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Nuke deal with US turns out to be a reverie for Pakistan

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www.pakistantoday.com.pk

By Arka Mondal

New Delhi:There are obvious reasons behind the US shying away from inking the epic nuke deal with Pakistan. USA very well knows that in Pakistan the biggest debacle is not any militia like Al Qaeda or Taliban but the country’s army itself. Democracy is a rare word in the Pakistani history as on numerous occasions coups triggered by the Army chief toppled the elected government and usurped control over the militancy-ravaged nation. The Pakistan army that nurtures an innate virtue of unremitting hostility against India has ceaselessly tailed its nefarious motives over the country’s interest.

It is common in Pakistan that the army has stymied the elected government from developing a healthy relation with India. When Nawaz Sharif tried to mend ties with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi via his ‘mango diplomacy’, the Army came into the fray and literally arm-twisted Sharif and refrained him from doing a patch up.  USA does understand that Pakistan presenting dossiers on India’s alleged involvement in trying to destabilize the country is nothing but a disgruntled move to garner support. The international community is well aware of the fact that for the last forty years the army has actively backed terrorist outfits in Afghanistan which has led to death of American soldiers posted in the country. The fact that Taliban spearhead Mullah Omar and Al Qaeda supremo Osama bin Laden were traced in Pakistani soil had also irked US diplomats.

Back in 2014, a soft-coup engineered by the army forced Premier Nawaz Sharif to change his stance and chalk out a new foreign policy according to the directives of the armed forces. Sharif had no other options of clinging on to power but to surrender before the whims and fancies of the military and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Moreover, Pakistan failed miserably to justify its nuclear expansion strategy.  For long the country has been giving lame excuses of bolstering its nuclear arsenal to nullify India’s nuke program and military prowess.  Strangely, while India produces five nuclear warheads in a year, Pakistan stockpiles around 20. The American reluctance in the nuke deal can also be attributed to the fact that USA has become apprehensive of the statistics on nukes being mysteriously lost or accidentally used from Pakistan’s arsenal.

If USA okayed the nuke deal, it knew India would also beef up its nuclear prowess to thwart the challenge. This would arguably lead to a cold warlike situation in the Indian subcontinent with China, a higher nuke equipped nation, taking a stand. Moreover, USA’s military campaign in Afghanistan has drawn flak among several global quarters and Washington can ill afford to make a wrong move at this juncture.

Pakistan did try to present Kashmir as a rationale behind expanding its nuclear arsenal. But Islamabad is reluctant to accept the reality that during the partition it was the ruler of Kashmir who preferred India over Pakistan. Moreover, India has stationed over 50000 soldiers in Kashmir to neutralize any Pakistani attack.

As Pakistan continues to bicker with the Kashmir issue, it frequently ignores that each and every day the country is being torn in tatters with bomb blasts and subversive activities. Instead of grumbling and asking for favours from a superpower, it is high time for Pakistan to understand that it has to revamp its policy to deal with India who is firm on its stand that there is no possibility of a dialogue unless Pakistan ratifies the treaties.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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)