Mingling with the Indus: India’s Bluff or Lunacy
“Whom God Wishes To Destroy, He First Makes Them Mad”
– Hennery Wadswoth Longfellow
Ever since the Brigade Headquarter of India’s 12th Brigade at Uri in Jammu & Kashmir came under an insurgent attack Mr. Narendra Damodradas Modi a former Foot-Solider/Parcharak at the RSS and the incumbent Prime Minister has been locking horns with his bandwagon comrades in an attempt to work out a formidable retaliatory strategy. Having known well Pakistan’s Conventional and Strategic strength vis-à-vis India the firebrand Hindutva icon is looking for an Out of the Box solution. One such “Solution” that has gained popular support in the last few days and has managed to create a hysteria is the “Renouncement of the Indus Water Treaty” and “Water Blockade of Pakistan.” This figment of imagination has left many in India jumping on their toes and many others scratching their heads. A closer look at this hushed up “Punish Pakistan Plan” reveals that this new Pipeline Offensive is either a “Poor Bluff” or a Manifestation of the Buffoonery that constitutes the Indian State. Both India’s authority and capacity to Turn the Tide against Pakistan vis-à-vis Indus is Highly Questionable. Hereunder we shall discretely analyze weather this “Liquid Offensive” has the “Cohesion” To “Solidify” or shall the same “Evaporate” in due course. First and Foremost let us have a look at India’s capability with respect to this latest triad: –
- The Indus Water Treaty Signed in 1960 is a Tri-Pariate Treaty between India, Pakistan and the then International Bank For Reconstruction & Development [World Bank]. World Bank the then Broker now serves as a Statutory Arbitrator of the Treaty. The authority to Penalize a Party in case of Transgression is vested in the World Bank under Article IX of the said treaty. India the biggest recipient of World Bank Aid is no position to disregard either its authority or its mandate in conflict resolution. Any violation of Treaty thereof is deemed to have drastic effects on India’s already trembling economy.
- The Indus Water Treaty is an International Treaty Agreement protected under the Vienna Convention on The Law of Treaties 1969. Public International Law thus is deemed to come into force were India to Scrap the Treaty Unilaterally. International Sanctions & Diplomatic Pressure are adequate Deterrents for India to refrain from such absurdity.
- Turning The Indus Tap Off is not only aLegal Outreach but also a Presumption Standing in Thin Air. Practically speaking India does not have either the Capacity or the Potential to choke Pakistan’s water supply. At the moment India’s Storage Capacity on the Indus, Chenab & Jhelum the Rivers Awarded to Pakistan under the Treaty is close to None. Even if India plans to initiate a water offensive against all odds according to Uttam Sinha an energy expert at IDSAit would have to wait for another 5 to 6 Years before its capacity of maneuvering reaches the Requisite Level. Any rational observer with the know-how of the region can foresee that neither Pakistan nor the International Community would sit hands folded in these years.
- Flow of a Major River can neither be blocked nor altered merely by the construction of Artificial Barricades such as Barrages or Dams. Shakil Ahmed Rashmoo a celebrated Indian Earth Scientist has in an interview with the Indian Express expressed great concern about the perpetual fall out of any such a “Blunder.” He has called it an imaginative dare which if attempted in real life will inflict huge damages to India its self.
- Environmental Security of the entire region will be placed at stake if case such an offensive is given a go. International Conservationists will raise enormous hue and cry in face of such an action. Cooperate Giants which have been investing and continue to invest huge Stakes in India will suffer Financial Panic in face of erosion of tranquility. Indian economy is deemed to take a nose dive in wake of such depression. Economic Pressure will ensure India’s keeps hands off such devilry.
In view of the afore said it is evidently conspicuous that India’s latest coercive theatric is a balloon short on helium. Not only does India lack the capacity to indulge in a water offensive vis-à-vis Pakistan but its stakes are also too high for such a gamble. That having said Mr. Modi and his Irrationality has been a butt of jokes all across the globe and a Reckless Offensive from a character who believes Plastic Surgery & Organ Transplantation dates back to the Age of Ganesh in Ancient India is at the leastPlausible. It would thus be beneficial if we analyze the Perpetuate Fallout if the Mad-Man of India does resort to this Lunacy: –
- India cannot look forward to Drying Pakistan without having run the risk of Drowning many of its Own Cities. India’s capacity to Hold, Store&Regulate water even on the rivers it Legally Owns is highly despicable. The same is evident from Floods that wretch havoc in Jammu & Kashmir and parts of Eastern Punjab on a regular basis. In case India also intends to mingle with the flow of the rivers it neither has any claim over nor any Experience of handling Severe Natural Calamities are lying in wait for much of Northern India.
- India its self stands at Middle Riparian geographical location vis-vis China and Pakistan. Both Indus and Sutlej flow from China through India into Pakistan. China and India do not have any agreement or treaty which regulates the Sharing or Flow China already has signaled its Possible Role in case a conflict arises with respect to Indus and its tributaries. K.P.Nayar in his article for the Telegraph “Water Weapon Cuts Both Ways” has spelled out at great length China’s capacity and intention to Intervene in if Indus is mingled with.
- India’s Unilateral Renouncement of aTri-Pariate Treaty and It’s Blockade of Water Supply to Pakistan will both be considered as Illegitimate “Acts of War” under Article I ofThe Constantinople Convention 1888 and Common Article III of The Geneva Convention 1949. India in such a situation will be seen as a Hostile Party to the conflict.
- India’s blockade of Indus will effect General Population of Pakistan with No Relation to the Conflictthereby damaging Food and WaterSecurity of over 200 Million people. This cohesive measure will not only lead to widespread condemnation from nations and states across the globe but India will also be seen as a country with little regard for International Law and the UN Charter. India’s posturing for a Larger Role in Global or Regional affairs and its bid to get a Permanent Seat in UN Security Council will thus be effected drastically and a sharp snub shall be earned by all law abiding nations.
- Pakistan’sNuclear Doctrine while discussing itsEconomic Thresholddesignates Blockade of Indus River as a Red-Line that India Must Not Transgress. In case India in total negation of all International Norms resorts to such a tactic Pakistan’s Conventional or UnconventionalOffensive will be provided with a Compelling Raison Detre.
For The Reason Spelled Out At Great Length in The Foregoing Paras One Is Forced To Be Drawn To The Conclusion That This Recent Burst of Hot Air From The Modi Vacuum Is Nothing But Poor Bluff. Pakistan & Its Government Are Aware of The Cards India Holds and Thus Playing An Upper Hand By Means of Bluff Will Be A Poor Display of Disarray. In Case Mr. Modi Does Intend To Find A Practical & Sustainable Solution To Its Nausea Engagement With Pakistan Is The Only Way Forward.
In Case It Wishes To Continue With Its Lunacy Annihilation Is What Lays In Wait.
The writer Anika Sheikh is an associate at Amir Mirza Law Firm & a Post Graduate student of Peace & Conflict Studies at The National University Of Sciences & Technology Islamabad. In her pass time she bakes confectioneries, reads page 3 & blogs about socio-political issues. She can be reached @sheikh_anika.