Kasur remains the eye of the storm after the Indian opening their floodgates sending 56 thousand cusecs of water downstream. The water has destroyed standing crops across 5,000 acres in Ganda Singh Wala in Kasur, and displaced many from the area.

The river Sutlej can sustain up to 70,000 Cusecs of water and is only 20% shy of reaching its limit according to the DCO Kasur. Five villages have been submerged in water, while authorities have moved the inhabitants to safer places.

This is not the first or the last time India has opened the floodgates to release water to an already struggling Pakistan, grappling to protect their own from the floods. Even with prior warnings, there is not much Pakistan can do other than build its own dams downstream. The government, despite facing this threat every year fails, to take preventive action. Yes, India is a hostile country, but what have we done to protect ourselves? Being up stream, under international law, India has the power to whatever it likes as a sovereign state. It is not its responsibility to protect the country downstream. Just like they can build dams and keep water from us, they can flood as well.

It is high time that Pakistan’s water policy be questioned and readdressed. Balochistan faces extreme drought and famine, while the groundwater levels in Punjab are depleting fast. Soon we will have to rely on imported water (probably from India!). What’s worse is that every year the monsoon gives us an opportunity to refresh our water resources, but we fail to utilize this blessing. It cannot be stressed enough time and time again that projects like Kalabagh dam should take top priority in the government agenda. Even if governments fail to invest in mega hydro projects and dams, strategic watershed management can go a long way in refreshing the groundwater levels. These water solutions do not require billions of dollars in capital, only political will and common sense.

Water scarcity and management should be an integral part of the incumbent as well as the successive governments’ agenda. The UN has made it clear that the water dispute is our own problem to solve. If we keep waiting for amicable solutions to materialize with India to solve our crises, it is utter foolishness on our part. The solution is to build, and build fast.