A report in this paper that the total water storage capacity of the country has gone down by 29 percent in part due to dwindling storage of large dams is quite chilling. The big dams including Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma have greatly lost their storage capacity due to silting. There are limitations in removing the silt. Thus, it is obvious that new reservoirs like Kalabagh must be built.

At the same time, a serious reason that accounts for our decreasing water storage is Indian diversion through scores of dams up in Kashmir that mocks the spirit of the Indus Waters Treaty. The political leadership has been trying to muster the courage to address the issue with India. An indication comes from Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif who said that Kashmir could not be wriggled free from Indian shackles through the use of force only. Diplomacy has for long been an option, rather a top one from our side to settle the issue and rightly so. The water conflict being just one of the consequences resulting from the dispute has created a scenario that is replete with possibilities dreadful enough to make one shudder at their thought. A concerted initiative at all forums available is required to settle the water dispute in line with the IWT and thus, also Kashmir.