THE canal waters dispute between Pakistan and India took an awkward turn on Saturday when the Indian Indus water commissioner G Aringanathan while shedding light on the matter said that Pakistan up until now had not filed a formal complaint with the World Bank and had rather been merely protesting or making official pronouncements. This is confusing because on the one hand the statement itself is an admission of the fact that India stole water but then concurrently the water commissioner is also saying that the country did nothing of the sort categorically ruling out the possibility that Pakistan would be compensated for the water loss. Mr Aringanathan who is in Pakistan would be visiting Marala head-works to review the situation. Meanwhile Pakistan Indus water commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah has rejected the charges made by his Indian counterpart and said that Pakistan had not only protested with the concerned authorities but had also submitted a written compliant. There is no disputing his claim that Pakistan had been deprived of 59000 cusecs of water that had hit the country's agriculture sector hard in turn greatly affecting our economy. What is chilling is the fact that New Delhi is working on a sinister plan to turn Pakistan into an agricultural wasteland. Reportedly little caring for the sanctity of the Indus waters treaty it is engaged in constructing about a number of Baglihar-type dams in held Kashmir. Keeping in view the propensity of our neighbour to go to such great lengths only to harm us, a more proactive stance is needed by our government. Unfortunately Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in his recent visit did not give the issue its due importance. However at present we should not shy away from fulfilling Mr Aringanathan's wish of going to the World Bank for arbitration. Since India had in reality been cutting off our share of water and storing it in Baglihar dam it cannot hope to be a winner when the case goes to the international body. Though the Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on one occasion accepting the fact that Pakistan had been deprived of its rightful share of water had given an assurance to President Zardari to straighten things out by releasing extra water in Chenab, nothing of the sort happened. Indeed the manner in which the Indian commissioner now intends to pursue the matter only reflects his government's lack of sincerity in finding an amicable solution to the feud. Meanwhile what Islamabad could do is to make more forceful condemnations of the Indian duplicity followed by a formal complaint asking the World Bank to intervene.