New Delhi: The Modi government's review meeting of Indus Waters Treaty on Monday rose speculation that New Delhi may be considering to close the 'water tap' to Pakistan in response to Uri attack. In such an eventuality, here are the seven scenarios Pakistan could face almost immediately.
1/ Scrapping of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) will inflict deeper wounds on Pakistan, and perhaps more than the one fought with weapons. The immediate consequence of which could be chaos and unrest in the society.
2/ The Indus treaty gives Pakistan the right to use waters of three rivers - Indus, Chenab and Jhelum — the lifeline of the country's Indus region. The abrogation of the treaty will create water scarcity, drought and misery.
3/ The region supports 90 percent of the country's agriculture, the backbone of the country's economy and its 195 million people. Water scarcity will hit agri sector, resulting in famine-like situation.
4/ The agri sector also contributes over 19 percent to the country’s GDP and largest employer (over 42 percent) of the country’s total labour force. The impact of which will also be felt in this sector. Unemployment rate will rise.
5/ Pakistan uses Indus water for irrigation, power generation and drinking. Most importantly, the Indus region plays a crucial role in the country's Hydro-power generation. Water scarcity will hit industrial production.
6/ The agri sector provides raw materials to industries and helps in poverty alleviation. Already, some 60 million Pakistanis live under the poverty line. Such a move would again impact the overall economy of Pakistan.
7/ Finally, the closing the Indus water tap could unseat the government of Nawaz Sharif as a result of the effects of famine, agrarian and economic crisis.