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Title: Hydro-Diplomacy in Kabul River Basin (2001-2014): The Conflict and Cooperation Potential of Water in Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations
Authors: Iqbal, Muhammad
Keywords: Social Sciences
International Relations
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: University of the Punjab , Lahore
Abstract: The Kabul River is a shared resource which flows in eastern Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan. It has significant contribution in both countries in terms of agriculture, hydropower generation, mining, industrial, municipal uses etc. After the end of Taliban regime (after 2001), Afghanistan is planning to develop dams, diversions and river control structures in Kabul River Basin for producing electricity, controlling floods, managing droughts, improving and expansion of irrigation facilities. The completion of such projects will affect the quantity and timing of water availability to lower riparian Pakistan. During the period from 2001 to 2014, Pakistan made numerous diplomatic attempts on bilateral basis, via World Bank and international Community to devise a procedure of data sharing and conclusion of treaty. Afghanistan evaded dialogues on pleas of lack of data, negotiating skill, incomplete water policy etc. The policy of development without dialogues depicts that Afghanistan wants to develop infrastructure first then enter into negotiation while donors avoid investing before agreement between riparian countries. This strategy caused non-completion of any scheme of dam throughout the era of Mr. Hamid Karzai (2001-2014) and overall trust deficit situation between Pakistan and Afghanistan wasted this period of expected progress in Kabul River Basin. Though, currently water is not the main issue between Pakistan and Afghanistan, but it may become due to water supply-demand imbalance, climate change, and planned projects on Kabul River which require active hydro-diplomacy to promote mutual cooperation and avoid political emotions. Therefore, trust building is pre-requisite before entering into treaty and formation of joint commission. The disputes over water deficiency may intensify if these are not resolved in cautious and timely manners. This situation detrimentally affects cooperative environment and promotes pursuance of unilateral development by riparian countries which further aggravates the matter. But if issue is taken seriously with fair intention and intelligent diplomacy, the aggressive posture turns into cooperative behavior which has salubrious effects even beyond water. The joint management of river not only improves efficiency and development but also promotes prosperity, peace and stability.
Gov't Doc #: 24929
Appears in Collections:PhD Thesis of All Public / Private Sector Universities / DAIs.

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