India is all set to land another sucker punch to the failed state of Pakistan and this time it might sting a bit more altogether. According to a Zee News report, come December India will no longer allow its share of Eastern river waters to flow into Pakistan, clearly signaling that it has been taking a close look at corrective measures it can take after relations between two nations deteriorated after the ghastly 2019 Pulwama terror attack.
It is interesting to understand the Indus Water Treaty fully before delving into the details. As per the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) 1960, Pakistan is allowed to use 80 percent of the water from the three western rivers (Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab) whereas India is allowed to use the rest. It is also allowed to create run of the river hydroelectric power plants, use the water to irrigate nearly 7 lakh acres and create a storage facility of 3.6 MAF (million-acre feet) of water for its use.
Whereas India has full rights over three eastern flowing rivers (Sutlej, Beas, and Ravi) of the Indus river basin. Although it is a known fact that India is not utilising its share of 19.5 percent of water from western rivers and Pakistan is getting more than its entitlement with the uninterrupted flow of water, courtesy India’s generosity. Pakistan has failed to create adequate storage facilities. The canal to deliver water from Indus to irrigation canals in Punjab (Pakistan) has not been created in the last 60 years.
According to the report, the government is planning to stop 2 TMC (Thousand Million Cubic Feet) of water of the Ujh River, which is a tributary of the Ravi river that flows through the Kathua district in Jammu and Kashmir. Last year, Union Minister for Transport and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari stated that the government was planning to build three dams in Uttarakhand to stop India’s unused share of river water from flowing to Pakistan.
In the aftermath of Pulwama attacks, India had said that it would no longer allow its share of Indus waters (Eastern Rivers) flowing to Pakistan and now by December, this step would be set in stone, if the reports are indeed proved true.
The move which was taken last year did not violate the controversial IWT as the water had been stopped of the three eastern rivers, namely Sutlej, Ravi and Beas that India is entitled to use under the treaty. India was earlier too generous on this part, allowing the flow of these waters to Pakistan as well. This time, India under PM Modi is looking to teach Pakistan a lesson. This step reaffirms the belief about how committed the present Modi government is towards dealing against cross border terrorism.
Pakistan which has been dreaming of bleeding India with thousand cuts will be in a spot of bother as water scarcity is one of the biggest issues of Pakistan. Some estimates have predicted that Pakistan will have water shortage by 2025 if adequate number of dams are not built. Pakistan’s Prime Minister had himself urged the Pakistanis living in other countries to donate generously. He called upon the expatriate Pakistanis to take part in this ‘jihad’.
Pakistan is in tatters and the terrorist state has been isolated internationally, thanks to India’s strong diplomatic efforts. And, with the withdrawal of the water supply on the Indian part, it would be interesting to see as to how long Pakistan continues with its trade of terror.