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Pakistan's real agenda water, not Kashmir

india Updated: Mar 25, 2010 16:52 IST
Arun Joshi

Regular threats of "jihad" against India emanating from Pakistan based militant leaders have nothing to with Kashmir, their real goal is to raise pitch for Pakistan’s amibition to grab the water resources of Jammu and Kashmir.

The latest threat by Pakistan based United Jehad Council ( UJC) chief Syed Salaha-ud-Din in Kotli in Pakistan occupied Kashmir on Wednesday that India was resorting to "water terrorism" and calling for "jihad" on the issue has manifested the real intentions of Pakistan and the militant outfits operating from there.

Pakistan has raised the issue of water with the United States in its ongoing two-day strategic dialogue with the US leadership in Washington, D C.. All its leaders are accusing India of building dams on the rivers and blocking water to Pakistan.

First, it was the Pakistani establishment that made water an issue, then it made the Jamat-ud-Dawa chief and mastermind of the Mumbai attacks, Hafiz Sayeed to raise the water issue and threaten assault on Indian assets, and of late Syed Salaha-ud-Din has been talking of this.

Salaha-ud-Din, a Kashmiri , would have spoken of water needs of the people of Kashmir, who are facing drought like conditions in most parts of the Valley, where crops failed and farmers left high and dry. But he opted to voice concern of Pakistan rather than of Kashmiriis .

“ It’s becoming quite obvious that Pakistani leadership is using the icons of militancy and violence to raise the issue of water under the garb of Kashmir,” said a senior officer of the Jammu and Kashmir government who is monitoring the water issues .

Kashmir is also facing unprecedented shortage of water and power because of the prolonged dry spell and scantly snow and rains . “ We are yet to hear any concern about us from these so called Mujahadeen leaders,” lamented Ghulam Nabi , a resident of Budgam of the central Kashmir, , currently in Jammu .

On ground, the reality is that the water is in short supply because of melting of glaciers at a fast pace due to the climate change.

“ It seems that Pakistani leadership is making the people to believe as if the climate change or the global warming were India’s creation,” wondered Dhian Singh, a professor of Jammu university.

Jammu and Kashmir is in special focus in Pakistan’s aggressive propaganda on water because the three major rivers – Chenab, Jhelum and Indus pass through the state. Pakistan has right to monitor the usage of the waters of these three rivers under the 1960 world bank brokered Indus Water Treaty It has tried to stall the construction of hydro-power projects, first Salal, then Baglihar and now Kishenganga , which would bring power to the people of the state, despite having been told by the world bank appointed neutral observers that the Indian action on the rivers in kashmir were keeping in spirit of the Indus Water Treaty. But that has not stopped it and its militant organs to pin down India on the water issue, using Kashmir as a cover.

The treaty gives India right over the three rivers flowing through Punjab – Ravi, Beas and Sutlej .

The water flow in all these rivers is far less than previous years because of less snowfall in the higher reaches .