A report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has held Pakistan responsible for its negligence in conducting a sound analysis of water issues with India.
The report, titled ‘Development Advocate Pakistan’, also says that a delay on the part of Islamabad in presenting the case to the Indus Water Commission or the World Bank caused issues to linger on.
Indus Treaty under strain
The report, released on Wednesday, also warned that an increase in stress on the basin since the early 1990s has brought the treaty under strain. It says that the treaty’s survival appears threatened, although there is no exit clause. “The treaty fails to address two issues: the division of shortages in dry years between India and Pakistan, when flows are almost half as compared to wet years, and the cumulative impact of storage on the flows of the River Chenab into Pakistan,” the report stated.
Pakistan has gone as far as calling the treaty an inefficient forum for resolving water issues, asking for it to be included in the composite dialogue. But India has expressed unwillingness to discard the treaty.
Climate change, shrinking glaciers and changing precipitation patterns highlight the need to address issues of water scarcity and resources, says the report.
“During floods, for example, the majority of the water runs into the rivers of Indus-Pakistan which leaves the province of Sindh flooded. Such negative setbacks to the economy will eventually have dire consequences if not addressed,” it warns.
With control of the River Chenab through the Salal dam, India has several plans under way for development of hydro-power with enhanced water storage on the western river. Pakistan continues to face reduced flows from the Chenab owing to the recent storage of water in the Bagliar dam, the report remarks.