WHAT WILL BE THE FATE OF PAKISTAN IF INDIA IS FACING ITS WATER CRISIS TOO?
India and Pakistan are two rival states since its birth. With several other reasons of conflict water is the second most notable candidate after the Kashmir conflict. Water in South Asia comes from Himalayas which has large amount of glaciers. The water conflict has its roots even before partition. It actually started in 1920 when water conflict arouse in Punjab. Partition changed the whole structure of subcontinent and created a number of problems and issues over the water of Indus Basin. In 1947, Pakistan came into being and province of Punjab was divided into two parts between India and Pakistan. The immediate result of partition was the Indus Basin division and conflict arose between both countries. Moreover, the head works at Madhupur on Ravi and at Ferozpur on the Sutlej were in India but many of the canals taken off from them were irrigating the agricultural land of the Punjab. Pakistan felt that it was extremely dangerous for its economy because India can stop water at any time, and its agriculture can be affected. After long negotiations under the arbitration of world bank both countries signed Indus Water Basin Treaty in 1960 which resolved the conflict somehow in both states.
Currently issue has arise once again in present days as after the advancements in hydroelectric technologies new advancements has been made by India which are threat to Pakistan. Pakistan being an agricultural country needs water to irrigate its fields, apart from irrigation water is also needed for household, industrial use and several hydroelectric projects. However water in Pakistan’s river has touched perilously low levels. The reason is not only lack of rain but poor water management within the country and most notably India’s control over river water flow especially on Indus water system, Jehlum and Chenab are some of the woes to Pakistan.
India being an upstream country has built a few dams along the river. Some of which like Baglihar and Kishanganga dams are threat to Pakistan. in Indus Basin treaty there were several flaws which were not addressed at that time. for instance it was just mentioned that India can built small and medium dams over the rivers which come to Pakistan but the height of small and medium dams was not specified. That is why India is continuously violating the treaty which is threatening to Pakistan.
On India’s perspective it is a large economy with approximately 1.34 billion population. In order to fulfill the needs and demands of such large population India has no other option but to stop the flow and make dams over these rivers in order to meet their own requirements. It will Eventually cause a serious threat for Pakistan.
To cope this situation in nearest future both the states need to work on Diplomatic ways and to shape policies which are beneficial for each other. The most important and workable solution is water sharing policies, So that both the states can meet their demands and get benefited on the same time. Apart from this water management system is need to b updated. Use of modern methods of Irrigation will help to reduce water consumption. New techniques of recycling of the water need to be introduced. In this way we will be able to preserve water for our future generations.