India adopting water diplomacy to settle issues with Pakistan though very late but still better as it has shown the willingness to go further as dialogue till date has not been able to stop forces inimical to India in Pakistan. Is it magnanimity or the political sloppiness that India has been benevolent to Pakistan for the last over seven decades allowing Indus water. In fact India never utilised the allocated Indus water under the UN-monitored treaty signed in 1960. India has the first right to exploit at least the allocated water then allow it for others. Despite all these understandings trans-boundary water issues between the two countries started re-emerging in 1970s over interpretation of various clauses of the Treaty. Initially these differences were sorted out through hectic bilateral diplomacy. Subsequently, starting mid-eighties, bilateral efforts began to fail resulting in recourse to dispute resolution mechanism envisaged in the Treaty involving the appointment of a Neutral Expert and a Court of Arbitration. This trend is continuing and a number of other issues are on the same trail. On the other hand, temptation to use water as a weapon for political maneuvering is assuming alarming proportions. Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari tweeted on Thursday to convey the decision of the government to stop India’s share of water going to Pakistan. All said and done politically the statement carries much weight but for India to go tough on this route needs more water storage facilities. Even if government initiates such a move, the actual implementation of the decision may take up to six years as dams as high as 100 metres will have to be built to stop such flow. India making its stand clear if the need arises it will be no violation of the treaty and was only aimed at getting the rightful due to people of the country. If India is able to harness the water flowing to Pakistan at least it can meet the domestic shortage and can produce power needed for electrification. Division of the waters of the Indus river system, which spans both countries, is governed by a 60-year-old treaty which is regarded as one of the most successful agreements of its kind. It has survived two wars and a number of military standoffs between India and Pakistan. Even in near future Indus water will flow with tough postures coming from both sides as one should not forget that BJP has much at stake in the coming parliamentary elections which are few months away.
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