Monday, September 26, 2016

Wars Over Water? Well, Here's Your 2016/17 Most Likely From an Unlikely Place

While we've been picking out belly-button over our shambolic election, history's other lines of operation are moving apace. Have you been briefed up on the Uri Attack of 18 SEP 16?
At least 18 soldiers were killed in a terror attack on an Army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir on September 18. All four terrorists, who attacked the camp, were killed.
The Indian Prime Minister is decided to play a card India has held deep in the deck.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi after a fiery speech in Kerala where he blamed Pakistan for exporting global terrorism has now called for a briefing on the Indus Waters Treaty.

PM Modi will meet relevant officials from various ministries today including External Affairs and Water Resources, top sources have told NDTV.

The Prime Minister, sources say, wants to discuss the pros and cons of taking action against Pakistan. This confirms that among the various options on the discussion table for India's response to the Uri attack, reconsidering the Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan could be one.
One of the suggestions is to turn off the Indus river tap that waters much of Pakistan. It is perceived that the pressure could compel Pakistan to crackdown on non-state and state actors acting against India.
The Indus Waters Treaty was signed between Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan's president General Ayub Khan in 1960, after World Bank brokered negotiations that lasted almost a decade.

The Indus treaty withstood two full scale wars and tense India and Pakistan relations and experts are divided over the benefits of reneging on an international water sharing pact.
The Indus originates in China, and unlike India and Pakistan, it has not signed any international water sharing agreement. Should China decide to divert the Indus, India could lose as much as 36 per cent of river water.

Under the agreement, of the six rivers that flow westward in the sub-continent, India has full rights over three - Sutlej, Beas and Ravi - while Pakistan receives the waters of the other three - Jhelum, Chenab and Indus - almost unrestricted.
Two nations with nuclear weapons - the most modern of weapons - potentially in a fight over water - the most ancient of reasons to go to war.
Prime Minister Modi launched a blistering attack on Pakistan on Saturday, saying: “Whenever a terror attack takes place, it emerges either the terrorist set out from Pakistan, or after the attack, like Osama Bin Laden, took refuge there.”

Speaking at a public meeting in southern Indian city of Kozhikode, Modi said India would never forget the militant attack that killed 19 soldiers in an Army base in Kashmir’s Uri District. He also accepted an often-quoted Pakistani “challenge” (read Benazir Bhutto slogan) of a 1,000-year war, saying: “Your (Pakistani) rulers speak of fighting India for 1,000 years. Today, there is such as government in New Delhi that I am ready to accept your challenge.”

Modi ripped into his ‘one-time’ friend and Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif’s needling UN General Assembly speech and phony talks offer, stressing: “Today, I am speaking to the people of Pakistan directly. From the leaders who read speeches written by terrorists, the world can expect nothing. But I want to speak to the people of Pakistan directly. I want to remind Pakistan that your ancestors used to consider undivided India as their land before 1947 and worshipped it. And in their memory, I want to tell you something. The people of Pakistan please ask your leaders that you have Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) and you cannot manage it. Bangladesh used to be yours and you couldn’t manage it. You cannot manage Gilgit, Baltistan, Pakhtun, Balochistan, Sindh and you are talking about Kashmir.”
As is evident from Modi’s address, India is well aware of Pakistan’s internal vulnerabilities and will not hesitate to capitalise on it, if necessary. By speaking of Bangladesh, the PM reminded the Pakistani political establishment of a wound it has not yet recovered from and what India was capable of.
Can we stay to the side as the world's largest democracy faces off against an Islamist terrorist safe haven?
China assured Pakistan of its support in the event of any “foreign aggression” and also backed Islamabad’s stance on the Kashmir dispute. Immediately after China vowed to help Pakistan in case of “aggression”, the US announced that it would upgrade military combat exercises with India. In a statement, the US Department of Defence said that it has awarded Boeing a USD 81 million contract to supply 22 Harpoon missile systems for the Indian Navy’s Shishumar class submarines.

A ‘great game’ is getting set to be played between India, Pakistan, Russia, China and the US, as a “tectonic geo-strategic shift” is taking place in Asia.
Speaking of the "Great Game" if you have not read Hopkirk's The Great Game - order it now.

Once you read it - order the rest of Hopkirk's books on Central Asia. You're a decade and a half late, but that's OK. History there isn't going anywhere. She may only be getting started.

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