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India To Fast Track Four Projects In Indus River Basin

Discussion in 'International Relations' started by ranjeet, Oct 23, 2016.

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  1. seiko

    seiko VETERAN ELITE MEMBER

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    PM Narendra Modi's Push Against Pak Has A Role For Himalayan Rivers: Foreign Media


    Himalayan rivers have become the new flash point in the bitter India-Pakistan conflict, providing the latest diplomatic weapon in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's push to isolate Islamabad.

    With India still reeling from an attack in Kashmir that killed 19 soldiers, New Delhi is looking to dams and hydro-electric projects as diplomatic alternatives to military action in retaliation for what it views as Pakistan's support for terrorists striking in India's part of divided Kashmir. Saying "blood and water cannot flow together," Modi has settled on water, which flows from India into Pakistan, as a powerful new instrument of foreign policy.


    India's plans to review the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty -- an agreement that has survived three wars without modification -- could change the equation with not only Pakistan but also with China, a powerful upstream neighbor that controls Tibet where the Indus, Sutlej and Brahmaputra rivers originate.

    China and India have no water sharing treaty and India relies on China to share data on trans-border rivers under a pact signed in 2013. On Oct. 1. China said it had blocked flows of an upstream tributary of the Brahmaputra to complete work on a hydropower project, one among many planned. The Chinese foreign ministry didn't respond to a fax seeking comment on the issue.

    Officials in New Delhi, who have suspended an annual dialogue meeting with Islamabad, say they are reviewing the treaty and examining whether India can further dam and exploit the Indus and five other rivers that flow from India into Pakistan. New Delhi could renegotiate or even tear up the treaty, they say.

    Devastating Impact?

    Any change to the water supply to Pakistan would have a devastating impact, Hasan Askari Rizvi, a political analyst, said by phone from Lahore.

    With close to three-quarters of the country's 192 million population dependent on the Indus basin for their livelihoods and drinking water, the move would "undermine Pakistan's agriculture, which is the backbone of the economy," he said. Farm income contributes about 24 percent to gross domestic product in Pakistan and more than 95 percent of Pakistan's irrigated land is in the Indus river basin, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization.

    Although analysts doubt India would do away with the 1960 agreement entirely, Modi's administration is closely eyeing all diplomatic alternatives to an actual war between the nuclear-armed neighbors. Pakistan has said it will treat India's abrogation of the treaty as "an act of war."

    "All options are being examined," India's Water Secretary Shashi Shekhar, the country's top official in charge of water issues, told Bloomberg News in an interview. "What benefit will suspension give? What benefit will a review give? What benefit will abrogation give?"

    'About Water'

    The disputed region of Kashmir, which is claimed by both India and Pakistan, has been a source of tension between South Asia's two largest economies since the subcontinent's bloody partition in 1947. Two of the three wars fought between India and Pakistan have been over Kashmir.

    Less well known is Kashmir's role as a source of rivers that flow from India into Pakistan, which was a major issue when the borders of Punjab, now divided between India and Pakistan, were redrawn in 1947. For the last five decades, the widely-praised Indus Waters Treaty that governs the flow of six rivers has kept flare-ups at a minimum.

    Military Elite

    But with tensions running high, Indian officials are insisting India is not fully exploiting the rivers under the treaty's terms.

    Vikram Sood, former chief of India's foreign intelligence agency, said nothing worries Pakistan's military elite more than the prospect of India using the flow of rivers into Punjab as leverage.

    Reducing the water flow to Pakistan could create political instability or unrest in Punjab province, which is both a major agricultural producer and home to many of the top military officials who effectively run Pakistan, he said.

    "Kashmir is not about Kashmir," Sood said. "It's certainly not about the Kashmiri people. It's about water."


    "I don't think we'll abrogate it," he said, but added that "even abiding by the treaty to the maximum will hurt them."

    Examining Pact

    A team at the Ministry of External Affairs is currently examining the treaty, said Shekhar, the water secretary. A spokesman said the foreign ministry had no comment.

