India Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reportedly told a meeting with officials to review India’s position in the Indus Waters Treaty that “blood and water cannot flow together.” The meeting with senior officials was called to discuss the possible implications if India withdraws itself from the 56-year-old pact with Pakistan to share the water of Indus River and its tributaries. During the meeting, the PM was given a detailed presentation on the implications for India and Pakistan if India withdraws the treaty. Water Ministry sources said that details of the government’s decision would be known soon.
PM Modi chaired the meeting to review the Indus Water treaty with Pakistan amidst heightened tension between the two countries. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, the Water Resources Secretary, and senior PMO officials are present at the meeting.
According to ANI, several decisions were taken during the meeting today. Some of the decisions are: 1. The formation of an inter-ministerial task force to establish Indian rights under the Indus Waters Treaty
1. The formation of an inter-ministerial task force to establish Indian rights under the Indus Waters Treaty
2. India will use the potential of 18000 megawatt of power from the western rivers under Indus Waters Treaty
3. Construction on Tulbul navigation project would be reviewed by India again. The work on this was suspended in 2007.
4. India will use its full legal rights provisioned in the 56-year-old treaty.
5. India will expedite the construction on three dams on river Chenab; Pakul Dul Dam, Sawalkot Dam and Bursar Dam
The review is being undertaken as India weighs options to give a befitting response to Pakistan in the wake of the Uri attack that left 18 Indian soldiers dead. There have been consistent calls in India that the government scrap the water distribution pact to mount pressure on Pakistan in the aftermath of the terror attack.
Under the treaty, which was signed by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan President Ayub Khan in September 1960, water of six river – Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum – were to be shared between the two countries.
(Inputs from agencies)