INDO-AFGHANISTAN CO-OPERATION: PAKISTAN GOING WATER-LESS

Indo-Afghan cooperation on construction of dams on river Kabul has outraged Pakistan. Pakistan thinks exploitation of river Kabul might make Pakistan go thirsty.

 

The Pakistan Economy Watch concluded that Islamabad should lessen its dependence on water from arch-rivals India and Afghanistan for water by constructing dams for storing water in reservoirs. Think tanks in Pakistan had for ages hated India on some pretext or the other. Imposed barriers on India involving it in low-intensity conflict. Now with the change in government and increased nationalism in India, Pakistan is now biting its tail. The same think tanks have been warned by India that World Bank-brokered Indus Water Treaty may go just because Pakistan is not a friendly state. Thus cutting off all water supplies to Pakistan even without a conflict.

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 “Limiting the dependence on enemy nations like India and Afghanistan is fundamental for national security as water is being used as a powerful threat to blackmail Pakistan,” The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) said. No one asked who made them the enemies? If someone had asked the loud answer would have been that it was the ISPR and Pakistan Army. They said, “Dams will not only guarantee consistent water and security but also diminish dependence on fossil fuels, balancing the energy mix which is profoundly tilted towards oil.” This is the most falsified statements as the industry will again require a lot of capital to switch from one form of fuel to another. This is just a ploy of ISPR again as Pakistan Army failed to convince World Bank to help Pakistan to force India not to break the Indus Water Treaty.

India Has Taken the Conflict to Afghanistan?

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India-Pakistan War will now find a new battleground on the waters of the Kabul river. Capitalising on the good shape of India-Afghanistan relations Kabul convinced India to help it in building the 12 Hydroelectric projects on river Kabul. The projects are in full swing as India readily agreed to help Afghanistan. ISPR wants to make every citizen of Pakistan believe that these projects will skew the flow of river Kabul into Pakistan consequentlycreating a water crisis like situation in Pakistan. Which again is not true as Kabul river may not entirely go dry. However, it may be noted that Afghanistan cannot allow its citizens to go thirsty for Pakistan which always spits venom on them. Pakistan Army and Intelligence Agency, ISI maintain that a stable, independent and prosperous Afghanistan not in interests of Pakistan. ISPR the propaganda engine of Pakistan military released multiple statements in media that, New Delhi has taken India-Pakistan War over Water to Afghanistan.

Propaganda

Meanwhile, the Diamer-Basha dam being planned by Pakistan Army was estimated to cost Rs 1,450 billion in 2008 while the allocation for the dam for the year 2018-19 stands at Rs 23.50 billion. This has raised many eyebrows as it is very unusual. Such a big project and allocation was just abysmal. It is also seen as a scam as ISPR has been releasing videos of beggars and children from road depositing Rs 100 for the dam. This is unbelievable as these children earn less than Rs 50 in a day. Dr. Mughal from PEW said that the cost of building the dam has jumped by billions due to impediments and exchange rate depletion. The collection so far has not even crossed 0.1% of the total requirment.

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He said that dams will also overcome dependence on furnace oil, saving billions of dollars in energy imports. This is also a controversial statement as industry uses different types of furnaces. To use an electric furnace one has to first procure the same, which again is capital intensive. He also claimed that these dams will decrease the cost of power generation which will promote economic activity, generate jobs, and boost exports. It is also pertinent to note that Pakistan imports generators and machinery for its power projects from China. It is an established record that Chinese generators supplied to Pakistan had a very poor track record as can be seen in the Neelam Valley project. The entire project and its urgency being projected by the Pakistan government to its people is questionable.

17 July 2018/Tuesday                                                                 Written by Mohd Tahir Shafi