The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.
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Afghanistan committed to 1972 Water Treaty with neighboring Iran

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) is committed to the Water Treaty signed in early 1972 between Afghanistan and Iran. The treaty is the only agreement that Afghanistan has that specifically addresses water allocations. This comes following recent remarks of Iranian President, who warned Afghanistan to give the people of Sistan and Baluchistan the right to water. In response to the warning of Iran’s president about the country’s water rights from the Helmand River, the Islamic Emirate has issued a statement and reiterated that Afghanistan is committed to the 1972 Water Treaty to give necessary water to the neighboring country. The statement added that currently there’s no enough water to give necessary water to the neighboring country due to continued drought. According to the IEA statement, Iranian officials should first complete their information about Helmand River water and then present their demand with ap                         propriate statements. In his recent remarks, the Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has said: “I warn the rulers of Afghanistan to give the people of Sistan and Baluchistan the right to water. If our experts confirm the lack of water, we have nothing to say, and if not, we will not allow the rights of our people to be violated.” “Take my words seriously so you don’t complain later,” he added. In the statement, the Islamic Emirate has criticized remarks of the Iranian President and considered it as inappropriate and said that it should not be repeated. The statement stressed that the Islamic Emirate is committed to the 1972 water treaty, but currently there is no enough water due to drought in the region. “Iranian authorities should first complete their information about Helmand water and then present their demand with appropriate words. If the facts are not properly studied and such statements are made, it could undermine the political atmosphere between the two Muslim nations, which is not in the interest of any party,” the statement said. The Helmand River flows some 1150 km before reaching the Sistan wetlands, a series of shallow marsh lakes (Hamuns) in southwest Afghanistan and eastern Iran. During high flows they form a series of interconnected lakes that flow in an anti-clockwise manner from Afghanistan to Iran. The wetlands are fed predominantly by Afghan rivers, the largest of which is the Helmand, and form a particularly diverse ecosystem important for migratory birds. Just prior to reaching the border, the Helmand River bifurcates at a point known as Helmand Fork. The Shele Charak River (called the Common Parian in Iran) flows northward, forming the border between Iran and Afghanistan and subsequently branches out to form the Hamun-e-Puzak. The other part of the fork flows westward into Iran, forming the Sistan River and eventually draining into the marshy lake, Hamun-e-Helmand. What is very clear is that Iran can make “no claim to the water of the Helmand River in excess of the amounts specified in this Treaty, even if additional amounts of water may be available in the Helmand Lower Delta and may be put to a beneficial use”. Consequently, if it is shown that Iran is taking more than 811 mcm/yr, it would be in clear breach of the Treaty. Based on the treaty, differences between the parties must be resolved through diplomatic means. It is good that the differences should be resolved through diplomatic channels not warning. Afghanistan has been always committed to the 1972 Water Treaty, but what the situation is lack of water facing Afghanistan. Helmand River does not have enough water to give to the neighboring country. Instead of warning or using inappropriate words, the Iranian officials need to raise or share the issue through diplomatic channels. Mohammad Daud

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.