Letter Re: Roads and Infrastructure in Bangladesh

Dear Jim,
Regarding the letter from M.Z. Williamson about water on the Bangladesh-India border leading to war (again) it is a good idea to remember that Jammu and Kashmir are fought over between Pakistan and India over water, rather than the Opium grown in Kashmir. Several rivers originate there and India has diverted at least one back across the border so they can grow grain to feed millions of people. This violates the 1960 water treaty, so fighting has resulted. Conflicts over water are very common.

While the hard words between Pakistan and India are largely regarded by their populations as empty posturing, the water and therefore food supply is a very real trigger for war. Bangladesh and India have similar problems, as both Bangladesh and Pakistan are Muslim and India is largely Hindu so cultural friction between the two ways of life can be very raw. 

The short version is that when the USA can’t afford to prop up the regime in Pakistan any longer, violence may flare up. It’s a long way from here, but it will have a chilling effect, particularly if open war really expands into the population centers. If things calm down once US forces withdraw and the two nations have to deal with each other directly, then so much the better for everyone and lesson learned.

Sincerely, – InyoKernß