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DarkKnightNomeD

Why the India-Pakistan War Over Water Is So Dangerous

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 DarkKnightNomeD    2,153

 

Why the India-Pakistan War Over Water Is So Dangerous

As New Delhi and Islamabad trade nuclear threats and deadly attacks, a brewing war over shared water resources threatens to turn up the violence.

http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/09/30/why-the-india-pakistan-war-over-water-is-so-dangerous-indus-waters-treaty/

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Early on the morning of Sept. 29, according to India’s Defense Ministry and military, Indian forces staged a “surgical strike” in Pakistan-administered Kashmir that targeted seven terrorist camps and killed multiple militants. Pakistan angrily denied that the daring raid took place, though it did state that two of its soldiers were killed in clashes with Indian troops along their disputed border. New Delhi’s announcement of its strike plunged already tense India-Pakistan relations into deep crisis. It came 11 days after militants identified by India as members of the Pakistani terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed killed 18 soldiers on a military base in the town of Uri, in India-administered Kashmir.

Amid all the shrill rhetoric and saber rattling emanating from India and Pakistan in recent days — including India’s home minister branding Pakistan a “terrorist state” and Pakistan’s defense minister threatening to wage nuclear war on India — one subtle threat issued by India may have sounded relatively innocuous to the casual listener.

In reality, it likely filled Pakistan with fear.

On Sept. 22, India’s Foreign Ministry spokesman suggested, cryptically, that New Delhi could revoke the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT). “For any such treaty to work,” warned Vikas Swarup, when asked if India would cancel the agreement, “it is important for mutual trust and cooperation. It cannot be a one-sided affair.”

The IWT is a 56-year-old accord that governs how India and Pakistan manage the vast Indus River Basin’s rivers and tributaries. After David Lilienthal, a former chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority, visited the region in 1951, he was prompted to write an article in Collier’s magazine, in which he argued that a transboundary water accord between India and Pakistan would help ease some of the hostility from the partition — particularly because the rivers of the Indus Basin flow through Kashmir. His idea gained traction and also the support of the World Bank. The bank mediated several years of difficult bilateral negotiations before the parties concluded a deal in 1960. U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower described it as a “bright spot” in a “very depressing world picture.” The IWT has survived, with few challenges, to the present day.

And yet, it has now come under severe strain.

On Sept. 26, India’s government met to review the treaty but reportedly decided that it would not revoke the agreement — for now. New Delhi left open the possibility of revisiting the issue at a later date. Ominously, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told top officials present at the treaty review meeting that “blood and water cannot flow together.” Additionally, the government suspended, with immediate effect, meetings between the Indus commissioners of both countries — high-level sessions that ordinarily take place twice a year to manage the IWT and to address any disagreements that may arise from it.

These developments have spooked Pakistan severely. Sartaj Aziz, the foreign affairs advisor to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said revoking the IWT could be perceived as an “act of war,” and he hinted that Pakistan might seek assistance from the United Nations or International Court of Justice.

If India were to annul the IWT, the consequences might well be humanitarian devastation in what is already one of the world’s most water-starved countries — an outcome far more harmful and far-reaching than the effects of limited war.

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 DarkKnightNomeD    2,153

 

 

Retired soldiers ready for battle in case war breaks out between India and Pakistan

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/hyderabad/Retired-soldiers-ready-for-battle-in-case-war-breaks-out-between-India-and-Pakistan/2016/10/02/article3634586.ece

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HYDERABAD: They might have hung their boots in their service to the nation when they touched 60 but these retired officers of the Indian Air force are still ready to serve their country. The veterans who gathered for the 84th year celebration of the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Saturday, were ready to serve the country in case a war breaks out between India and Pakistan.

India had on Wednesday conducted a cross border “surgical strike” across the Line of Control bordering Pakistan attacking terrorists.

“I have asked the Air Marshal to consider taking me back to service if the need arises,” said Krishnavataram, a retired corporal from the IAF.

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