As the Narendra Modi government looks to review the Indus Waters Treaty, Pakistan is expected to raise the issue of re-examination at the United Nations. According to ET Now, Pakistan will raise India’s plan to re-examine the Indus Waters Treaty at the UN. According to the channel, Pakistan may involve other nations on the issue of re-examination. Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high level meeting to review the treaty and is reported to have said that ‘blood and water’ cannot flow together. Reports also suggest that the government has decided to form a panel to review the treaty and demand a greater share of water from the ‘western rivers’.
Attended by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, NSA Ajit Doval, the Water Resources Secretary, and senior PMO officials, the meeting also noted that the meeting of Indus Water Commission can “only take place in atmosphere free of terror”. The Commission has held 112 meetings so far. Under the current treaty, water of six rivers – Chenab, Jhelum, Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, – are to be shared between the two countries. The Treaty was signed by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan President Ayub Khan in September 1960.
Apart from deciding to exploit to the maximum the capacity of three of the rivers that are under Pakistan’s control – Indus, Chenab and Jhelum– in the areas of hydro power, irrigation and storage, the meeting also agreed to review the “unilateral suspension” of 1987 Tulbul navigation project. The project was suspended in 2007. The sources asserted that the decision to maximise the water resources for irrigation will address the “pre-existing” sentiment of people of Jammu and Kashmir, who have complained in the past about the treaty not being fair to them. Experts, however have been warning India against abrogating the treaty, citing threat to credibility in the region, and sending a wrong message to neighbouring countries as reasons.
(With inputs from PTI)