India has reportedly fast-tracked six hydro power projects in Jammu and Kashmir overlooking warnings from Islamabad that power stations on rivers flowing into Pakistan will disrupt water supplies.
Quoting three central and state officials, a report by the news agency Reuters claimed that the approval for these projects came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it clear last year that sharing the waterways could be conditional on Pakistan clamping down on anti-India militants operating from its soil.
The report pointed out that though the completion of these projects will take years, the Modi government’s green signal could prove a flashpoint between the two arch-rivals, both of whom are nuclear powers.
The Reuters report quoted Pradeep Kumar Pujari, a top ranking official in the power ministry, as saying that these projects are not purely hydro projects and are actually aimed at resolving problems related to strategic water management and border management.
"I say the way you look at these projects, it is not purely a hydro project. Broaden it to a strategic water management, border management problem, and then you put in money," Pujari said.
Responding to India’s clearance of these projects, Pakistan's foreign ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria told Reuters that it was a technical matter and that he would first confer with the Ministry of Water and Power on this matter.