    Pakistan, however, is skeptical about the tough talk coming from Delhi. Modi's government has tried to distinguish itself from the previous Indian National Congress government by taking bold action against Pakistan.

    But one Pakistani government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said while the previous Congress government was quiet about the Indus Waters Treaty in public, it undermined it in private by building controversial dams along rivers such as the Chenab.

    India certainly requires more water. More than 600 million Indians face water shortages as rivers and lakes dry up. Under the treaty, Pakistan utilizes 80 percent of the Indus basin's six rivers, while India only uses 20 percent.

    As India reviews the treaty, however, it is not clear how aggressive New Delhi can be on water as a foreign policy.

    International Arbitration

    Any unilateral attempts by India to build new dams, for example, would likely end up before the World Bank, which arbitrates between the two sides on treaty disputes, said Professor Ashok Swain, director of the research school for international water cooperation at Sweden's
    Uppsala University. If India abandons the treaty, on the other hand, New Delhi risks ceding the moral high ground, Swain added.

    "At this point, India just cannot stop the water to Pakistan as it does not have the storage capability for it," he said.

    A spokesperson for the World Bank confirmed India and Pakistan had each initiated proceedings under the Treaty.

    "We never used the Indus Water Treaty for leverage, even during the wars," Sood said. "It's never been discussed like it is being discussed now."



    http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/pm-m...le-for-himalayan-rivers-foreign-media-1476138
     
  2. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Captain FULL MEMBER

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    That is a brilliant Strategy!
    " Saanp bhi maaro aur laathi bhi naa tootein" Says our Indian proverb.
     
  3. Lion of Rajputana

    Lion of Rajputana Captain FULL MEMBER

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    I know any such action would take significant time and that naturally speaking, a complete shutoff of the Indus Waters would cause flooding in Northern India; but is there any man made solution by which we could eventually make it feasible to turn off Pakistan's tap?
     
  4. MilSpec

    MilSpec Mod MODERATOR

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    One of the things I worry about is the this River issue.

    First and Foremost: The narrative of depriving Pakistanis of water, or turning the tap of is quite despicable to me. Water is a basic human necessity, and we should absolutely not stoop down to such levels even in our casual narrative.

    Utilization of run of the river projects, and creating reservoirs within the legitimate framework of IWT is necessary to sustain growth in the region which is absolutely fine. But the baseless hyperbole of water treaty violations that has been traditional talking point from Pakistan being aped by Indians is absolutely horrific and damages our credibility and our values.
     
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  5. Lion of Rajputana

    Lion of Rajputana Captain FULL MEMBER

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    War is war, it's very well to be a humanitarian, but every advantage over your enemy is to be exploited, and don't doubt for half a second that the Pakistani wouldn't shut off our water in a heartbeat if they had the chance.

    If Pakistan cannot be made to behave like a civilized nation through conventional means, you must bring it to its knees in another way.

    After everything Pakistan has done over the course of 70 years, turning off their tap would be nothing.
     
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  6. MilSpec

    MilSpec Mod MODERATOR

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    With the deepest regards I would disagree with you sir.

    When it really comes down to it, I question, who are we, what are we made of, what is the legacy w want to leave. Is our gripe with Pakistani establishment or the every child, man and woman of Pakistan. If we the people of India, would sink down to the narrative of Pakistani Military leadership, then it would be quite shameful for me.

    Lets not punch below our weight, in a fight we have enough valor, strength and perseverance, why would resort to for lack of better words "dick move" to further our interests.

    Rather than engaging even in ideas of depriving someone of water, lets manage our share of water, lets ensure that we are utilizing all of allocated resources within the framework of IWT, which we currently are not.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
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  7. Lion of Rajputana

    Lion of Rajputana Captain FULL MEMBER

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    First of all I'll just thank you for your very respectful and courteous tone, and mention that no disrespect is intended on my end either, and no hard feelings.

