Let Pakistan put its house in order.

The worst impact of the Indus Waters Treaty 1960 and loss of three eastern rivers to India is on Punjab. The Indians are very well organized administratively as well as technically through ICID, Indian Water Commission, and Indian Commissioner for Indus Waters. The technical support and availability of data in Pakistan is extremely poor. A strategic organization on proposed lines as CIBSA is needed. Internal issues under IRSA need also a wise moderator. The organization may have initially the following key responsibilities:

1).    Collect and compile historical record of Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) negotiations, correspondence, aide memoires and stage developments.

2).    Examine the Treaty provisions. India is not sympathetic to Pakistan highlighting experience of Indian departures & aggressive actions. IWT defines it as “interference”.

3).    Essential information including satellite imagery & Metrological data. IWT agreed to exchange of data on a daily basis (transmitted once a month)

4).    Indian plans to integrate their river systems under “Prabhu Plan” be fully understood.

5).    Analyze the history and experience of:

  a).    Wullar Barrage on the Jhelum

  b).    Indian Hydroelectric Projects on the Chenab at Salal, Dulhasti and Baglihar, specifically the steady encroachments by India of Treaty safeguards to Pakistan. The Indian capability to withhold river waters to create crisis situations. The Pakistan experience of Neutral Expert on Baglihar Dam (Project I).

6).    The future planned Indian River Hydroelectric Projects on the Chenab and their likely adverse consequences for Pakistan and for Punjab in particular.

7).    The measures Pakistan may essentially take to mitigate the adverse impact of Indian mal operation of their increasing storage capabilities on western rivers.

8).    By focusing on its Hydro Resource Pakistan can hope to again achieve the hydel:thermal ratio of 70:30. The nation needs to understand that the present lopsided ratio 25:75 is unsustainable and a recipe for bankruptcy. While over USD 60bn annual loss due to the water resource (Irrigation & Energy) is calculated the nation has in tandem inflicted itself to an imported oil liability of around USD 6bn annually after 1994.

9).    Opposition to the KBD project also deprives NWFP & Baluchistan of their rightful share of the Indus Basin Waters. The WATER ACCORD 1991 becomes applicable once new reservoirs are built beyond what was existing in 1991. While conservation in irrigation methods is overdue the age old concept of Salaba Irrigation in the Sind province will have to be discarded through a province wide educational campaign. Salaba irrigation is a wasteful & inefficient utilization of precious hydro resource.

10).    The concept of CBM (Confidence Building Measures) by Pakistan in contrast to Indian aggressive approach. Is she willing to let neutral experts of World Bank & other agencies to monitor the inflows into all her infrastructure projects in Held Kashmir?

CONCLUSION: Let us understand that the IWT 1960 is far more critical compared to the Water Apportionment Accord of 1991 as the later is an internal issue between the federating provinces. No doubt the ongoing drought cycle has been severe and in tandem with the Indian water aggression the water availability has become extremely grave. Hopefully IRSA will soon agree to a minimum water flow below Kotri. It is the Indian intervention influencing the flow into Pakistan that needs to be fully understood by our top experts in hydrology. There is no doubt that the overall performance of Indus Waters Commissioner Mr. Jamaat Ali Shah has been poor to say the least. Pakistan is still fortunate to have top grade elder engineers. Mr. Hisamuddin Bangash, Mr. Ch. Mazhar Ali, Mr. B. A. Malik, Dr. Bashir A. Chandio, Mr. Shams-ul-Malik, Mr. Abdul Khaliq Khan, Mr. Khalid Mohtadullah & others. Together with enlightened citizens & civil society the hydro truths must be removed from the political scene to the scientific realm

Pakistan Paindabad Engr. Suleman N. Khan/WRDC
20 March 10 (rev)