Likely Indian aid for Afghan water projects rattles Pakistan

Islamabad: The possibility that India may extend valuable financial aid to Kabul to construct a series of hydro-power projects on the Kabul River has left the Pakistani establishment deeply rattled. It now appears that India may well have opened a new front in the strategic game being played out in the region even as Chinese army (PLA) presence in Pakistan-occupied –Kashmir (PoK) is now a confirmed fact.

The PLA presence ostensibly, as explained away by Pakistan, is necessary to execute ''engineering'' projects.

News is now filtering out that India may extend financial aid, perhaps even technical, to the beleaguered government of Afghanistan to build 12 hydro-power projects on the Kabul River.

India's own hydro projects on the rivers Indus, Jhelum and Chenab are already a bone of contention between these two warring neighbours as they originate in India but flow into Pakistan.

The 12 dams on the Kabul River will involve building a total water storage capacity of 4.7 million acre feet (MAF), which, as worried Pakistani experts point out, will be 25% more than their own massive Mangla Dam.