Where is this all Water coming from..
17 August, 2010
By Mr. Zaid Hamid and Ms. Gulpari Mehsud
There is a very sinister aspect to the floods in Pakistan that no one is discussing in the media. While there were rains and flooding in some rivers of the country, the size, scale and the gush of water suddenly pumped into these rivers defies logic. This is especially true considering that rains have slowed down since the breakout of the floods on 29 July.
It is two weeks since the rains stopped but water continues to rise in the rivers Indus and Chenab. There was no flooding in India or in Afghanistan. Never before have rivers in all the provinces of Pakistan flooded at the same time without a similar act affecting the upstream, the source. While some parts of the country, like some areas of Khyber Pakhtun Khwa saw flooding in 1929, the simultaneous floods covering all of Pakistan and in all of the rivers flowing in from Afghanistan and Indian-occupied Kashmir is something truly unprecedented.
The speed and quantity of the gushing water and the short span of time in which it picked momentum preclude the possibility that melting glaciers are solely responsible for the floods.
There is no evidence that suggests that glaciers decided to melt at a faster speed just in time for the heavy monsoon rains.
There is every likelihood that what we are seeing today is that the Indians and the US-backed regime in Kabul are using water as a weapon for the first time to deluge Pakistan. There is no doubt about it.
From an initial look at the data, it seems that a natural spill of heavy rain was exploited by releasing water reservoirs in Indian-occupied Kashmir and on river Kabul. Let’s remember that the Met Office in Pakistan had already forecast heavy rains almost ten days before the first downpour. Different people received this news in different ways. Pakistani politicians, inept and incompetent as usual, slept over it. The anti-Pakistan terrorists based on Afghan soil and supported by several countries used this information to exacerbate terror against Pakistani citizens in the southwestern province of Balochistan, knowing that the State machinery would be distracted.
Interestingly, even when it comes to water, it is Indians who are sitting to the left and right of Pakistan’s borders and controlling it`s flow. The dam on Kabul river is handled by Indian personnel, while tens of dams choke Pakistan from the side of occupied Kashmir.
In February, the Obama administration organized a meeting for senior government officials in Kabul and Islamabad who handle agricultural issues. The meeting was strangely held in Doha, Qatar, on US request. The agenda was to force the Pakistanis to grant agricultural concessions to the US-propped government in Kabul, without Pakistan getting anything in return.
But in the meeting, Mr. Zahoor Malik, a senior Pakistani bureaucrat leading the Pakistani delegation, raised the issue of an Indian company with close links to the Indian government building a dam on river Kabul near the border with Pakistan. It is not clear what the Americans and Karzai’s officials had to say about this. There is a track record, however, that the incumbent pro-US government in Islamabad has often swept such issues under the carpet in order not to jeopardize Washington’s support for the Zardari government.
All major rivers flowing into Pakistan including the Indus are blocked by Indian-built dams.
US and British officials often defend India and dismiss Pakistani concerns as ‘conspiracy theories.’ Some Pakistani analysts accuse elements within US government and intelligence of using Afghan soil against Pakistan.
But imagine this: India, a country that faces a debilitating conflict over Kashmir with Pakistan, goes to build tens of small and medium sized dams on all the rivers flowing down to Pakistan, and everything is supposed to work out smoothly? Not possible, even theoretically. But luckily Indian actions on the ground more than strengthen Pakistani concerns.
After the first wave of floods, the other rivers were flowing normally and no extraordinary rains followed. But suddenly Chenab and Indus Rivers overflowed and the flow picked up speed, turning into a flood. India’s Baghliar Dam in occupied Kashmir opened its flood gates to cause a tragedy in the plains of Pakistan [Sindh and Punjab]. While Sarobi Dam – the Indian-maintained dam near Kabul – controls the flow of Kabul River entering Pakistan. The same thing happened here. Monsoons did not lash Afghanistan and there was no flooding there of any magnitude. But again, strangely, water flowing from river Kabul into Pakistan dramatically picked up speed as water levels increased turning into a flood. The speed with which this transformation occurred could have happened only because of one of two reasons: massive rains in Afghanistan or because Sarobi Dam released large amounts of water over a sustainable period of time.
ANP, a US-allied party with strong links to Kabul and New Delhi and ruling the Pakistani northwestern province, has always opposed the construction of the Kalabagh Dam which would have saved thousands of lives and property had it been there. The ANP has argued that building the dam would drown the city of Nowshehra. Ironically, ANP’s lie was exposed when not only Nowshehra but also Charsadda drowned without the Kalabagh Dam being there and thanks to the artificial floods created in Kabul River by ANP’s Indian and Afghan patrons.
[Earlier this year, Washington and New Delhi came to ANP’s defense on the Kalabagh Dam project by lobbying the World Bank to refuse Islamabad’s request for funding the dam. The Bank obliged and said it can’t fund the project due to Indian objections.]
How Pakistan responds to this latest Indian water war and aggression is something that remains to be seen. What is confirmed is that the incumbent pro-US government in Islamabad is useless when it comes to defending the Pakistani interest. To be fair to this government, this unusual situation in Islamabad started under former President Musharraf and continues with the current ‘elected’ government with amazing continuity. This water aggression has proved more lethal than the TTP [so-called Pakistani Taliban] and the BLA insurgencies, both of which were started from the Afghan springboard to punish Pakistan.
Pakistan has taken another serious hit, more from its corrupt rulers than external enemies. These Indian Dams now need to be destroyed. India has declared war on us by exploiting and orchestrating these floods.