Islamabad: – Pakistan has raised objections regarding lower Kalnai and Pakal Dal Hydroelectric projects, being built by India on the Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir. Zahid Chaudhri, the Pakistan foreign ministry spokesman, informed that the objections regarding the hydroelectric projects had been conveyed to India. The Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) meeting is scheduled to be held in New Delhi in the upcoming week. Pakistan has raised these objections just before the meeting.
India is building hydroelectric projects on the rivers Chenab, Jhelum, and their tributaries in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Pakistan had raised objections regarding some of these projects. Pakistan approached the World Bank and even the international arbitrator. But it had been clarified that all the hydroelectric projects being built by India are within the scope of the Indus Water Treaty.
Now, Pakistan has objected to the Kalnai and Pakal Dal Hydroelectric projects just before the PIC meeting. As per the Indus water treaty between India and Pakistan, signed in 1960, it is mandatory to hold an annual meeting of the PIC. Accordingly, this meeting will be held on the 25th of March. Against the background of the meeting, Pakistan has accused that the lower Kalnai and Pakal Dal Hydroelectric projects attempt to cut off Pakistan’s water.
This is a violation of the Indus Water Treaty. Zahid Chaudhri, the Pakistan foreign ministry spokesman, said that Pakistan must get its share of the water. He also dug up the Kashmir issue at this time. Chaudhri said Pakistan has always tried to resolve all the disputes amicably with India, including the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, it has been repeatedly clarified that none of the Indian projects violates the Indus water treaty. In 2016, after Pakistani terrorists carried out the terror attack on the Indian Army base in Uri, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had warned that blood and water could not flow in the same stream. He had also warned that the Indian share of water would not be allowed to flow into Pakistan. The government undertook hydroelectric projects on the rivers in Jammu and Kashmir with this objective, which made Pakistan restless.
Pakistani analysts have repeatedly been expressing fears that Pakistani agriculture depends on India’s water, and if this water is cut off, Pakistan will become an arid desert.