Pakistan’s water-sharing pact with Afghanistan

October 1, 2018

TEHRAN - Pakistan’s leading jurist on international law, who has been appointed by Pakistan’s supreme court as an ‘amicus curiae’ to assist the court on water-related issues, says Pakistan must consider working on a bilateral water-sharing agreement with Afghanistan.

Makhdoom Ali Khan, in a report to the country’s apex court, said working on a bilateral water agreement with Afghanistan could safeguard the national interest. In his report, he gave inputs on various water issues confronting Pakistan and their possible solutions.

“Afghanistan is now planning to build 12 dams, in cooperation with the World Bank and India, the flow of water from River Kabul is expected to be affected to Pakistan’s detriment. In this regard, the government must consider working on a bilateral water-sharing agreement with Afghanistan that safeguards its interest as a lower riparian state,” Ali asserted.

Pakistan’s chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar said that after getting input from senior lawyers, the apex court would share a comprehensive proposal with the government for dealing with water-related issues.

Pertaining to issues arising out of the Indus Water Treaty with India, the seasoned lawyer told the apex court that the technical design and storage capacity restrictions on building of hydropower plants by India provided in the treaty ensured a sufficient flow into western rivers, but from a political point of view, it enhanced India’s capacity to use water as a weapon.

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