Beware! India trying to buy time

IN the backdrop of all sorts of threats hurled to abdicate Indus Water Treaty (IWT) and stop the flow of waters into Pakistan, India all of a sudden on Friday expressed its readiness for talks to resolve water related disputes. The announcement came days after the World Bank announced a pause in the separate processes initiated by India and Pakistan under the IWT. On the face of it, the Indian readiness appears to be a positive development but one should not forget that New Delhi in the past also has used such tactics in order to buy time and complete the controversial hydropower projects on the rivers meant for Pakistan and then insisted that since the project stands completed, therefore it could not be modified.
Given recent outburst and venom spitted by the extremist Hindu leaders against Pakistan, nothing good can be expected from the arch rival. Though we are not opposed to any talks as we believe this is the only way forward to resolve all the outstanding issues, yet we will urge the government to enter into dialogue with India on water related issues only after the condition that India first stops work on controversial projects. The current dispute revolves around the Kishanganga and Ratle hydroelectric plants and keeping in view the legal and technical provisions of the treaty; Pakistan has rightly raised objections on them and also approached the World Bank to appoint a court of arbitration for settlement of the issue. Though the WB has shirked its responsibility on the matter but if any talks with India, we should not accept any medications or changes in the treaty and outrightly protect the country’s interests. There are genuine concerns in Pakistan that New Delhi wants to make the country barren by stopping its waters and Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had also explicitly pointed out that water interruption from the Indian side will be considered as an act of aggression. If India persists with its water aggression, Pakistan has the option to go to the UN Secretary General, who under the treaty has the authority to appoint a chairman for the court of arbitration to consider both legal and technical aspects of the dispute.

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