Experts said it long ago that future wars will be fought over water. India’s government from the first day tried to convert Indo-Pak as a hotspot for “hydro-political issues.” India and Pakistan had gone to wars over water in the past. But the two sides entered into Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) 1960 that the World Bank (WB) facilitated. But with Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister (PM) of India, New Delhi’s overtures on water do not bode any good for the two sides.
Being a former member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Modi’s desire to assimilate Pakistan in India should not surprise anyone. Akhand Bharat is what RSS fed into the minds of many. And for many Indian politicians, the dream of Akhand Bharat can be materialised if Pakistan is made dry. Saying that the water belongs to the farmers of the Haryana state, he wants to further RSS’s ideology. The Indian PM’s remarks regarding diversion of water flows go against the principals of the international law, in general, and the articles of the IWT, in particular. His statement is a clear-cut demonstration of water aggression of India against Pakistan.
Nevertheless, Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal has correctly reminded India that Pakistan holds “exclusive rights” over three Western rivers. FO maintaining that any Indian attempt to divert the flow of these rivers will count nothing short of an act of aggression is not incorrect. Any Indian step along these lines will disturb the life in Pakistan in every respect. And Pakistan’s retaliation will not be unjust to control the damage, for Pakistan is already one of the most water-stressed countries in the world.
India, under Modi, is all set to turn Pakistan into a water-starved country. But India is not considering the political and economic fallout, not forgetting that India’s water aggression is posing a significant threat to international peace and security. Modi probably forgets that arbitrary blockage of rivers amounts to ‘aggression’ to which Pakistan’s military response will be justified.
The ball is in India’s court. Modi has to decide if he wants a peaceful region or a one ravaged by the war. Despite all Indian belligerences, Pakistan needs to adopt a proactive response rather than falling for a reactionary one. Islamabad should engage in intense lobbying to tell the international community of India’s water aggression that can prove detrimental for global peace and stability. Given the fact that India has many a time violated IWT due to our lack of vigilance, Islamabad has no other option but to act proactively against any future Indian aggression.