InternationalVOLUME 15 ISSUE # 06

India’s insanity

As if all the insanity that the incumbent Indian government, headed by Premier Narendra Modi, has been demonstrating for the past almost three months has not been enough. To further accentuate its insanity India has now got down to audaciously threatening Pakistan of diverting the western rivers’ flow to Pakistan. The threat, one must know, has come from no less than the stature of the ever-belligerent Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
In a statement published in the Indian daily The Hindu lately, Modi brashly said that New Delhi would stop water from the Indian rivers that had been flowing to Pakistan and give it to the Indian farmers. Emphasizing on his intent to do so, he said, “This water belongs to the farmers of Haryana, Rajasthan, and the country, and we will get it”. All this was very proudly said by the Indian premier while addressing an election rally at Charkhi Dadri in the Indian state of Haryana on October 15, 2019. Further elaborating on the issue, Modi informed his audience that work towards the realization of the project had already begun. He told them that India would put to use its share of water from the rivers flowing to Pakistan and assured that every single drop would be provided to the country’s farmers.
What one is at loss to understand is why the apparently populist and politically effervescent Indian Premier Narendra Modi, for some reason or the other, always fails to appreciate that there are some laws and treaties that govern such vital issues and India cannot take such whimsical decision unilaterally. If, however, Modi had made this declaration at Haryana exclusively for public consumption then it is quite understandable.
Pakistan, as persuasively stated by Pakistan’s foreign office, has exclusive rights over the three rivers India is talking about, under the Indus Water Treaty (IWT). India, therefore, cannot stop water flowing from these rivers to Pakistan. In view of the foregoing fact, Pakistan has warned India to desist from diverting the western water flow to Pakistan. To further emphasize its stance on this critical issue, Pakistan has firmly said that any attempt by India to divert the flow of western rivers will be considered “an act of aggression and Pakistan has the right to respond.”
As articulated in the World Bank (IBRD-IDA) brief of June 11, 2018, the Indus Waters Treaty was signed in 1960 after nine years of negotiations between India and Pakistan with the help of the World Bank, which is also a signatory. The negotiations were the initiative of former World Bank President Eugene Black. Seen as one of the most successful international treaties, it has survived frequent tensions, including conflict, and has provided a framework for irrigation and hydropower development for more than half a century. Former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower described it as “one bright spot in a very depressing world picture that we see so often.”
So far as the working of IWT is concerned, the treaty sets out a mechanism for cooperation and information exchange between the two countries regarding their use of the rivers, known as the Permanent Indus Commission, which has a commissioner from each country. The treaty also sets forth distinct procedures to handle issues which may arise: “questions” are handled by the commission; “differences” are to be resolved by a neutral expert; and “disputes” are to be referred to a seven-member arbitral tribunal called the “Court of Arbitration.” Despite the fact that as a signatory to the treaty, the World Bank’s role is limited and procedural; the World Bank remains committed to taking action in good faith and with complete impartiality and transparency in fulfilling its responsibilities under the treaty, while continuing to assist the countries.
Indian Premier Narendra Modi’s venturing into a new escapade against Pakistan impudently threatening to stop water from the Indian rivers reflects nothing but his insanity that has acquired irrepressible proportions because of the volatile situation in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. What Modi fails to appreciate is that intimidating Pakistan of such repressive measures would not frighten it a bit. Pakistan will never get cowed down by such threats and continue to assiduously raise its voice in support of the subjugated people of occupied Kashmir at every international forum. It has done it in the recent past and it would continue to do so until India immediately stops committing atrocities on innocent men, women and children in IOK, and the people of the occupied territory are granted the right to self-determination as assured under the UN Resolution of 1948.
India and Pakistan are at loggerheads with each other over the grave issue of Indian Occupied Kashmir. Emboldened by the silence of the world community and fully backed by the belligerent Indian government of Premier Narendra Modi, the vicious Indian forces are incessantly engaged in committing atrocities on innocent and totally unarmed people of occupied Kashmir. Human rights abuses being committed by India in the occupied territory have crossed all bounds of civility and international law. The failure of international human rights organizations to prevail on India to stop abuses in IOK is encouraging India to blatantly pursue its policy of violence against the Kashmiris and depriving them of their fundamental rights.
Needles to say, with every passing day the Kashmir imbroglio is acquiring critical dimensions. India’s dastardly act of diverting the western rivers’ flow to Pakistan is definitely bound to further aggravate the already inflammable situation. The UN, the US in particular and the world community in general, must take immediate cognizance of the threats that India is hurling at Pakistan, the atrocities its forces are brazenly committing in occupied Kashmir, and its utter contravention of all international norms and resolutions vis-à-vis issues of international significance.