Guest Post: Pakistan And India To Go To War Over Water?

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by John C.K. Daly of

Pakistan And India To Go To War Over Water?

A peaceful and stable Pakistan is integral to western efforts to pacify Afghanistan, but Islamabad’s obsessions with its giant eastern neighbor may render such issues moot.

Since partition in 1947, Pakistan and India have fought four armed conflicts, in 1947, 1965, 1971 (which led to the establishment of Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan) and the 1999 Kargil clash.
With the exception of the 1971 conflict, which involved rising tensions in East Pakistan, the others have all involved issues arising from control of Kashmir.
But now a rising new element of discord threatens to precipitate a new armed clash between southern Asia’s two nuclear powers – water.
Lahore’s “The Nation’ newspaper on Sunday published an editorial entitled, “War with India inevitable: Nizami,” the newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief and Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust Chairman, Majid Nizami, asked his fellow citizens to prepare for a war with India over water issues. Nizami told those attending the “Pakistan-India relations; Our rulers- new wishes” session at Aiwan-e-Karkunan Tehrik-e-Pakistan, which he chaired, “Indian hostilities and conspiracies against the country will never end until she is taught a lesson.”
While The Nation is a conservative daily, part of the Nawa-i-Waqt publishing group, with a circulation of roughly 20,000, it has a website, and what’s more, close ties to Pakistan’s highest military circles, so Nizami’s comments should hardly be rejected out of hand.
Furthermore, Niazmi’s audience included some high ranking Pakistani officials, including Nazaria-i-Pakistan Vice Chairman Dr Rafique Ahmed; Pakistan Movement Workers-Trust Chairman, retired Colonel  Jamshed Ahmed Tareen; former Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmed Khan; Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan Secretary General Qari Zawar Bahadur; retired Air Marshall Khurished Anwar Mirza; retired Brigadier Hamid Saeed Akhtar and Jamaat-e-Islami Lahore Chief Ameer-ul-Azeem, among others.
At issue are Pakistan’s concerns over India’s ongoing construction of two hydroelectric dams on the upper reaches of the Indus River. Islamabad is concerned that the 45 megawatt, 190-foot tall Nimoo-Bazgo concrete dam 44 megawatt Chutak hydroelectric power project will reduce the Indus River’s flow towards Pakistan, as they are capable of storing up to 4.23 billion cubic feet of water, violating the terms of the bilateral 1960 Indus Water Treaty. The Indus, which begins in Indian-controlled Kashmir, is crucial to both India and Pakistan, but is currently experiencing water flows down 30 percent from its normal levels. The Indus is Pakistan's primary freshwater source, on which 90 percent of its agriculture depends. According to a number of Pakistani agriculture and water experts, the nation is heading towards a massive water shortage in the next couple of years due to insufficient water management practices and storage capacity, which will be exacerbated by the twin Indian hydroelectric projects, as they will further diminish the Indus’ flow.
So, if push comes to shove, who’s got Pakistan’s back?
During the Boao Forum for Asia, on China’s southern Hainan island on 1 April, Pakistan and China agreed to support each other “in all circumstances” and vowed to uphold their sovereignty and territorial integrity at all costs. Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani told Chinese Executive Vice Premier Li Keqiang, “China’s friend is our friend, and China’s enemy is ours,” adding Pakistan considers China’s security as its own security and supports China’s position on Taiwan, Tibet and Xinqiang. Li replied that China would support Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in every situation, telling Gilani, “No matter what changes take place at international level, we will uphold Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
It might be noted here that in October 1962, coinciding with the Cuban missile crisis, India and China fought a brief but bitter war along their disputed Himalayan border.

Fifty years later, China and India have yet to resolve their border issues over Kashmir and China continues to claim most of India's Arunachal Pradesh to the base of the Himalayas in the absence of any definitive treaty delineating the border. Kashmir remains the site of the world's largest and most militarized territorial dispute with portions under the de facto administration of China (Aksai Chin), India (Jammu and Kashmir), and Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas).

No guesses therefore as to whom Beijing might back should Pakistani-Indian tensions continue to rise.
Accordingly, to keep the peace, one might paraphrase Ronald Reagan in Berlin – “Prime Minister Singh, tear down those dams!”
But don’t bet on it.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
LowProfile's picture

Well, shiii-it...

So much for trying to spark a "color revolution" in Pakistan!

Eireann go Brach's picture

Jump up turn around,

Kick the paki to the ground!

Colombian Gringo's picture

This may be the color revolution the US is looking for...anything to screw up Pakistan.

theMAXILOPEZpsycho's picture

I hope they all kill each other - they'll be a lot less shouting

AldousHuxley's picture

At least China has one child policy. India needs to control population.


