Saturday, September 1, 2012

India-Pakistan Heading Towards Water War

                                                                                                 Wullar project under threat?

The Wullar Lake, the largest fresh water body and a scenic picnic spot, is turning into the conflict site after a group of heavily armed militants appeared at Ningli part of the lake where a mega water conservation project is under construction, late on Monday night. The armed militants beat up the engineers and labourers present at the site and asked them to leave the place and stop the work. The militants also damaged a portion of the project by blasting it by explosives.

Official sources said that the security of the project site has been tightened and vigil in and around the lake intensified following the threat. They said that the security forces stationed in the area have been alerted and patrolling by army, police and CRPF increased. The unit of the Indian Navy that is stationed at Watlab in Wullar lake is assisting the security forces. Sources said that the lake was presently thick with plantation and it was not possible to conduct a thorough search operation. They however said that every effort would be done to avoid any ‘misadventure’ from any quarter.

Highly places sources said that 5-7 heavily armed militants appeared at site, around 5 kilometers from Sopore, at around 11:30 p.m. and beat up 5-6 engineers and workers of the project who were putting up in the hutments at the site. They also blasted off a portion of the construction work ad terrorized the engineers and workers. Government of India is also construction an ambitious project on Kishenganga River in Bandipora much to the disapproval of Pakistan.

Authorities believe that the militant threat to Wullar project could be the part of conflict India and Pakistan have been engaged in over usage of water resources in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan has serious reservations over construction of power projects and dams by India that will allow it to release water during the river's lean winter months. Pakistan understands that it would give India the power to control how much water flows downstream to its farmers. After two and a half decades of deadlock and 15 marathon rounds of bilateral talks — the most recent occurring in late March — the countries appear a long way from finding common ground.

Pakistan’s minister for information and broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira, on Tuesday, came up with scathing attack on India for constructing dams and power projects on rivers in Jammu and Kashmir. In a press conference at Muzzafarabad he said “If India launches any power project in disregard of a formula agreed with Pakistan, we will strongly resist it, besides challenging it in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).” India and Pakistan share water of rivers in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir under an internationally agreed upon agreement known as Indus Water Treaty. Pakistan considers the construction of projects on rivers in Jammu and Kashmir as violation of this treaty.

Pakistan has also fears that the water could be used as ‘weapon of war’ during hostility between the two countries. Last year (August 16, 2011) Pakistan accused India of releasing 80000 to 100000 cusecs of water only after its dams were filled and could no longer accommodate additional water into River Sutlej without prior information to Pakistani authorities, inundating dozens of villages in Ganda Singhwala area of Kasur district, which had caused billions of rupees loss to the farmers of the area.

A five minutes documentary on how lingering water dispute between Pakistan and India is leading them towards the fourth war---- this time it may be a nuclear war.Alleged stealing of water by India is unnerving many within Pakistani government to a tipping point of foreseeing a war with the nuclear rival if the dispute is left unresolved.

It gives vivid graphic illustration of how Islamabad and New Delhi are potentially equipped with self destructive weapons to use against each other in the event of war. The dispute may also engulf China into fray which faces charges from Delhi of diverting its share of water from Northern region of Tibet through building small tunnels. 

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