Pakistan’s Ministry of Water Resources on Thursday responded to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s announcement that India has decided to “stop” the flow of its share of water to Pakistan from rivers under the Indus Water Treaty and said that it has “neither concern nor objection”.
Talking to Dawn, secretary of Pakistan’s Ministry of Water Resources Khawaja Shumail said, “We have neither concern nor objection if India diverts water of eastern rivers and supplies it to its people or uses it for other purposes, as the IWT allows it do so.”
India’s decision comes in the wake of the Pulwama attack, in which at least 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
An official later clarified that it was not a “new decision” and that Gadkari was “simply reiterating” what he has always said.
Gadkari had tweeted:
India has already decided to revoke the Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan and mounted a diplomatic offensive to isolate it in the international community.
“Regarding the tweet (by Gadkari) about Indus treaty, this is not a new decision. Mantriji is simply reiterating what he has always said. He is talking about diverting India’s share of Indus water which was going to — and he has always been saying this,” Information Officer in-charge of Water Resources Ministry Neeta Prasad told PTI when asked about the issue.
Officials said the actual implementation of the decision may take up to six years as dams as high as 100 metres will have to be built to stop flow of water.
Under the Indus Water Treaty signed in 1960, the waters of the western rivers — the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab — was given to Pakistan and those of the eastern rivers — the Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej — to India.
Shumail also told Dawn that Pakistan will definitely express concerns and raise objections strongly if India uses or divert waters of western rivers.
India’s share of water from Ravi, Beas and Sutlej rivers came to 33 million acres feet (MAF). While about 95 percent of the water was being used in the country after the construction of three main dams across the rivers, close to 5 percent water would flow to Pakistan.
To gain access to this water, India is now building more dams which will be completed in six years, officials said.
(With PTI inputs)