India and Pakistan fight each other everyday anyways. Dumbasses kill each other under the control of Russia+China versus US+UK.



patb's picture

China has an official policy.

India's female infanticide culture is tripping off an even worse sitaution in India.


It's a real mess, a goddamned mess.



Oh regional Indian's picture

Channeling Global concerns.... or so it seems... :-)



Water is a global concern now. Everyone will fight over it. Here, in Bangalore, most common sound in my neighbourhood is Bore-wells digging for water. Used to get it at 2-300 feet. 

Now it's a 1,000 feet and falling......


WillyGroper's picture

Nothin more aggressive than a bunch of horny men with no women. War will be brutal. Testosterone factor. 

LowProfile's picture

Not without going up against China they aren't...

lincolnsteffens's picture

I don't think Pakistan needs any help to screw things up. They are doing a fine job on their own.

Nukular Freedum's picture

The slow encroachment of China into South Asia began with the occupation of Tibet in the 1950s. It was extended by the 1962 border war which was halted only by the forceful intervention of President Kennedy. It was resumed again by the occupation of a portion of Kashmir by the Red Army on the request of Pakistan. It continues to this day with the encirclement of India by various Chinese naval and military bases in the region.
The only thing which contains this new and unprecedented South Asian power (i.e. China) is Indias development of thermonuclear weapons and long range delivery systems.

bugs_'s picture

not that I am any fan of Bill Clinton but there were portions of his keynote speech at the export import bank thing a couple days ago that touch on the growth vs water issue.  he mentions that one major river system in China is drying up and they are attempting to build canals to another major river system.  he fears this will dry up both and push China to tap the Mekong.  Pakistan IS in trouble but it isn't only Pakistan - the entire south east asian box of dominoes is vulnerable to the water issue.

Amish Hacker's picture

As is the Middle East. For the Arabs and the Israelis, the West Bank is as much about water as it is about land.

Vince Clortho's picture

Aral Sea is just about gone:


For years now, the Colorado River runs dry before it makes it to the sea.

In the Western U.S. the Ogallala Aquifer is rapidly being depleted.

Population increasing.  Water Resources dwindling.  A very bad trend.

Tsar Pointless's picture

Some people think they can't have enough lead for the future.

Others think we don't have enough oil for the future.

Me? I'll take water over both.

Call me silly.

ebworthen's picture

Two things increasingly in demand for modern agriculture; water and oil.

Oil is used for machinery and irrigation pumps, not to mention harvesting, processing, and transportation.  Oil is also important in the production of fertilizers and pesticides (insecticides and herbicides).

Conversely, the increasing use of artificial fertilizers increases the need for water as the salt levels in the soil rise.  Water conservation practices such as drip irrigation unfortunately exacerbate the situation.

Ahmeexnal's picture

Yet over 80% of the world's agriculture is still done the old way: an ox followed by a scantily clad rubenesque semeuse.


Earl of Chiswick's picture

Two things increasingly in demand for modern agriculture; water and oil.


actually it's three things


water, oil and the (recombinant) DNA of all manner of beast, fish, insect, human and plant

Jendrzejczyk's picture

Earl, most of us can't vote up or down if you start a post with a quote.

Reformed Sheep's picture

Are there any other nuclear neighbours where one has the source of essentially all water, and the desire/need to sequester it for their own people?

This could get messy in more ways than one...


eddiebe's picture

What the world needs now is contraception.

theMAXILOPEZpsycho's picture

and the idea that parents should feed their own children

Earl of Chiswick's picture



What the world needs now is contraception.


not to worry the Eugenicists are on the case

Dapper Dan's picture


In 2500 years,  the worlds population will equal the mass of the planet, if we maintain a 1.3% growth rate.

Stuck on Zero's picture

No problem in one billion years the mass of human flesh would be a thousand solar masses and collapse into a black hole.  Problem solved.

Vince Clortho's picture

so we've got that going for us.

Fox-Scully's picture

contraception s not absolute but abstinence is!

xela2200's picture

Yes, because that works so well. It is not like we have millions of years of evolution driving us to reproduce.

WillyGroper's picture

Kinda conflicts with "Mary's" situation eh?

killallthefiat's picture

Yeah, eddiebe, part of the TPTB plan is to contraceive humanity out of existence, or at least down to the hundreds of millions.  I hope that you are part of the elite...otherwise, they are coming after you.  You are under attack just like the poor Indians and Pakistanis. 

You need to read a bit more on the founding of Planned Parenthood and Margaret Sanger.

