Ishrat Ali Khan While Pakistan has handed over credible evidence of Indian involvement in the subversive activities on its soil, India has pierced yet another soft target by building Wullar barrage on Jhelum River forcing the agro-based economy in tatters. Pakistan Indus Commissioner Syed Jamaat Ali Shah and Indian Indus water Commissioner G Aranganathan held important parleys early June and discussed 14 agenda items; including the contentious Wullar barrage project. The talks were essentially a failure with both sides being unable to reach an agreement on the Chenab's water flow, the Wullar barrage project and Nimo Bazgo hydel power projects. The two nations refer to the dam project by different names - Pakistan calls it the Wullar barrage and India calls it the Tulbul Navigation Project. It is a barrage because India is storing the flow of water through a 22-KM long tunnel into the Wullar Lake. According to Indian water strategists, the dam will help maintain better water levels in a nearby lake and regulate the flow of flood waters. That is why, it is a navigational effort. Nevertheless, Islamabad fears the proposed dam on the Jhelum river, a tributary of the Indus, will affect water levels further downstream in the plains of its Punjab province threatening irrigation and power projects. In the wake of inconclusive talks on water flow of Jhelum, Indian attempt to use water as a geo-strategic tool, is unfair and in contravention to the IWT-1960. According to Indus Water Treaty of 1960, India has been allotted exclusive control/right over the waters of the eastern rivers, namely; the Ravi, the Beas and the Sutlej. Pakistan controls the waters of three western rivers; the Indus, the Jhelum and the Chenab. It is interesting to note that the base-source of water of all the rivers flows from Indian Held Kashmir (IHK). As the demand for water increased manifold, India's growing lust for maximum control over the sources of the supply of water of three western rivers, became more pronounced for its burgeoning population. The treaty barred India from storing any water or constructing any storage works on the western rivers that would result in a reduced flow of water to Pakistan. The Indian design to construct dams on Pakistani rivers will diminished the flow of Jhelum during the vital Rabi crop-sowing season (January and February) threatening Pakistan's agro-based economy and throwing the fate of dismal farmers in the abyss of absurdity. The problem between the two countries arose when India decided to build a dam on the Kishan-Ganga River that originates in Indian Occupied Kashmir. The Kishan-Ganga river assumes the name of Neelum river upon entering in the Azad Kashmir region and becomes river Jhelum when it enters Pakistan. Pakistan has been vehemently opposing the construction of the Kishan-Ganga hydropower project. Pakistan believes that the diversion of waters of Neelum is not allowed under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty, and it will face a 27 per cent water deficit, when the project gets completed. The reduced water flow in the Neelum would not yield the required results of the proposed 1.6 billion dollars Neelum-Jehlum hydropower project that has been designed to generate 969 MW of electricity. India proposed to build the barrage in 1984 on the River Jhelum, at the mouth of Wullar Lake, India's largest fresh water lake, near Sopore town in Kashmir Valley. The proposed site for dam is near Kanzalwan - a town from where the river enters Azad Kashmir. The Indian plans include storing water and then tunneling it to the Wuller lake, where it is constructing a 800MW power house. India has almost completed a 22-kilometre long tunnel to divert Kishanganga waters to Wullar Lake in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan maintains that India, under the treaty, can store water but it cannot divert it to any other side. Thus, any diversion would violate the provisions of the treaty. Pakistan believes Wullar barrage can be used as: (1) a geo-strategic weapon, (2) potential to disrupt the triple canal project of Pakistan, (3) badly affecting the Neelum-Jehlum hydro-power project, (4) agriculture in Azad Kashmir (5) drying the lands of Punjab province. The Indian side is of the view that Pakistan is not developing its hydel resources anyway and should not get so serious about its objections. Although India has shuddered away the water issue as Pakistan's tactics of diverting world's attention from terrorism, yet one appreciates that the critical economic and environmental concerns are intricately linked with the terrorism. Amongst the root causes of terrorism, the abject poverty plays a crucial role in breeding extremism. The closure of Jhelum river is grand Indian design to make Pakistan barren by 2014. It would dry some 5.6 million acres of land precipitating economic slowdown as well as augmenting deep rooted feelings of depression in the life's of poor toilers associated with agrarian concern - deserting the frustrated and marginalized youth in the lurch with no other choice than to opt for extremism and terrorism. Is this not the abetment of terrorism? During the recently concluded annual talks at the Permanent Commission of Indus Water, both sides could not resolve the objections like: free board of the dam, quantum of storage, silt outlet and diversion of water as the Indian side maintained its previous position. According to the original Indian plan, the barrage was expected to be of 439-feet long and 40-feet wide, and would have a maximum storage capacity of 0.30 million acres feet of water. As the talks between Pakistan and India on the controversial Wullar barrage Project have broken down, Pakistan is planning to approach World Bank to appoint an arbitrator if the commission fails to decide on objections raised by it. According to IWT-1960, India could construct only those dams that were included in the Indus Water Treaty. Pakistan was taking the step because India has not shown any willingness to sort out the issue. The large dams and water reservoirs disrupt the ecological balance of rivers by depleting them of oxygen and nutrients, and affecting the migration and reproduction of fish and other freshwater species. A WWF report warns that indiscriminate dam-building is threatening the rivers as over 60% of the world's 227 largest rivers have been fragmented by dams. The governments are not applying the recommendations of WWF to their dam projects. As a result, the benefits that dams provide - such as hydropower, irrigation, and flood control services - are often overtaken by negative environmental and social impacts. There are over 48,000 large dams in operation worldwide, with India having 4,635 dams while Pakistan is lingering around the figure of just 72 dams. India should avoid building water dams cum hydroelectric projects where water is availed as a "collective resource". Any major upstream alteration in a river system should be negotiated, not imposed as in case of Wullar barrage on its lower riparian users. The Governments of India and Pakistan should look beyond national borders to basin-wide cooperation. While Pakistan & India agreed that terrorism is the main threat to both countries and affirmed their resolve to work together to fight terrorism and not to link it with the peace talks disrupted by the Mumbai attacks in late November, it is imperative that India should address water disputes between the two countries where water is used as a collective resource. India should consider those root causes in its campaign against terrorism. This will help in reducing the threat of Terrorism. It is hoped that both sides would revert back to the dialogue process in the larger interest of peace and stability in the region.