by India with reference to the construction of dams and barrages on the rivers flowing to Pakistan. The honourable court has recently issued orders allowing a Pakistani delegation to visit and inspect the site of Kishinganga Dam. Earlier Pakistan had pleaded that illegal construction activity on the Kishinganga Dam was going on despite the stay orders issued by the arbitration court. Same was the case with the construction of The Baglihar Hydroelectric Plant. The Baglihar Hydroelectric Plant is located on River Chenab and its construction plan was communicated by Indian 1992. It was commissioned in 2008. During its initial filling,Indiaagain violated the clauses of the Treaty by not filling the dam in stipulated time frame and by not ensuring requisite inflow at Marala Head Works of Pakistan. Construction of this dam caused huge amount of water losses to Pakistan. The drastic reduction of inflow at Marala resulted in acute scarcity of irrigation water for paddy crops in Marala command Canals area covering over more than 10,000,000 acres of land. All these actions of India are nothing but simply the violation of the Indus Waters Treaty. The situation demands new water treaties between India and Pakistan otherwise as a result of water scarcity,Pakistan would become a desert land very soon. The government of Pakistanis taking revolutionary steps to minimize the differences and distances between the two countries by introducing new visa policies and trade facilities. But this reality must never be ignored that a wasteland could never be an attractive and profitable market for the traders.