SOURCE: Deutsche Welle
DATE: January 25, 2019
SNIP: Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just some of the places where climate change is increasingly regarded as a root cause of violent conflict. But while much of the focus on climate change-attributed conflict has predominantly been on Africa and the Middle East, a potentially even deadlier clash over resources may be looming on the horizon in Asia.
That’s because India and Pakistan — bitter rivals over water — both have nuclear weapons in their arsenal.
The two countries have a long but strained agreement over sharing water from the Indus River and its tributaries. Waters from the Indus, which flow from India and the disputed Kashmir region into Pakistan, were carved up between India and Pakistan under the 1960 Indus Water Treaty (IWT).
The dispute over the Kashmir region — a flashpoint between India and Pakistan for more than six decades — is hugely intertwined with water security. Both countries claim the whole region, but each only controls a part of it.
While the IWT has managed to survive the wars and other hostilities, it is increasingly being strained to its limit. Pakistan has accused India of throttling its water supply and violating the IWT by constructing dams over the rivers flowing into Pakistan from Kashmir.
A 2018 report from the International Monetary Fund ranked Pakistan third among countries facing severe water shortages.
When the rapidly-melting glaciers in the Himalayas, which feed the Indus waters, eventually disappear as predicted, the dwindling rivers will be slashed even further.