Pakistani Editorial Says Nuclear War with India “Inevitable” as Water Dispute Continues
by John Daly
Friday, 09 December 2011
Every now and again, one reads an editorial that stops the reader in his tracks.
On 8 December, with the headline “War Inevitable To Tackle Indian Water Aggression,” Pakistan’s Urdu-language Nawa-e Waqt, issued such a screed.
Nawa-e Waqt bluntly commented on India’s Kashmiri water polices and Islamabad’s failure up to now to stop New Delhi’s efforts to construct hydroelectric dams in Kashmir, “India should be forcibly prevented from constructing these dams. If it fails to constrain itself, we should not hesitate in launching nuclear war because there is no solution except this.”
Potential nuclear war over water rights – such sentiments ought to light up switchboards from New Delhi to Washington.
Needless to say, the fact that both India and Pakistan are nuclear powers is cause for concern.
Nawa-e Waqt is a privately owned, widely read conservative Pakistani Islamic daily with a circulation around 125,000 and is heavily critical of the U.S. and India. To put Nawa-e Waqt’s circulation in context, consider that the conservative Washington Times has a current estimated circulation of 50,000.
So, what has the editorial board of the Nawa-e Waqt so excited?
Indian dam building in the disputed area of Kashmir. Compared with much of South Asia, Kashmir has many rivers and relatively few people.
Bashir Ahmad, a geologist in Srinagar, Kashmir commented grimly about the Indians’ future intentions, “They will switch the Indus off to make Pakistan solely dependent on India. It’s going to be a water bomb.” A more dispassionate report by America’s Senate last February offered still a similar assessment, noting, “The cumulative effect of (the dam) projects could give India the ability to store enough water to limit the supply to Pakistan at crucial moments in the growing season” before concluding that dams are a source of “significant bilateral tension.”