THE inconclusive end to the three-day Indo-Pakistan talks on the question of water projects that India is building upstream in Held Kashmir, has not come as a surprise. New Delhi is pursuing a studied plan to deprive Pakistan of the water resource that legitimately belongs to it under the Indus Waters Treaty. In fact, what had surprised many observers of the subcontinents political scene was the initially reported agreeable stance of Mr Auranga Nathan, head of the Indian side of the Indo-Pakistan Permanent Indus River Commission, who came to Lahore for the talks. He had, at the end of the first days meeting with his Pakistani counterpart, indicated that his country would review the design of the Nimo Bazgo project in the light of Islamabads objections. Now the Indian representative has taken a complete U-turn, probably on receiving fresh instructions from New Delhi, claiming that the objections are without any justification. Mr Nathan has also come out with a complete denial of the well-founded charge that India is stealing Pakistans share of the water or blocking its flow downstream; and has put the entire blame for the shortages here on fewer rains; and accused Pakistan of conducting Indias media trial. However, Pakistans chief representative on the permanent commission, Mr Jamaat Ali Shah, is not impressed with Mr Nathans reaction, but, strangely, he intends raising the matter again at the next round of talks to be held at New Delhi in May. By now, he and the government should have known the standard Indian tactics. They want to keep postponing the final outcome of the talks to give them time enough to present a fait accompli in the form of completed projects so that Pakistans recourse to the international forum prescribed under the IWT would come to naught. Addressing the National Defence University at Islamabad on Tuesday, President Zardari for once termed India an enemy that could not be relied upon. And, among other things, he also said that the water dispute had been raised with it. One hopes that he would put the two things together and work out an appropriate strategy to meet the challenge. It is not only to fight for our rights at the right international forum, but also to think of ways to overcome the scarcity of water. He should be paying attention to the call of his own party MNAs as well as those of PML-N, who on the floor of the House demanded to know the technical reasons for which Kalabagh Dam had been shelved. The facts on the ground are that the project has been thoroughly examined and found to be both financially and technically feasible. Patriotism demands, that putting aside parochial considerations, its construction should be taken in hand straightaway. The project would serve the dual purpose of meeting the energy gap and providing storage of water for timely and sufficient supply for the crops.