An­other In­dian move to turn Pak land bar­ren

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -


is pur­su­ing a long- term strat­egy to par­a­lyze Pak­istan economi cally and as part of that it con­tin­ues to con­struct dams on the western rivers in sheer vi­o­la­tion of In­dus Basin Treaty. In­dia is in­vest­ing heav­ily on con­struc­tion of dams and plans to con­struct 155 hy­dropower projects on these rivers. In the re­cent move the Modi govern­ment has ap­proved di­vert­ing the wa­ter of Chenab into its Bias River and or­dered the com­ple­tion of un­der con­struc­tion Jaspa Dam on war foot­ing. If com­pleted it would make River Chenab dry from Mar­ala Head to Trimo, ren­der that part of the river com­pletely dry or sub­stan­tially re­duce the wa­ter.

The his­tory of In­dian wa­ter ag­gres­sion is very old but since the in­stal­la­tion of Naren­dra Modi as the Prime Min­is­ter, it is miss­ing no op­por­tu­nity to hurt the in­ter­ests of Pak­istan on dif­fer­ent fronts. The latest In­dian de­ci­sion to di­vert the wa­ter of Chenab is an­other man­i­fes­ta­tion of Modi’s anti Pak­istan pos­ture. The re­gret­table part is that our au­thor­i­ties on the other hand have al­ways demon­strated lack­lus­tre on these sin­is­ter de­signs which are meant to turn Pak­istan into a de­serted bar­ren land. The dams con­structed by In­dia on the Jhelum and Chenab rivers have al­ready cre­ated prob­lems for our agri­cul­ture sec­tor. Our fields are be­ing af­fected and anx­i­ety is ris­ing amongst Prov­inces over the dis­tri­bu­tion of wa­ter. Since it is mat­ter of our sur­vival, our top lead­er­ship should em­phat­i­cally raise the is­sue with the In­dian side. The prob­lem is that by be­ing en­gaged in ne­go­ti­a­tions with Pak­istan, In­dia cun­ningly also se­cures suf­fi­cient time to con­tinue the un­no­ticed con­struc­tion of its con­tro­ver­sial dams. For that rea­son In­dia balks at the in­dul­gence of third party in all wa­ter re­lated is­sues be­tween both the coun­tries, and in­stead it in­sists on bi­lat­eral talks. Ear­lier, Pak­istan had in­voked ar­ti­cle IX of 1960 In­dus Basin Wa­ter Treaty due to in­con­clu­sive talks on Bagli­har dam. The World Bank had nom­i­nated the ar­bi­tra­tor with the con­sent of both the coun­tries, but the ver­dict was in favour of In­dia. Given the In­dian wa­ter ag­gres­sion, our con­cerned au­thor­i­ties should shun slum­ber and de­vote all their en­er­gies to pro­tect the coun­try’s in­ter­ests in line with IBT which pro­hibits al­ter­ation of wa­ter flows. Along with this we also ex­pect other top lead­ers es­pe­cially Im­ran Khan to add his strong voice on the mat­ter and ex­pose In­dian de­signs against Pak­istan at dif­fer­ent fo­rums.

THE ju­nior Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ap­plied con tro­ver­sial fash­ion— of techno war­fare via mil­i­tary/ armed drones— has been de­vi­ously fol­lowed by Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion. For the most part, the U. S. govern­ment adopts a pol­icy of le­gal es­capism about the re­ported drone strikes that take place out­side of ‘ hot’ bat­tle­fields or the zone of ac­tive hos­til­i­ties/ com­bats, and it does not re­lease lists of those tar­geted or killed. Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s of­fi­cials have of­fered oblique accounts of the drone strike pro­gramme, but these have been at an ex­tremely high level of gen­er­al­ity, with few fac­tual de­tails or de­tails re­lat­ing to the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ‘ le­gal anal­y­sis’. Given fair rule of in­ter­na­tional law, the le­git­i­macy of Obama’s drone strikes largely re­mains in ‘ ques­tion’.

De­spite the US mil­i­tary strate­gists’ ‘ ad­vo­cated jus­ti­fi­ca­tion of pre­ci­sion the­ory’, the US drone strikes rep­re­sent a sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge to the in­ter­na­tional rule of law. The strikes pre­cisely defy straight­for­ward le­gal ‘ cat­e­go­riza­tion’. In fact, drone strikes or, more ac­cu­rately, the post- 9/ 11 le­gal the­o­ries un­der­ly­ing such strikes— con­sti­tute a se­ri­ous, sus­tained, and vis­i­ble as­sault on the gen­er­ally ac­cepted mean­ing of cer­tain core le­gal con­cepts, in­clud­ing ‘ self- de­fence,’ ‘ armed at­tack,’ ‘ im­mi­nence’, ‘ ne­ces­sity,’ ‘ pro­por­tion­al­ity,’ ‘ com­bat­ant’, ’ civil­ian’, ‘ armed con­flict’, and ‘ hos­til­i­ties’— have cre­ated more ‘ le­gal am­bi­gu­i­ties’. Even Pres­i­dent Obama’s speech on drones, de­liv­ered at the Na­tional De­fence Univer­sity on May 23, 2013, did not serve to shed


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