Among many other examples that we could learn from and utilize are two noteworthy events: The Suez Crisis and Eisenhower’s recourse to the UN GA, and the instance of Nicaragua seeking an “Opinion” from the International Court of Justice, ICJ, against the US.

The Suez Crisis

This is an abbreviated version of a very long story of confrontational diplomacy and resolution of conflicting interests.

This was a period when Russia had invaded Hungary and the US-led initiative in the UN was pressurizing Russia to withdraw which it finally did. The Suez Crisis came at an unpropitious moment, because of which President Eisenhower was faced with a “moral dilemma”—-a period of history when the US President could still suffer from a moral dilemma; a situation which, fortunately for current incumbents and, unfortunately for the world, no longer occurs.

The Suez Crisis had been a long time building and, finally, in 1956, Gemal Abdul Nasser, the Egyptian President, nationalized the canal. Israel was the first country to invade Egypt, with UK and France to follow soon afterwards.

Due to the Russian invasion of Hungary, which the US was opposing diplomatically, Eisenhower was forced to oppose the invasion of Suez as forcefully and determinedly as he had opposed the Russians.

The US President is considered the most powerful man in the world but, even he is shackled by one constitutional condition; he cannot spend a cent without permission of congress. Even if he declares an emergency, during which he can spend what he likes (the emergency is constitutionally limited in time), when he lifts it, he has to account for every cent spend in that period or face an indictment.

Furthermore, he has to spend every cent sanctioned by parliament and, if he fails to, he has to explain why.

Since his efforts in the Security Council were vetoed by UK and France and, his efforts to pressurize Israel by seizing economic assistance to that state, by the Congress/Senate, Eisenhower decided to take his case to the UN General Assembly, UNGA.

The US proposal for adoption of Resolution 997 (ES-1) was passed. Of the 75 member UNGA, 64 voted in favor, 5 opposed, and 6 abstained.

Not only did the Russians also withdraw, both leaders of UK and France were humiliated and had to resign and UK finally seized to claim to be a World Power.  

Nicaragua Vs US in ICJ

The International Court of Justice can give a judgment only if both parties are willing to accept its decision. However, even if one party refuses to present its case to the ICJ, the ICJ can offer its “opinion”. The opinion is non-binding but it helps build international pressure, even on the USA.

Nicaragua’s insecure future had persisted even then. Left-wingers, the Sandinistas overthrew the previous dictator and were trying to rule but, in 1981 the Right-wing Contras began opposing them. Sandinistas enjoyed Soviet support and the Contras were US created and supported.

Ronald Reagan, US President was very insistent on continuing US support to the Contras and, in 1984, ordered a naval embargo of Nicaraguan ports and began mining them.

The Nicaraguan government went to the ICJ. Not only did the US refuse to be party to the debate, it challenged the ICJ’s jurisdiction on such matters.

The ICJ gave a landmark judgment on its jurisdiction and a devastating “Opinion”. These can be read from the ICJ website here.

Not only was the opinion a clear indictment of US interference in affairs of another independent state but it was a virtually unanimous decision. All fifteen judges agreed on three sub-paragraphs and only one dissented on sub-paragraph B 2.

The consequences were very far reaching indeed.

If, in the previous case, the Congress refused to withdraw from approving funds sanctioned for aid of Israel, this time it refused to give Reagan funds to support the Contras. This was to result in the “Iran-gate Scandal”.

Following the ICJ’s judgment/opinion, US Congress’ refusal to sanction further funds to support Nicaraguan Contras resulted in the Iran-Gate scandal.

Both precedents could be of use to Pakistan at this critical juncture; when we have fallen afoul of the mighty US; and India, with US encouragement, is waging a Hybrid War against us and simultaneously, seeking to isolate us, with some success.

Our real problem is that, internationally, few countries are prepared to buy “our narrative”. It is far more convenient to accept any narrative that indicts us.

One way of legitimizing our narrative internationally is to get a favorable opinion on Indian interference in Balochistan.

