There are several factors that could contribute to emerging water conflicts between Pakistan and Afghanistan:
- Water scarcity: Both Pakistan and Afghanistan are largely arid countries, and water is a scarce resource in many regions. Population growth, climate change, and increasing demand from agriculture, industry, and urbanization are putting pressure on existing water resources.
- Dams and water infrastructure: Afghanistan is building several large dams on the rivers that flow into Pakistan, including the Kabul River and the Helmand River. These dams could reduce the amount of water flowing downstream into Pakistan and impact the country’s agriculture and economy.
- Historical tensions: Pakistan and Afghanistan have a long history of political and territorial disputes, including border conflicts and allegations of cross-border terrorism. Water could become another point of contention between the two countries.
- Lack of cooperation: Pakistan and Afghanistan have not historically had strong bilateral relations, and there is a lack of trust between the two countries. This could make it difficult to reach agreements on water sharing and management.
- Lack of legal framework: There is currently no comprehensive legal framework for water sharing between Pakistan and Afghanistan. This could lead to disputes over water rights and allocation in the absence of clear rules and regulations.
- International interventions: Other countries and international organizations, such as India, China, and the World Bank, have been involved in water-related projects in Afghanistan. This could complicate the situation and lead to competing interests and priorities.