Pak minister asks India to honour Indus Waters Treaty
Islamabad: Pakistan today asked India to honour the historic Indus Waters Treaty, warning that it will contest at an appropriate forum if India “encroaches” upon its water rights.
“We will contest our case at an appropriate forum if India encroaches upon our water rights,” Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif said.
Addressing a function in Lahore, Asif warned that Pakistan will face a severe drought in the next few years and wants to resolve water-related issues with India.
The Indus Water Treaty was signed in 1960 with the support of the World Bank to settle thorny water issues, and is one of the most durable agreements between the two sides.
But with the passage of time new issues related to sharing of water have cropped up between the two neighbours.
Pakistan earlier raised concerns over some of India’s power projects in Jammu and Kashmir, saying these were being done to stop the flow of water. India rejects the allegations.
The Indus Water Treaty stipulated that the water flow from three Western rivers — Indus, Jhelum and Chenab — will be for the exclusive use of Pakistan, while the three eastern rivers — Ravi, Sutlej and Beas — will be for India’s use.
Asif said the government would resolve the issue of electricity shortage in Pakistan within the next three years but at the moment the country was heading towards a serious water shortage, Dawn reported.
The federal minister said that construction of dams was a “matter of life and death now”. He said the country faces devastating floods due to a lack of water storage facilities.