Pakistan, Afghanistan urged to sign treaty on Kabul river water

Islamabad: Experts have urged for an agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan on the apportionment of the Kabul river water and warned that construction of reservoirs on the river would disturb its entire ecology.

The announcement was made on Wednesday during a conference titled “Sustainable usage of the Kabul River: Challenges and opportunities for Pak-Afghan cooperation” held at the University of Peshawar, reports Dawn news.

The varsity’s Vice Chancellor Mohammad Asif said that the Afghan government with the financial and technical support of India had planned construction of 12 reservoirs on the Kabul River that would generate 2400 megawatts of electricity.

He said that construction of dams on the river would drastically affect the agriculture sector in Pakistan, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as the water flow in three main tributaries of the river had already declined by more than 50 per cent.

He stressed the need for having a bilateral water treaty between Islamabad and Kabul for the reasonable and equitable use of the Kabul River water.

Peshawar-based Afghan Counsul General Moeen Marastial said that his government was ready for negotiation with Pakistan on water issues within the framework of international conventions.

The experts said that the Kabul River played a key role in irrigating lands in Peshawar, Charsadda, Nowshera and adjoining areas.

They said that the river was mainly fed by the Chitral river, which was known as the Kunar river in Afghanistan.