Pakistan: Now or Never?
Perspectives on Pakistan
Defence analysts in South Asia have been saying for so long that India and Pakistan might solve their problems over Kashmir only to end up at war over water that I had almost become inured to the issue. That was until I read the following comment on an earlier blog about Gulf investors buying up farmland in Pakistan to offset food shortages at home:
“Tough challenges await the investors in this sector due to serious water and energy shortages that the country suffers from at the moment,” it reads. “For effective investment in the agriculture sector, the government must clear these impediments first.”
The comment prompted me to hunt around for evidence of growing tension between India and Pakistan over water, needed to irrigate the land to cope with food shortages and for hydroelectric power — an increasingly attractive alternative in view of high fuel prices.
A quick trawl turned up this overview in the asia sentinel: “Water is destined to be a determining factor in the regional conflicts of South Asia in the years to come, particularly between India and Pakistan,” it says. ”While the West is busy concentrating its efforts on securing a ready supply of oil, in South Asia the governments are slowly but surely waking up to the fact that in the not too distant future water is going to be equally, if not more, important to the survival of their people.”