Pakistan’s water resources ministry said that it has neither concern nor objection if India stops the access of river water share to it with respect to Indus Water Treaty.
The issues comes after India’s outrage following the Pulwama attacks claimed by Pakistan based jihadist group Jaish-e-Mohammad.
The statement by Khawaja Shumail, the secretary of Pakistan’s ministry of water resources, was reported by Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper a day after Union minister Nitin Gadkari reiterated that India would be diverting water from eastern rivers to Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.
“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,” Dawn quoted Shumail as saying.
Amid tensions over the Pulwama terror attack carried out by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad, Gadkari had tweeted that India has decided to “stop” the flow of its share of water to Pakistan from rivers under the Indus Water Treaty.
An official later clarified that it was not a “new decision” and that the minister was “simply reiterating” what he has always said.
The reiteration to stop the flow of Indus water to Pakistan comes amid mounting Indo-Pak tension over the Pulwama terror strike that has triggered demands for action against the neighbouring country. 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 Pakistan – and he has always been saying this,” Information Officer in-charge of Water Resources Ministry Neeta Prasad had said when asked about the issue.
There were demands to stop the flow of India’s share of Indus water to Pakistan after the Uri terror attack in 2016.
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.
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.
To gain access to this water, India is now building more dams which will be completed in six years, officials said.