Unlike our local media, today I’ll be opening the Pandora box of Pakistan’s fatal floods – floods as deadly as:
“The number of people affected is much more than the Haiti earthquake or the tsunami, and if the death toll is as high as the one stated by Pakistan government, then it’s higher than the three of them combined!” – Maurizio Giuliano, spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to the Associated Press.
What defies logic is the scale and magnitude of the floods while the media is completely blaming rain for the havoc. You know that rains have ceased to a great extent in the last two weeks, as compared to the downpour, the entire country was facing, a couple of weeks ago, but the flood in River Indus and Chenab is still rising. You still blame the rain? Think again. It’s something else as well that has led to such a disaster. Think of a magical system of heavy clouds that would only pour down across the length and breadth of Pakistan, and would not cross the borders on both, the East and West of Pakistan. Far from reality, isn’t it? Yes, India and Afghanistan did not face a flood at all, not at all. And Pakistan faced the worst flood in 80 years? And yeah! One more thing, the melting glaciers – We better rule them out too, because again you’ll have to think of some magical glaciers that decided to melt at a faster speed just in time for the heavy monsoon rains. Or is it just a coincidence?
Indian Water Terror?
What if I tell you to find out who controls the dam on River Kabul in Afghanistan? The answer is India. On your left is India, on your right is India, and who is India? You know it better. Yeah, who just offered 5 million dollars to Pakistan as flood relief, just to crack another joke, as a bounty after accomplishing its mission. From the first look at the data, it shows that a natural spill of grave rain was exploited by releasing water reservoirs in Indian-occupied Kashmir and on river Kabul. There are tens of dams that choke Pakistan from the side of occupied Kashmir.
In February, the United States organized a meeting in which senior government officials who handle agricultural issues from Kabul and Islamabad took part. To everybody’s surprise, the meeting was held in Doha, Qatar, on US consent. It was tried there that Pakistan be forced to grant agricultural concessions to the US-propped government in Kabul, without Pakistan getting anything in return.
But in the meeting, Mr. Zahoor Malik, the bureaucrat leading the Pakistani delegation, raised the issue of an Indian company with close links to the Indian government, building a dam on river Kabul near the border with Pakistan.
After the first wave of floods, the other rivers were flowing normally but all of a sudden, Chenab and Indus overflowed and the flow gained pace, turning into a flood. While, India’s Baghliar Dam in occupied Kashmir opened its flood gates to cause a tragedy in the plains of Pakistan, the Sarobi Dam, the Indian-maintained dam near Kabul that controls the flow of Kabul River entering Pakistan, also fired from the Western side. Without any rain in Afghanistan, water flowing from river Kabul into Pakistan dramatically picked up pace as water levels increased and formed a flood. The fast-paced transformation of these rivers into a flood is only possible because of either of the two reasons:
1: massive rains in Afghanistan.
2: Sarobi Dam released large amounts of water over a sustainable period of time.
Which of the two really happened? I already mentioned. And then follows a 1 million dollar aid from Afghanistan too! Wow!
Our Own Mistakes and the Taunsa Factor
Mushtaq Gaadi, environmental activist from Quaid e Azam University, said yesterday, on Monday, August 16, 2010:
“The destruction that was brought, it was brought due to the breaches in the dykes and the breaches in embankments. And certainly, there are many man-made causes involved in what’s been the situation. The main cause of the flood, worsening of the flood, was Taunsa Barrage. It was in the downstream of Taunsa Barrage. And the reason was that the Taunsa Barrage is the most tilted-up river, and its capacity, storage capacity, has been reduced. So it is not possible to hold up the water and then to—and embankments are in very bad shape.
When the World Bank started its rehabilitation project of Taunsa Barrage three years ago, it was meant to basically to rehabilitate and repair the whole barrage. And $140 million were allocated. We asked them to pay attention to ecological issues, and especially the issue of this tilt, the position, sedimentation of the barrage, and how the whole ecology of the barrage is going to change, because its channel has been raised up, and now all the low-lying areas are in—more in the danger of floods. So, all that had been ignored. So, after the rehabilitation project, just after six months, the barrage failed to hold up the water, and it was breached. So it was—in fact, it was the failure of Taunsa Barrage that caused such large destruction. So, these are not only natural floods, but also the structures that were created were injurious and badly looked after by irrigation department, that caused such destruction and worsened the situation.”
The Kalabagh Lure
Not to forget, Awami National Party that rules the badly flood-stricken Khyber Pakhtun Khwa province of Pakistan is a US-allied secular party with strong links with Afghanistan and India – the party that opposed the construction of Kalabagh dam, because of which, the flood today wouldn’t have been the mayhem we see. ANP who argued that building the Kalabagh dam would drown the city of Nowshehra saw their lie exposed when not only Nowshehra but also Charsadda drowned without the Kalabagh Dam being there.
Let’s thank three entities for if not all, most of the havoc, one by one. Thank you, India. Thank you, Afghanistan. Thanks to the Government.