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Floods as an Unexpected Disaster

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By Qamer Islam

India’s Water Aggression, and Pakistan’s Security Measures

Floods are natural disasters that have significant social, economic and environmental impacts on affected areas. In the context of the Indian subcontinent, where the Indus River and its tributaries flow through India and Pakistan, the flooding situation has become politically sensitive due to water disputes and allegations of Indian water aggression. Water conflicts between India and Pakistan are not new, nor is it the first time that our eastern neighbor has shown water aggression, but the history of this conflict is as old as other mutual issues.

Due to its geographical location, monsoon climate and the network of rivers that cross its territory, Pakistan is prone to frequent flood disasters. Annual monsoon rains often result in excessive runoff, which affects river systems and causes catastrophic floods. These floods have serious consequences, including loss of life, displacement of people, damage to infrastructure, destruction of crops, and spread of water-borne diseases.

One of the main factors worsening the flood situation in Pakistan is the perception of Indian water aggression. The Indus Waters Treaty of 1960, brokered by the World Bank, allocated the waters of the Indus River system between India and Pakistan. According to this agreement, Pakistan has rights over the waters of the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab rivers, while India has control over the Beas, Ravi and Sutlej rivers.

Pakistan accuses India of violating the IWT by building dams, barrages and diverting water from designated rivers. These alleged activities have negative implications for Pakistan, as reduced water flow increases the risk of water shortages and floods. Duran exacerbates the flood situation by releasing excess water downstream, disproportionately affecting Pakistani regions.

In response to Indian water aggression and to deal with the flood situation, Pakistan has taken several measures at various levels. Diplomatic efforts: Pakistan has continuously raised the issue of Indian water aggression at international forums including the United Nations and the World Bank. These efforts are aimed at drawing attention to the violation of the Indus Basin Treaty and seeking international intervention to ensure India’s compliance with its obligations.

Bilateral Dialogues: Pakistan has held bilateral dialogues with India to resolve water disputes and address concerns regarding the flood situation. The aim of these talks is to find a mutually acceptable solution that preserves the rights of both countries and prevents further escalation of tensions.

Infrastructure Development: Pakistan has invested in infrastructure development projects to reduce the impact of floods and ensure efficient water management. The main purpose of constructing dams, barrages, and flood control structures, such as the Diamer Bhasha and Dasu dams, is to regulate water flow, store excess water, generate hydropower, and protect downstream areas from flooding.

Early Warning System and Disaster Management: Pakistan has strengthened its early warning system and disaster management capabilities to reduce the impact of floods. This includes establishing flood forecasting centers, improving communication networks, conducting awareness campaigns, and enhancing emergency response mechanisms to evacuate and provide assistance to affected communities.

The flood situation in Pakistan is a multifaceted challenge that includes natural factors, perception of Indian water aggression and Pakistan’s measures to tackle the problem. Although floods remain a recurring disaster, efforts to resolve water conflicts, improve water management and enhance disaster preparedness are critical. It is important for India and Pakistan to engage in constructive dialogue, uphold the provisions of the Indus Basin Treaty and work together to ensure sustainable use of shared water resources while mitigating the impact of floods on both countries. do International support and mediation can play an important role in promoting cooperation, peace and stability in the region.

The writer is a student of BS Journalism, semester 8 at School of Communication Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore. He can be reached at [email protected]

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