India’s water offensive: Nitin Gadkari says humane treatment to Pakistan no longer possible

By: | Updated: February 22, 2019 2:26 PM

The latest statement came as a departure from India's previous stance of stopping its own share of water flowing into Pakistan.

He said that Pakistan has failed to live up to the spirit in which the Indus Water Treaty was signed. (Reuters)

As India continues to explore its options to punish Pakistan after the ghastly Pulwama terror attack, Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said that he has directed the authorities in Water Resources department to prepare a detailed project report to stop the share of water of Pakistan’s quota from rivers under the Indus Water Treaty.

Gadkari emphasised that if Pakistan continues to lend support to terrorism, treating it in a humane way would not be possible any further. He said that Pakistan has failed to live up to the spirit in which the treaty was signed.

“The decision will be taken on the high-level but I have asked my department to prepare a technical report, flagging locations at which water flow to Pakistan of its own share can be stopped,” Gadkari told news agency ANI.

The recent statement came as a departure from India’s previous stance of stopping its own share of water flowing into Pakistan. On Thursday, India had said that it will stop the flow of its share of water to Pakistan from rivers under the Indus Water Treaty. “The construction of dam has started at Shahpur- Kandi on Ravi river. Moreover, UJH project will store our share of water for use in J&K and the balance water will flow from 2nd Ravi-BEAS Link to provide water to other basin states,” Gadkari had tweeted.

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Under the Indus Water Treaty 1960, the waters of the eastern rivers — the Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej — was given to India and those of the western rivers — the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab — to Pakistan.

India’s share of water from Ravi, Beas and Sutlej rivers came to 33 million acres feet (MAF). While about 95 per cent of the water was being used in the country after the construction of three main dams across the rivers, close to 5 per cent water or 1.6 MAF would flow to Pakistan. India is now building more dams to gain access to this water.

A largely agriculture-based Pakistan economy is dependent on the water flow of the three rivers through Kashmir.

Reacting to India’s move, secretary of Pakistan’s Ministry of Water Resources Khawaja Shumail said that his country will definitely express concerns and raise objections strongly if India use and divert waters of western rivers on which Pakistan’s right to use prevails, Pakistan-based daily, Dawn, reported.

Khawaj, however, said that Pakistan is neither concerned nor has any objection if India diverts water of eastern rivers and supplies it to its people or uses it for other purposes as per Indus Water Treaty.

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