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Unwise to keep India out of SCO: Chinese daily

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Credits-www.sectsco.org

 

Beijing: It would have been politically unwise to keep India out of the SCO and push it towards other groups, “especially given India’s increasing role in global affairs”, said an opinion piece in a state-run Chinese daily on Tuesday.

Credits-www.sectsco.org
Credits- www.sectsco.org

The opinion piece “New members help drive SCO momentum” that appeared in the Global Times said that the inclusion of India and Pakistan as full-fledged members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is the first attempt for the bloc to expand its official membership.

“It is alleged that China was reluctant to grant its full support to India’s application, and the theory goes that there was some trading behind the scenes between the two,” said the piece by Xie Chao, a PhD candidate in the Department of International Relations, Tsinghua University.

“What makes such anecdotal stories believable to some was the speculation that India’s promise to accept China into the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was in exchange for China’s final consent. However, such theory is not tenable.”

The opinion piece said that the SAARC is a sub-continental cooperation grouping “dominated by India, but the association’s influence has been entangled and jeopardized by the internal competition between India and Pakistan”.

It noted that if this were the “trading that the theory is talking about, it would be the worst deal a state can ever make and certainly it is unfair to expect China would do so”.

“All in all, an open SCO is better than a closed one.”

It went on to say that “a simultaneous worry has arisen that the SCO might become dysfunctional, as happened to the SAARC, if India and Pakistan bring their differences to the forum. While this is a reasonable concern, such a worry is overstressed”.

Xie pointed out that “there is no record of India bringing bilateral issues to multilateral forums. As a matter of fact, it is in its interests to keep the issues in the region rather than drag in outside powers”.

“Second, the SCO focuses on multilateral rather than bilateral regimes.

“Third, it is politically unwise to keep India out and push it towards other groups, especially given India’s increasing role in global affairs. Its (joining) will allow the SCO to fully release its potential in refreshing and reframing the pattern of relations among major powers.”

The author said that “when we are speculating that China might have accommodated some of India’s concerns, we must admit that it is not an easy step for a proud nation as India to enter an international organization led, or co-led by China, since this is a gesture to acknowledge China’s influence on global affairs”.

The opinion piece said the “SCO will provide another platform for China to discuss its relations with India when both are finding a range of issues of common interests, together with all other members in the bloc. Actually history has proven that they can cooperate very well in a bunch of multilateral frameworks”.

(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)