We may not wish to risk deteriorating our relations with the US by taking it to the ICJ but, if we have sufficient tangible evidence against India, we could certainly do so.

A judgment akin to the one issued in favor of Nicaragua could suddenly reverse roles with India on its accusations against us.

But do we have political leadership courageous enough to undertake such a venture, or are these spineless fellows still hoping to make another buck or two again, by selling back sugar to India and buying it back at exorbitant prices?

The Indus Water Treaty

No less than the Indian PM has threatened to violate this treaty. The threat has to be taken seriously.

I suggest that this complaint be voiced at every single international forum of which we are members and where such matters can be discussed. The UNGA, Security Council, SAARC, the ECO, OIC, the UN Economic and Social Council, (the ICJ may be held in reserve or also approached now——–however, on this issue one or more legal expert on international law should be consulted before deciding on which course should be followed), Global Environment Facility, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, International Union for Conservation of Nature, UN Environment Program, the Asia Pacific Fishery Commission, International Energy Agency, Indian Ocean Commission, NATO etc. in short, every conceivable international, regional, or multi-national organization that we have access to and where it could be heard, should be brought into the discussion.

Raise a hue and cry, the likes of which has never been heard before.

However, if there is one lesson that we can get from the last discussion on our water situation, it is that, even if India never carries out this threat, we will be a water scarce country, at least in patches, if our population growth continues and; even if we slow it down we will still be water scarce, unless we conserve water, cease to waste it, manage it better and, most important of all, use it efficiently, and then, even more efficiently.

In my last submission I suggested how we could follow up on this initiative. I do hope we do so, whether in the manner I suggested, or another, is immaterial. We HAVE to come up with a sound course to follow, if the generation after next is to survive here.

On Our Better Usage of Water

I have some suggestions here too. These might seem simplistic and tactical measures but, if executed at a sufficiently large scale, the results could be strategic.

There is too much water wastage at the domestic level, even in the legitimate use of water. I am not talking about washing of cars or porches or things like that but of the daily use for washing utensils, clothes, bathing, and the flush.

All this water goes to the sewerage and back underground. From where after many years it finds its way out as sub-surface water, after a natural “cleansing process”. We need to shorten this and do so in ALL small localities of manageable sizes.

In time, perhaps an entirely suction based flush will arrive. But, till it does, our domestic usage of water can be divided into two kinds: the one that carries human excrement and the one that does not.

The first requirement is to separate the two. They must flow through different pipelines and must never be mixed.

The second requirement is to have simple cleansing and purifying means for each. I can suggest the method(s) but some expert has to elaborate on them.

Each must, at some stage, flow into separate, LOCAL water reservoirs. The one that carried excrement, should always be non-potable. The one that didn’t, may become potable, after going through a Purification process, in addition to the cleansing process.

The simple cleansing process is that in each pipeline, there should be (as many as required) 6’ to 8’ segments of detachable pipes at suitable distances (worked out by experts). These segments should be divided by a wire mesh of decreasing size.

The first one of large pebbles, the second of smaller, the third of even smaller, and the last of sand. These segments should be multiple, as recommended by the expert and to be replaced after a suitable quantity of water has passed through (which means that some method of monitoring the quantity of dirty water passing through needs to be installed as well).

Obviously, the first segment of these “cleansing pipe lengths” will have to be replaced earlier than the second; the second earlier than the third and so on.

The beauty of this process is that it is so low-tech that it can be executed locally, at minimal expense.

This system should run into separate water storage facilities. The one that carries human excrement must flow back only to flushes. The other should continue being used for ALL other purposes but, may be considered potable, only after “Purification”.

Food for Thought

Sooner or later, water will become so scarce that people may be required to pay, even for potable water.

However, in the interim period, the fine on water wastage should be raised to multiple levels. It MUST pinch. Every successive instance of water wastage, within a specified period, should result in doubling the previous fine.

The fine imposed for water wastage should be different for slum dwellers and for those in posh areas. The bottom line is that the fine must pinch; both rich and poor.

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