IF one were to go by the statement of our representative on the Permanent Indus Water Commission, at present in session at New Delhi, we have all been wrongly and, perhaps, wilfully criticising India for usurping Pakistans legitimate share of water assigned to it under the Indus Waters Treaty. The hue and cry against the water diversion and storage projects it has constructed and is constructing in Held Kashmir in the upper reaches, was all hot air. Mr Jamaat Ali Shah, Pakistans Commissioner on the PIWC, says that Islamabad has never accused New Delhi of stealing its water, thus finally clinching the issue in favour of India, for which the government had even gone to the World Bank. The conclusion is that water experts, both within and outside the country, the media, the farmer and political leaders of various persuasions have all been baselessly ranting on the issue, perhaps, spewing out their ingrained hostility and distrust of India. But then Mr Shah was only repeating what Foreign Minister Mehmood Qureshi had told the press some time back; he had given a clean chit to India by employing the same terminology - that it was not stealing water - and squarely blamed Pakistan for mismanaging the resource. However, Mr Jamaat Shahs words in an interview to The Hindu, the differences on the initial filling of the Baglihar dam in 2008 have been resolved in a spirit of cooperation and goodwill read with another of his remark clearly indicate that Islamabad has caved in to the Indias aggressive appropriation of its share of water. He says that Pakistan had felt, the procedure and parameters in the Indus Waters Treaty were not followed during the initial filling of the dam, resulting in reduction of flows in the Chenab near the Marala Headworks but India has given the assurance to be careful in future. Since the Indians were quick to rebut the point that they did not stick to the IWT, the question of assurance to be careful in future becomes a mere assumption. With regard to the disputes on Uri-II on the Jhelum and Chuttak hydro-plant on the Indus, Mr Shah appeared also to be satisfied, as he stated that certain adjustments had been made in their designs, but as yet differences on Nimoo hydel project remained. Not only is the government playing a dangerous game by reconciling with Indias usurpation of its share of water, which would unhinge our entire economic edifice, but also by reposing trust in the untrustworthy neighbour it is letting India continue in its designs to turn Pakistans fertile lands into a veritable desert. It is time our leadership reviewed our policy and took a firm stand on Kashmir, which also holds the key to our water woes.