Kashmir Situation Is A Water Situation, Indus Treaty Challenged

21 Aug 2019 by Staff - Water Diplomat

Pakistan authorities August 19 warned that release of water from an upstream dam may cause flooding in Pakistan’s Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces.

The Indian-administered part of the majority-Muslim region, known as Jammu and Kashmir had special status "revoked" by the Indian Government August 5, placing it under Indian control. Pakistan says that the move violates international law.

Pakistan has said it will exercise options available to it to protect rights under the treaty: They try to isolate diplomatically, they try to strangulate economically, they’re trying to strangulate our water resources – and water automatically will have an impact on your economy, your agriculture and your irrigation,” said Muzammil Hussain, chairman of the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), as reported in Eastern Eye.

It is unclear yet if any flooding actually occurred but an Indian official familiar with the treaty claimed that such release was not unusual in monsoon season and that the volume released was not governed by the treaty. He added that prior data sharing arrangements were “goodwill” and that “those days are gone”.

The World Bank-mediated Indus Water Treaty splits the Indus River and its tributaries between the countries.

India, upstream, threatened in February to stop sharing excess water with Pakistan after a suicide bomb attack by a Pakistan-based militant group in Kashmir that killed 40 Indian paramilitary police.

Further coverage of the Indus Treaty by OOSKAnews