    Now to make my point; I personally believe in the concept of total war as well as the teachings/philosophy of Chanakya. The truth is we are in a war, and it is either us or them, this may not be how we wanted things to be, but that is how Pakistan has made them, and we have to be ruthless in a "us or them scenario" to survive.

    And one point we should take note of, is that while there may possibly be some innocents in Pakistan who do not hate us or want conflict, it is a liberal myth that the people of Pakistan all love us and want peace. Hindu and India hatred is very widespread and deeply engrained in the populace there, partially thanks to Army brainwashing, and also because that whole country was set up on the hateful 2 Nation Theory. So it's not as if every Pakistani is a peaceful dove and we are starving them of water. A lot of them hate us, want war and back the Army to the hilt.

    Next, in total war, every advantage and potential leverage, conventional or unconventional must be used. And frankly there isn't even a remote equivalence b/w India and Pak, especially on moral grounds, its not even close. No matter what we do, we will ALWAYS stand on a far superior moral ground.

    Pakistan is waging an unconventional war against us, and using nuclear blackmail to avoid conventional punishment while refusing to listen to any reason to stop its sick game, so if we won't be using conventional punishment, we must put unconventional punitive methods and deterrents into action, or continue to quietly get killed in scores as Pak unleashes terror attack after terror attack. Cutting off water would bring Pak to its knees without a shot fired or threat of nuclear war. The old saying about Laaton ke bhoot baaton se nahi maante was practically invented for Pakistan.

    And while I already mentioned that there will never in a million years be any degree of moral equivalence between India and Pakistan, just remember, that history will be written by the victor, we ARE the superior moral force, but it will be irrelevant if we lose, by the same token, no matter what we do, if we win, our narrative will prevail for eternity.

    A "dick" move would be cutting off Bangladesh's water over some disagreement, handling a terrorist nation like it deserves to be handled is no dick move. And the sooner we get over this obstacle of conscience and honorability (these obstacles have kept us from taking appropriate, decisive action against enemies for centuries i.e. Prithviraj forgiving Ghori), the better, because there is no greatness in being weak and no honor in losing to or tolerating a force of evil like Pakistan, regardless of what means you must use. If "kuta yudha" is necessary, so be it.
     
  8. MilSpec

    MilSpec Mod MODERATOR

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    I am not oblivious to your position, and in all fairness understand the rationale you are stating. I personally disagree with your position, but if I didn't we wouldn't be having this exchange. I like to believe I am neither a conservative nor a liberal although I identify with subsets of positions taken by both sides of the political discourse. What I am implying is that I am no flower child by any margins. Now coming to kuut neethigya, I have my doubts that the best of them would cause mass starvation of an enemy state.

    I would tag @Joe Shearer here to take this a bit further as I may be not as eloquent in establishing the position of absolutely not engaging in activities that potray us negatively around the world. lower riparian states are protected by certain conventions and just basic sense of decency. Next also is the practical side of implementing any mechanism that can actually alter a massive stage 1 river and the finally the unthinkable environmental aspects of habitat destruction and devastation of ecosystem damages that it might create downstream.

    In no way can I see this being a bright move from our side to even engaging in the narrative you are suggesting.

    regards.
     
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  9. PARIKRAMA

    PARIKRAMA Captain IDF NewBie

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    Well IMHO, the depriving part comes much later.. IF we use effectively what is our share properly for our ppl , projects and welfare of the state, that itself should be enough to begin with. That simple action itself will send the opposing state flying to all corners of the world and making us a monster like always.. and we still did only use our share as agreed earlier..

    Water Wars is far more dangerous in terms of reach and impact.. so its better we dont cross the threshold.. Ultimately more than one country issue, the image we will land up is far more draconian for our country in the international arena. OTOH using our share effectively gives us the leeway of disguising the same but in a much smaller guise of rules/agreements and a much wider impact of a perennial threat.

    But alone water wars cant give you result.. You have to mix it up with other options to get desired result.
     
  10. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer VETERAN MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    You said it all. We will be left without even a fig-leaf to cover our moral debacle.
     
