The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Water disputes should not result in border tensions

A several-hour clash erupted between Afghanistan and Iranian border forces, a number of people including security guards from both sides have lost their lives and several others wounded. Heavy gunfire has first started by the Iranian border forces which faced a firm resistance and resolute response from the Islamic Emirate forces. The clash happened in Nimruz province that shares border with Iran, as the Islamic Emirate’s Ministry of Interior said the Iranian side first opened fire in the direction of the country’s border forces, resulting in the hours-long conflict between the two sides. Iranian authorities have earlier warned Afghanistan that failure to comply with the joint agreement on water treaty in areas along the shared border would escalate tensions between the two countries. The issue made hot topics for local and foreign media. “I warn that Afghanistan’s rulers should take the issue of water rights seriously,” said President Ibrahim Raisi, during his visit to his country’s southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchistan. The Iranian authorities are yet to realize that the fact that water scarcity emanated from long drought and felt in Iran, is the same challenge in its neighboring Afghanistan. We are obliged to implement the law which is practical and possible. So when we see no enough water in the dam to even suffice to hydrate the Afghans themselves, then how could it be possible to flow it to the Iranian side? On the other side, besides Afghanistan’s commitment to water treaty of 1972, no next inspection by the Iranian technical team has been mentioned in the accord and no one can claim that they had the right to inspect the water source inside the country’s border. Anyway, the recent water dispute and warning of the Iranian authorities resulted have plagued relations between the neighbors for decades and freshly resulted in a fierce border clash that resulted in the death and injury of a number of security forces from both sides. The border tension which left dead and injuries from the two sides, is seen to have been a premade plan by the Iranian officials who had warned that in case of Afghanistan’s failure to open the gate of the dam, their forces would attack Afghan border forces. The military measure by the Iranian side and their attack on the Afghan border forces made it clear that the neighboring country’s effort to get closer with the Islamic Emirate since the beginning of the country’s takeover, had its hidden ambition of water supply. If Iran wants the water dispute tackled and good relations and diplomatic ties with Afghanistan secured, it should enter negotiations with the Islamic Emirate and soon end the border tensions which would undeniably undermine relations between the nations. The two sides should not take water issue as serious as it could damage the two nations’ long relations; as any dispute could be tackled on their own and the water dispute should not lead to border clashes or any other bilateral challenges, the overcoming of which, is not possible.

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.