Pak fishing in trouble waters

Islamabad uses JuD chief Saeed to whip up anti-India hysteria

Pak fishing in trouble waters

JuD chief Hafiz Saeed.

New Delhi has also taken note of the Jamat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed’s latest allegation that India had launched a “water war” against Pakistan.

Sources in New Delhi said Saeed’s allegation appeared to be a part of the coordinated efforts by Islamabad to whip up anti-India hysteria in Pakistan and to cover up its own failure to ensure proper use and equitable distribution of water among its provinces.
Saeed, who is based in Lahore, is believed to be the founder of the terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba and New Delhi suspects him to be one of the key plotters of the November 26, 2008, attacks in Mumbai.

Sources said Saeed was well known to be a proxy of the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and he could well be used by Islamabad to blame New Delhi for Pakistan’s water woes.

India believes that all bilateral water issues with Pakistan could be resolved through the existing mechanism provided under the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), which the two neighbours had signed on September 19, 1960.

New Delhi believes that the IWT has withstood the test of time and has been “an example of the result of mutually beneficial cooperation between India and Pakistan for the last 50 years”.

Sources said there were ample scopes to resolve the technical issues through the Permanent Indus Commission, which consisted of two commissioners from India and Pakistan and would have its next meeting next May.

Countering Pakistan’s allegation that India was depriving its western neighbour of its legitimate share of water resources from the Indus River System, sources pointed out that India was in fact using much less water than it was legally entitled to under the IWT.
The Article III of the IWT permits India to use waters of Chenab, Jhelum and Indus, known as Western Rivers (WR) in the Indus System, for generation of hydro-power as well as for domestic, non-consumptive and agricultural use.

According to the IWT, India can use the WR water to irrigate up to 1343477 acres of agricultural land. But, according to the sources, India at present uses the WR water to irrigate only 792426 acres of land.

Though the IWT allows India to construct reservoirs on the WR with maximum total storage capacity of 3.6 Million Acre Feet (MAF), New Delhi is yet to build any such storage facility.

According to the IWT, India could build any number of run-of-the-river Hydro-Electric Project on the WRs, but it would have to inform Pakistan the details of the project six months before staring works. However, India does not need a formal clearance from Pakistan to build a hydro-electric project on the rivers.

India has provided Pakistan with information on all its 33 hydropower projects on the WRs. But, according to the sources, Islamabad has been using the provision of seeking clarification from New Delhi for delaying the projects.

New Delhi seems ready to counter any move by Islamabad to internationalise the issues related to sharing of water resources. “We will put forward the facts to nail the lies being propagated,” said a source.

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