Disparity in water distribution is a major cause of conflict in Pakistan


Seeds of discontent: discrepancy in water distribution

by Aziz Narejo, TX

Disparity in water distribution is a major cause of conflict in the country. It creates anger, ill-will, animosity and agitation among the people and the provinces. The government’s failure to address the issue in an appropriate, effective and impartial manner makes the matter worse.

To cite just an example, the federal minister for water and power, when pressed on this issue in the National Assembly recently, expressed the federal government’s inability to enforce the 1991 water accord and suggested that if any province had any grievances, it should go to the Council of Common Interests (CCI). He also declared that the water shortage in the country stood at 28%. Now compare it with the reports from Sindh indicating that the province faced water shortage of 40-50%. It is even worse in some areas affecting the agriculture and the livelihood of millions of people.

Would the IRSA, the federal government and related agencies explain the discrepancy in the water shortage in Sindh and the rest of the country? Would the Sindh government tell its constituents what it is doing to get fair share of water for the province and the implementation of the 1991 water accord? Would it also tell the people why it doesn’t go to CCI as the federal minister has suggested if the province was not getting its due share of water? Has the Sindh government asked for compensation for the losses the province has incurred due to the unfair share in water?

October 25, 2009

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