March 2003 News

Terrorists For Water!

15 March 2003
The Daily Excelsior

Jammu: The assembly that is getting more known for noise and walkouts has produced some real gems on the issue of the Indus Waters Treaty. It is interesting to note that the Indus Waters Treaty, which allows the waters of the State to go to Pakistan while restricting their full utilization in the State, has evoked protests from members cutting across the party lines. The general insistence of the members is that the state should have full use of the waters which can later go to Pakistan. That argument cannot be faulted especially when the interests of the State and its people are considered. The hue and cry raised by Pakistan over the height of the Bhagliar project is actually to thwart the upstream utilization of the waters. The treaty has also hampered de-silting of Salal project. As a result the State has been a net sufferer while Pakistan is a net gainer. It is rubbing this in with its insistence on having a full say over the Bhagliar height and project. Thus Pakistan is itself jeopardizing the treaty that is generally seen to be to its advantage. A recent meeting of the Indus Waters Treaty committee that met in Karachi broke down on this very point of utilization of the up waters in the State. On the other hand there have been suggestions from different quarters of public, and intellectual circles too, that India should actually use the water as an instrument to force Pakistan stop its terrorist incursions into this State and country. Why, they argue, should the nation allow precious waters flow into a land that is in high enmity with this country? Every thing, as they say, is fair in love and war. If a country is not ready to respect the international norms of coexistence and non-interference, is deep into subversive activities against this nation and proclaims every strike, every killing as an achievement', it cannot expect to enjoy the fruits of those very international obligations. Indeed, the very rationale of observing the treaty obligations fades when one of the countries gets into causeless and perpetual war-mongering. With this declared enmity there can't be many adjustments of equality. When the treaties are unequally weighed giving wide concessions to the belligerent partner the consideration for the concession simply ceases. That, indeed, is what the legislature of this State has been demanding. Though, as the CM says, the scrapping of the treaty may not be feasible, its very continuance is being hampered by the behavior and acts of Pakistan. In this context the remarks and sentiments of the members are very significant and reflect the thinking in this State. It is difficult to miss the pith of one member's ironic remark that while we are sending them vital waters Pakistan is paying back in the streams of terrorists and subversives. Another marked the height of irony, saying that had Pakistan sent the Crores, it is sending underground to stoke terrorism here, over-ground it would probably have compensated the State and its people for some of the loss the outflow has been causing. Clearly Pakistan has been testing the patience of this nation and State in ways more than one. In past she has been getting away with it on the basis of the support of the players of world games. But the world has seen how costly that playing can be. It is time Pakistan realized it, too.


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