Violating natural justice
…J&K hullabaloo is crying over spilt milk
DR. JAVID IQBAL
Indus Water Treaty [IWT] violating natural justice was evident from day one of the treaty signed on September the 19th, 1960 in Karachi by Pundit Nehru and President Ayub Khan. It is Punjab centric to the detriment of J&K’s interests. Partition based on religious division had other factors--water head, irrigation head, and run of the river provision added to it. The rider put India in total control of all the western rivers in J&K [Jhelum, Chenab and Sind] in addition to eastern rivers in Punjab [Ravi, Beas and Sutlej]. Thus Indus basin became totality India’s handmaiden.
The recent hullabaloo witnessed in J&K state cannot be captioned beyond calling it crying over spilt milk or repenting over stolen grain. MP Rajya Sabha from Kashmir Ratanpuri’s question on IWT in the recent parliamentary session got a stunning answer from Pawan Bansal, the union minister of water resources. “No state government” answered the minister “has ever requested the central government to renegotiate this Treaty or assess losses and compensate the state accordingly, ever since it was inked”. The state clearly failed to pursue July, 2011 recommendation of ‘State Finance Commission’ [SFC] implying that Jammu and Kashmir should seek compensation for the losses incurred by it on account of Indus Water Treaty [IWT] from not only India but Pakistan as well.
Mahmoud Rehman led three men SFC in its report pointed to IWT bottlenecks impeding growth and development of J&K State. Consequently it recommended that cost of shortfall be charged from signatories to the treaty and be estimated from September 1960 to August 2010. However as Bansal’s answer to Ratanpuri’s query indicates, the state government hasn’t done either. Perhaps it is out of the lurking feeling that interests of the state have been sidestepped time and again, hence the word heard so often is hardly followed by the desired deed in order to stay even with Delhi. It needs to be established whether ipso facto a demand of compensation could be made to Pakistan.
J&K is getting barely a share of .65 Million Acre Feet (MAF) out of water flow of 135.6 (MAF) in from Indus, Jhelum and Sutlej rivers flowing through or originating from the state. The state though is entitled to construction of water storage up to 3.5 MAF. JK leadership was not on board in 1960, when IWT was signed, none from either side of the dividing line—LOC. Conversely Punjabi leadership remained involved. In Pakistan it formed the very core of leadership. Indian Punjab being northern India’s granary had Pratap Singh Kairo’n pursuing his relentless drive to upgrade Punjabi economy. He was close to powers that be.
Indus Water Treaty does not meet the principles of natural justice. East/West tributaries should have had a need based division. That could have allowed J&K to realize its hydro-electrical potential, estimated to be about 20,000 MW and earn its fair share of revenue. 'The revenue is estimated to fetch 70, 000 crores/annum, and as per recent estimates, it could be as high as 100,000 crores' .The budget presented recently by Ab. Rahim Rather lays down a budgetary requirement of approximately 33,000 crores. Imagine what the state could be development-wise, if we would have had twice or thrice the money of budget estimates.
The equipoise between upper riparian and lower riparian areas of Indus basin is lacking. J&K state despite being upper riparian area is suffering. Natural justice demands that the treaty be re-negotiated and equipoise maintained between upper and lower riparian areas across the divide.
Much is made of state lacking in technology or financial resources. Even if it is taken as true, still why it should translate into energy drain. Oil rich Arab States do not have three essential elements…technology to explore new wells, extraction from the existent wells and refinement; still they remain flushed with their natural resource, get it cheap and remain financially resourceful. If that is true, as it in indeed an irrefutable fact, why shouldn’t JK have a similar arrangement…any answers please?
Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival]
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Lastupdate on : Thu, 14 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 14 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 15 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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