“Blood and water cannot flow together.”
These were the words of Prime Minister Modi in a fiery speech almost a year ago indicating to Pakistan that its terrorism and the largesse Indus Water Treaty won’t go hand-in-hand. His words weren’t merely meant to placate a populace that was riled-up with Pakistan’s unceasing terrorist activities; he meant to transform his words into visible action.
The first indication of his intentions was in April when he gave clearance to fast-tracking the construction of dams in Kashmir worth $15 billion. The second brilliant diplomatic move of the Modi government came a month back when the World Bank gave permission to India to construct the Kishanganda and Ratle hydroelectric power projects which Pakistan opposed. The third, and possibly the most impactful of moves by Prime Minister Modi comes now. The government has stopped leakages in the Indira Gandhi canal in Sriganganagar which the Pakistanis were taking advantage of.
The government has finally choked this ‘water supply’ leading to crop failure of Pakistani farmers in the border areas. The government recently conducted a test and claimed that the farmers of Pakistan who were using this free water from India were no longer getting it.
For many years, Pakistani farmers were cultivating from the water leaking from the canal and were cultivating native cotton, American cotton, sugarcane, wheat and mustard. When there’s excessive rain in Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh, water flows through the river. Not only this but due to the leakage in the canal, a lot of water is leaked and crosses the border. The most unfortunate part is that because of this, Indian farmers were deprived of their share.
The Indus Water Treaty was another one of many blunders of Jawaharlal Nehru. The water-sharing was unbelievably in favour of Pakistan depriving the state of Jammu and Kashmir of crucial water resources that could have turned around the fortunes of the state. The pro-Pakistan treaty was Nehru’s attempt to develop a statesman-like aura. He wanted to display to the world that he could even forego the interests of his own people if it could ensure peace in the neighbourhood.
Prime Minister Modi is nothing of the kind. He hasn’t and won’t give Pakistan any undue benefits. He isn’t a wilting-flower prime minister or one who would bend over to please Pakistan or China.