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CM Mehbooba’s different voices: Bashing Pakistan in Delhi but Friendly in Kashmir

The statement said during her talks with Modi, Mehbooba was said to have advocated a "reconciliatory" approach towards separatists as well as Pakistan for peace in Kashmir

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Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed- CM of Jammu and Kashmir. Image Source: www.youthconnect.in

– by Sarwar Kashani

New Delhi, August 28, 2016: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday attacked Pakistan and separatist leaders, while she was in Delhi, for inciting trouble in the state, but later in Srinagar, her tone and tenor changed- from being angry to conciliatory.

During her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi in the morning, Mehbooba lashed out at Pakistan – in a first for the fiery woman Kashmiri politician known for her soft spot towards Islamabad.

But after she reached Srinagar, her office issued a statement giving a more placatory picture.

The statement said during her talks with Modi, Mehbooba was said to have advocated a “reconciliatory” approach towards separatists as well as Pakistan for peace in Kashmir.

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“Mehbooba outlined a three-pronged action plan before the Prime Minister for the resolution of the Kashmir issue, including involvement of separatists and Pakistan in substantive dialogue, to work out a solution to the problem in light of the contemporary geopolitical realities,” the statement quoted the Chief Minister as saying.

https://twitter.com/NewsGram1/status/769519939292106752

However, when she addressed the media in Delhi after her 45-minute meeting with Modi, she came out strongly against Pakistan accusing it of creating the ongoing trouble in Kashmir where people seething with anger have been persistently holding violent anti-government protests for the past 50 days.

At least 71 persons – including two policemen – have been killed since the July 8 killing of pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen’s Kashmir commander Burhan Wani.

“I want to tell Pakistan, if it has any sympathy for Kashmiris, it should stop provoking (Kashmiris) to attack police stations,” she said in Delhi, asking Islamabad to mend its ways and stop triggering violence and causing deaths in the valley.

But the statement issued in Srinagar said that Mehbooba spoke about “the reconciliation and resolution process with a fresh resolve”, urging Modi “to take bold political initiatives on Kashmir as was done by (his predecessor) Vajpayee”.

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She stressed on “the need for initiating a credible and meaningful political action on the ground to make peace and stability a reality in the state” and invited the separatist Hurriyat Conference for “a meaningful dialogue process for the peaceful resolution” of the Kashmir issue.

https://twitter.com/NewsGram1/status/763742687300296706

During her days in the opposition Mehbooba – a strong votary of self-rule – openly used to question Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India. “Accession of Jammu and Kashmir with India has proved counter-productive,” she once said at a north Kashmir political rally.

Mehbooba’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is a relatively new entrant in the ideologically divided political spheres of Jammu and Kashmir, where nurturing a pro-Pakistan sentiment has been a potent tool for politicians since long to attract voters.

Former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) head A.S. Dulat has succinctly described in his memoir “Kashmir: Vajpayee years” this character of Kashmiri politicians “speaking in different voices” in Srinagar, in Jammu and Delhi – right from Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah to Mehbooba.

Dulat wrote about politicians’ liking for the green colour in Kashmir where almost all political parties except for the National Conference and Peoples Conference have green party flags.

“When Muslim United Front (MUF) was formed in 1987, it chose green as its flag’s colour. PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s favourite colour is green, which she uses while campaigning. All militant organisations make free use of green,” Dulat writes.

Mehbooba also drapes herself in full green during public rallies in Kashmir. She has a pen and inkpot as her party symbol – the same that Syed Salahuddin, the supreme commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit, used when he fought the infamously rigged assembly election of 1987. (IANS)

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Three Projects Help India to Stop its Share of Water to Pakistan after Pulwama

The waters of the western rivers - the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab - averaging around 135 MAF, were allocated to Pakistan.

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Picture Courtesy:-www.economylead.com

The government has envisaged three projects to give intent to its decision to stop its share of water from three eastern rivers of the Indus system – the Beas, Ravi and Sutlej – from going to Pakistan.