China is the model, says David Rockefeller (From a China Traveler, 1973)

dick cheneys ghost's picture

CIA/Neo-Con wet dream going on in Balochistan...........these idiots want to partition Pakistan and kick the Chinese out of the port cities............

Tsar Pointless's picture

You brought it up...

Blood borders
How a better Middle East would look
By Ralph Peters
Armed Forces Journal - June 2006

Complete with fun-filled "before and after" maps!

dick cheneys ghost's picture

Coca-Cola seems to get all the water they want in these poor countries so they can sell their crap to the locals.....



"Of the 200 countries where Coca-Cola is sold, India reportedly has the fastest-growing market, but the adverse environmental impacts of its operations there have subjected the parent company and its local bottlers to a firestorm of criticism and protest. There has been a growing outcry against Coca-Cola's production practices in India, which are draining out vast amounts of public groundwater and turning farming communities into virtual deserts."

Reformed Sheep's picture

Not just in this region - same in the US and elsewhere.

There are places in the US where water is classed as a resource that can be taken without limit, including by corporations.

Doesn't work that way, when residents of a municipality end up having to ration their supply while Nestle, Coca-Cola, Pepsico, et-al can pump all they want, and then sell this 'free' water to the locals at the same price (or higher) as gasoline...


patb's picture

people drink the coke and then piss it back, then it ends up as rain...

xela2200's picture

Bottled water is a big problem also which includes Nestle as a culprit. A plant literally can lower the water table in a region killing everything around them. Hey, but we need to drink it until our pea comes out completely transparent. The gods of marketing have spoken. They said that we don't get enough hydration from the water that we drink. They forget to tell people that 80% of our water needs can be obtained from prepared meals (sorry no chips).

Oh regional Indian's picture

8 Glasses a day was the biggest lie. It is BAD for us. Terrible actually. Changes our body chemistry, dilutes, plays with ph..... not to speak of BPA...

Drink when thirsty, eat when hungry. Period. Simple.


xela2200's picture

Little known fact. You can actually DIE from drinking too much water.

ORI I had a strong dislike for you, but that is changing as I noticed our posts are starting to look similar.

lolmao500's picture

I never understood why they fight for Kashmir. Kashmir is a hell hole with no natural ressources...except water.

And yeah China and India are probably gonna fight it again over the border dispute... and India probably gonna get his ass kicked.

If India-Pakistan go to war, it'll probably turn nuclear with tens of million of dead...

RichyRoo's picture

Look at a map, Kashmir is the centre...

India to the south, old UK colony, NWO slave labor, USA ally

China to the east, NWO slave labor, USA enemy

Pakistan to the west, China ally, USA enemy

And to the north, all the ex-USSR 'stan' countries ... crazy horse

And Kabul is only 500km from Kashmir accross a tiny little spit of northern India, so throw that mess into the pot as well.

So we have Russia, China, India, USA (via bases) plus potentially radical Islam all clustered around the same tiny patch of ground.

Its a powder keg.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Well said Richy, I'd just change that to India, current UK colony. Still in the Grip. Completely. Just does nto look like it on the surface.


zerozulu's picture

And now if you think a little more you will understand why ISI played a game of chess with USA and why the mighty superpower could not control few hundred ragtag Afghans in ten years. Pakistan has all it hopes pined to the collapse of America through its economy.

ZackAttack's picture

The Kashmir partition was the last act of a dying colonial Britain. It would be sort of like if England, after losing the Revolution, gave away something valuable it had no rights to (say, Louisiana) to a neighboring country (say, Mexico), and had Europe enforce it.

The way I feel about it is, primarily, fuck the US corporate interests that have offshored jobs there. My only question is whether the crony US would use military force to defend Hyderabad and Bangalore. This is one of those rhetorical questions.

Zeff's picture

Kashmir with no natural resources? I think you need to get out of your couch and see the reality on the ground. Rivers originate from there, from strategic to natural positions, it is a gem.

ZackAttack's picture

Everyone in the region depends on runoff from the Hindu Kush.

This is why I'm skeptical of China's long-term growth. It is incapable of providing food and water to its people without nature's benevolence.

Fix It Again Timmy's picture

Money used to arm both nations could better be used for solving the water issues and providing alternatives to building dams, but huge dams, arms, missiles, and nukes are sexier...

xela2200's picture

What you want to be rational too. Sorry, these two countries hate each other. As a historical note, Pakistan and India were one country as Ghandi got independence from England. However, they just can't stand each other, so they split. Pakistan quickly started killing the Indians that ventured into the country via train, but they were nice enough to send the dead bodies back in return trip. India soon did the sane thing.

And you want them to come together to solve their problems. Good luck. Next month, Yugoslavia reunification.