ALONGSIDE stealing our share of the Indus water, New Delhi is in full swing destroying our agriculture through the export of vegetables at 'cheap rates. This can prove to be the last nail in the coffin of our agro-based economy because the ploy basically aims to loot our farmers financially. In order to stop the import of vegetables, largely onions and potatoes, Islamabad had imposed customs duty, which ended the trade for a year. But somehow, the business has once again started. Presently, 40 trucks carrying vegetables are arriving from across the border every day, and the trade mafia has raised the price of onions from Rs 20 per kg to Rs 40 per kg. This trade, possibly with no official approval, needs to be stopped immediately. Otherwise, it would have devastating results for our farmers who earn their bread and butter through agriculture, including vegetables. The government must come to the rescue of the Pakistani farmers and first of all build pressure on New Delhi to stop the water theft. The farming community is so agitated that the Pakistan Water Forum, a platform where farmers and agriculturalists get together, has announced that soon it would be taking out countrywide rallies to remind the government that it needs to act fast. They are absolutely right because with the addition of Nimo Bazgo and Chutak Dams, our archenemy would not just be able to dry up our rivers and streams creating drought-like conditions, it could if need be inundate our major cities by suddenly releasing extra water. Pakistans Indus Water Commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah, who now is clamouring about the urgency to go to the World Bank for arbitration over the Kishangana project, should have woken up earlier. The country has been witness to the Indian blockage of water that has only intensified during the past few years. The wheat crisis is a glaring example of this theft. Its latest scheme of exporting vegetables is part of the same plan. Time and courage are certainly of essence here. Islamabad should shed its hesitation and take up the matter with the World Bank urgently.f