The decision was affirmed by Water Resource Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday in the wake of Pulwama terror attack though the Union cabinet had approved implementation of one of the key projects – Shahpurkandi dam – in December last year.

The waters of the western rivers – the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab – averaging around 135 MAF, were allocated to Pakistan except for “specified domestic, non-consumptive and agricultural use permitted to India”, according to a treaty.

India has also been given the right to generate hydroelectricity through run-of-the-river (RoR) projects on the western rivers which, subject to specific criteria for design and operation, is unrestricted.

pakistan, india, water ban
However, about 2 MAF of water annually from Ravi is reported to be still flowing unutilised to Pakistan. VOA

To utilise the waters of the Eastern rivers, India has constructed the Bhakra Dam on Satluj, Pong and Pandoh Dam on Beas and Thein (Ranjitsagar) on Ravi. These storage works, together with other works like Beas-Sutlej Link, Madhopur-Beas Link and Indira Gandhi Nahar Project have helped India utilise nearly the entire share (95 per cent) of the eastern river waters.

However, about 2 MAF of water annually from Ravi is reported to be still flowing unutilised to Pakistan. The other two projects are Ujh multipurpose project and the second Ravi Beas link below Ujh.

Here’s the reality check of the three projects:

Shahpurkandi Project: It aims to utilise the waters coming from powerhouse of Thein dam in order to irrigate 37,000 hectares of land in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab by generating 206 MW of power.

The project was scheduled to be completed by September 2016. However, following a dispute between the two states, work was suspended in August 2014 but they reached an agreement last September and the construction work has now resumed with the Centre monitoring its progress. The central government had in December last year announced assistance of Rs 485 crore for the project and it would be completed by June 2022.

 

India, pakistan, pulwama, water ban
The decision was affirmed by Water Resource Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday in the wake of Pulwama terror attack. VOA

The project will create irrigation potential of 5,000 hectare in Punjab and 32,173 hectare in Jammu and Kashmir.

Officials said that some water of the Ravi is going waste through the Madhopur Headworks downstream to Pakistan and it is required in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

The total balance cost of pending work in ShahpurKandi Dam project is estimated Rs 1,973.53 crore (irrigation component: Rs 564.63 crore, power component Rs1408.90 crore).

The Shahpurkandi Project was initially approved by the Planning Commission in November, 2001. Revised costs were approved, but there was delay in its execution both because of lack of funds with Punjab and inter-state issues with Jammu and Kashmir.

An agreement was finally reached between the two states under the aegis of Water Resources Ministry in September last year.

Ujh multipurpose project: Construction of the Ujh multipurpose project will create a storage of about 781 million cubic metres of water on Ujh, a tributary of Ravi, for irrigation and power generation and provide a total irrigation benefits of 31,380 hectares in Kathua, Hiranagar and Samba districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 5,850 crore and the Central assistance of Rs 4,892.47 crore on works portion of irrigation component as well as the special grant is under consideration. The project is yet to be implemented and it will take about six years for completion.

Second Ravi Beas link below Ujh: The project has been planned to tap excess water flowing down to Pakistan through Ravi by constructing a barrage across it for diverting water through a tunnel link to the Beas basin.

The project is expected to utilise about 0.58 MAF of surplus waters below Ujh dam by diverting the same to the Beas basin.

 

india, pakistan, water share, pulwama
Officials said that some water of the Ravi is going waste through the Madhopur Headworks downstream to Pakistan and it is required in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. Wikimedia

The water distribution treaty between India and Pakistan was brokered by the World Bank in 1960 to use the water available in the Indus system of rivers originating in India.

 

ALSO READ: IOC Cancels Places for 2020 Tokyo Games from India after it Refused Visas to Pakistan

The Indus system comprises Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej rivers. The basin is mainly shared by India and Pakistan with a small share for China and Afghanistan.

Under the treaty signed between India and Pakistan in 1960, all the waters of the three eastern rivers, averaging around 33 million acre feet (MAF), were allocated to India for exclusive use.  (IANS)