In a no holds barred attacked on Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he has formed a task force on Indus Waters Treaty to make sure that farmers of Punjab and other states do not suffer. At a function in Punjab, ahead of the state polls, PM Modi said, “The fields of our farmers must have adequate water. Water that belongs to India cannot be allowed to go to Pakistan.” “‘The government will do everything to give enough water to our farmers,” he added.
Modi asserted that farmers’ welfare is his main concern. Speaking at the foundation ceremony of All India Institute of Medical sciences (AIIMS) in Bhatinda, the Prime Minster asserted that the river belongs only to India. PM Modi said that the move to review the Indus Waters Treaty is not a political gimmick. “For me elections do not matter. I am more concerned about the welfare of the farmers,” he said.
India has taken “strong exception” to the World Bank’s decision to set up a Court of Arbitration and appoint a ‘Neutral Expert’ to go into Pakistan’s complaint against it over Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric projects in Jammu and Kashmir. India’s decision to review the Indus Waters Treaty came in wake of the Uri terror attack in September in which many Indian soldiers had been martyred. While India has been retaliating strongly, and has even carried out surgical strikes across the LoC, the government is looking at other ways to keep Pakistan in check.
The Indus Waters Treaty is a water-sharing arrangement signed by then Jawaharlal Nehru and then President of Pakistan Ayub Khan on September 19, 1960, in Karachi. It covers the water distribution and sharing rights of six rivers — Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum. The agreement was brokered by the World Bank. The agreement was signed because the source of all the rivers of the Indus basin were in India (Indus and Sutlej, though, originate in China). It allowed India to use them for irrigation, transport and power generation, while laying down precise do’s and don’ts for India on building projects along the way. The treaty gave the three “eastern rivers” of Beas, Ravi and Sutlej to India for use of water without restriction. The three “western rivers” of Indus, Chenab and Jhelum were allocated to Pakistan.
(With inputs from Agencies)