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Indian SC orders water hegemony... By Gen.(r) Aslam Beg

06 March, 2012

India's Supreme Court on February 27, 2012, ordered the government to implement the 2002 project to link major rivers in India ‘in a time-bound manner'. The over $100 billion project will link around 30 rivers, to ensure flood control and equitable distribution of water by efficient transfer of water from surplus to deficit areas. The project is split into the Himalayan component (with 14 linkages) and the peninsular component (with 16 linkages). The project aims to link 30 major rivers and construction of large dams within India, Nepal and Bhutan, requiring international agreements with these countries. Pakistan sharply reacted to this dangerous Indian move of interlinking of disputed rivers in Occupied Kashmir and said that the $100 billion project to link around 30 rivers would strangulate Pakistan. However, no response has been received from India, which continues building 300 small and major dams, linking the rivers to block Pakistan's water share.

Additionally, India has allocated $212 billion for turning the watercourses of Chenab, Jhelum and Indus from north to south, and to deprive Pakistan of its share of water and establish Indian water hegemony -- an all-encompassing strategy to destabilize Pakistan. These dams are affecting seven million acres of fertile land. According to articles 3, 4 and 7 of the Indus Water Treaty, India could not construct any water reservoirs over the western rivers of Chenab, Jhelum and Sindh, nor could it divert the catchment areas of tributary canals of these rivers. New Delhi is also bound to notify Pakistan in advance about the water schemes, but so far it has failed to do so. Pakistan becomes aware of the projects when they are complete upto 70 percent. These include 24 projects on River Chenab, 52 on River Jhelum and 18 on River Indus. Pakistan's agriculture is under serious threat. Rivers, lakes and aquifers are national security assets and are to be protected at all times. The question is, what plans does Pakistan have to challenge Indian water hegemony?

GENERAL MIRZA ASLAM BEG Via email

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