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The other Kashmir problem: India and Pakistan tussle over water -

Posted By maggie in Planning and Management

Amid a summer of heat, regional flooding, and separatist protests across Indian-controlled Kashmir, one of the unlikely grievances mentioned by rock-throwing youth is water.

India is building a series of hydroelectric dams in Jammu and Kashmir State, but much of the power they generate will be distributed to the wider Indian grid. For separatist-minded Kashmiris, this represents the theft of a birthright – and yet another reason to idealize independence.

"There will be a new project to create 4,000 megawatts to India, but still we don't have electricity," says Nadeem, a young independence activist who couldn't safely give his full name for fear of police reprisal. "Most journalists say, 'Oh, if you get independence, will you be able to survive?' We have the resources.... We have a lot of hydroelectricity."

As electricity becomes increasingly precious, water is also becoming a major impediment to resolving the Kashmir conflict, a dispute that hampers US efforts to coordinate regional cooperation in nearby Afghanistan. -

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