Published by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Support Us

Sign Up for Our Newsletter


Opinions and observations from environmental experts, activists, and luminaries

an excellent article on the state of the water dispute between two nuclear armed south asian neighbours.It demonstrates the authors keen interest and understanding of the problem

The author has given a detailed insight on the design and structure of the dams, giving the specific example of the Baglihar Dam. I find it hard to disagree with the author on this post. The example of a neutral authority to be an arbitrator in the settlement of the water dispute was clearly a neglected cause by the higher authoritative bodies on this particular issue. The technical design of the dam was clearly flawed and one-sided because of the immense control India has over the spillways. There should essentially be no control over a natural resource which is a contributing factor to Pakistan's agro-based economy. The Swiss national's lack of expertise or lack of interest possibly may have been the cause of his rather implausible decision.

The most important of factors, which is extremely worrying is the fact that the control of the spillways gives India a strategic edge in times of tension between the two countries. It is quite a pity that the Indian government has to resort to manipulating natural resources like water to deter Pakistan. Though the Pakistani economy does heavily depend on water for crops and hydroelectric generation but is it really a necessary and de rigueur strategy for India to do so? Is the water from the other rivers in India not sufficient enough to support the massive, uncontainable population?

It seems a pathetic excuse to say that they need water that ends up in Pakistan's tributaries just because they have control over the spillways. Foreign neutral authorities like the Swiss national may have been an alternative but there ought to be an intergovernmental body with foreign experts as consultants rather than the decision makers who can prescribe what ought to be done to distribute and allocate water rightfully and justly. Such a method would obviously imply the seriousness and cardinal significance of the issue. Of course, since India currently has the majority control, the government, for self-indulgent reasons would be a hindrance to a viable cause for both nations.

I have no idea how modern is civil engineering education in Pakistan, but their objection is true only in a tune to the old technology of 1960s. This was also pointed by the neutral expert. Instead of agreeing, they are taking chances on a highly intelligent swiss professor of civil engineering with renowned research and experience. And why should he bother about war-time hypothetical situation? It is for two nations to maintain peace, not him.

What benefits India has been getting out of Indus Water Treaty? As far as I know India has so far been much more responsible than any other Asian nation (Other than Japan). And even if India is using strategic edge she has over Pakistan because of geography, what's wrong with it? Every nation does it. Pakistan has been doing such thing since her inception.