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  11. Lion of Rajputana

    Lion of Rajputana Captain FULL MEMBER

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    You are making the assumption that I want to turn Pakistan into a permanent Sahara, not necessarily, though if that's what it takes I'd have no qualms about that either. If we turn off the tap, Pakistan would know we are serious and would gradually begin to feel the effects of reduced water flow, and would eventually cave, in all likelihood this would happen long before their whole population is immensely water starved. You are making the same mistake of jumping from 0 to 100, the way people who are against Indo-Pak conflict buy into the Pakistani narrative which goes straight from proxy to nuclear war. EVERY conflict on the face of this Earth follows an Escalation Ladder. The same way a tap is slowly shut off by moving the handle, we can move in gradual escalatory stages depending on how the Pakistanis respond and/or comply.

    So the conclusion that my plan is exclusively about going and completely starving the Pakistani people of water is not correct. My plan is a gradual one designed to turn up the heat on Pakistan until they begin to behave themselves. It's the difference between taming a dog and shooting it.

    And just to look at this far fetched theoretical situation; even IF their population became water starved, this could possibly make them a more difficult civilian population to handle and we may very well witness an uprising of the Pakistani people, while I am not exclusively banking on this happening, it is a possibility, and a beneficial one if it does occur.

    As for activities and how we are portrayed, activities and perception are not concretely bound together just so you know, countries routinely do one thing and create a perception of something else. But frankly, you talk about legal rights and protection of riparian states, for every law about those there are probably 3 laws against terrorism and pertaining to the defense of countries and their peaceful civilian populations. Yet Pakistan routinely conducts large scale terrorism in India and constantly gets away with what are essentially taps on its wrist. China violates just about every known law when it comes to boundaries or territories or resource sharing etc etc, but the world can't say much to them. Because the world doesn't really care, the UN is weak, and strength (And only strength) is respected. And mind you, I'm not suggesting we completely go the China route either, that'd be stupid, but the point I'm making is, there is no harm in occasionally bypassing or ignoring what the world thinks or what the rulebook says, sometimes one must make their move with full confidence the way China does, India on the other hand reminds me of a nervous, overly self conscious girl in grade school who's constantly fixing her hair or clothes and fidgeting, worrying what everybody else thinks of her and hoping that everyone will like her. The attitude of "Duniya kya Soche Gi?" needs to be rearranged a little, sometimes its ok to think, "Duniya ko Maro Goli."

    So turning off the tap temporarily or permanently, or the fear of how the world will perceive us because we turned off the tap, aren't the problems; we simply have to make sure that on every global forumn, this water dispute is linked to Pakistani terrorist activity and other hostile actions. It must be clear that this is our response to their unconventional methods, and that if they want water from us, they must stop slaughtering our civilians, among other things. It is both unbelievably foolhardy and incredibly suicidal to nourish your enemy with water, ye toh wohi saap ko dudh pilaane waali baat ho gayi.

    The only counter arguments that I would consider are the ones about being able to practically implement a complete tap shutoff from an engineering perspective, but that was the first thing I mentioned, nonetheless, given the time and determination, there is probably a solution out there.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
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  12. Lion of Rajputana

    Lion of Rajputana Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Exactly, under my plan it would likely never go as far as a complete shutoff or massive water starvation, but you can't take options of the table from the beginning, or you won't be feared or taken seriously. Pakistan has to THINK that we will go to any lengths, regardless of whether we will.

    And of course, an all of the above policy is a must. This Gvt is the first in a long time pursuing a truly effective all of the above policy.
     
  13. MilSpec

    MilSpec Mod MODERATOR

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    lets leave it at impasse.
    I have nothing left to add.

    regards.
     
  14. Lion of Rajputana

    Lion of Rajputana Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Fair enough my friend, take care.
     
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  15. Darth Marr

    Darth Marr Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Nobody gives a damn about Morality in todays day and age. Nor America, nor Russia nor any other country in the world.
     
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