WASHINGTON – The United States has called on Pakistan and India to abide by the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) despite ongoing bilateral tensions, calling the agreement “a model for peaceful cooperation.”
The Indus Water Treaty was signed by Pakistan and India in 1960 with the World Bank as a third party to ensure the implementation of the accord. It had settled the 13-year-long water dispute between the two neighboring states.
The treaty has withstood three large-scale wars and the 1999 Kargil conflict between Pakistan and India, however, India hinted it unilateral abrogation of the IWT after September 18 Uri attack which claimed lives of 18 Indian troops in the Occupied Kashmir.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also chaired a top level meeting in New Delhi to review the agreement last week. No clear statement was released about the annulment of the Indus Water Treaty after the meeting.
Responding to the queries of the Dawn newspaper, a spokesperson for the US State Department said: “The Indus Waters Treaty has served as a model for peaceful cooperation between India and Pakistan for over 50 years.”
“We hope and encourage India and Pakistan to resolve any differences through bilateral dialogue,” the US official was further quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Pakistani officials have already approached the World Bank officials in Washington to counter any Indian move to withdraw the Indus Water Treaty. Pakistan said any move to revoke the IWT agreement would be a violation of international laws.