Pakistan

NEW DELHI – Flouting the Indus Waters Treaty agreement, Indian government officials have practically started discussions over utilisation of waters from rivers which had been provided to Pakistan.

A high-level meeting was held by senior Indian government officials on Friday in a bid to maximise the use of water from the rivers which are providing water to Pakistan.

According to reports by Indian media, a high-level meeting chaired by the Principal Secretary of Indian Prime Minister, was held in which they discussed how to fast-track proposed hydro-power projects in Jammu and Kashmir.

The participants deliberated on revamping the infrastructure to start building water storage reservoirs to tap water from the three western rivers, which are originally provided to Pakistan under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).

“The idea of the first meeting was to indicate India’s intention to fully utilise the country’s share of waters within the Treaty and bring the two states (Punjab and J&K) on board for speeding up the entire process,” said an official.

“Both the states have been asked to get back as early as possible with their respective ground reports. Next meeting of the task force will be held in January,” he added.

Political and bureaucratic bigwigs including the chief secretaries of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa and Water Resources Secretary Shashi Shekhar also attended the task force meeting.

The latest meeting endorses the report by BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) a few days ago which hinted at the plans of Modi regime to wage a water war against Pakistan.

The 1960 Indus Water Treaty deals with water distribution and sharing of the six rivers of the Indus basin, of which the three eastern rivers Beas, Sutlej, Ravi were allocated to India and the three western rivers Jhelum, Chenab and Indus to Pakistan.

The World Bank had brokered the agreement and have a role in dispute resolution. It was also responsible for the provision of funds to both countries that would allow them to construct several dams and canals to fulfil their needs.

The treaty has been violated twice already when India constructed two hydroelectric power plants named ‘Kishenganga’ and ‘Ratle’ on the Neelum and Chenab rivers.

Earlier, World Bank suspended its role of arbitration to resolve the Indus Water Treaty issues between Pakistan and India over the matter of two dam projects being constructed by India to give both countries a chance to seek an alternate solution.

Islamabad is already unhappy with some of India’s existing nefarious designs to cut down the agreed supply of water to Pakistan.

In a blunt outburst against Pakistan in November, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that water which belonged to India could not be allowed into Pakistan.

‘The fields of our farmers must have adequate water. Water that belongs to India cannot be allowed to go to Pakistan. Government will do everything to give enough water to our farmers’ said PM Modi.