Published: Wed, September 28, 2016
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

India can not unilaterally separate itself from IWT: Pak

At Monday's meeting, Modi and officials discussed ways to increase exploitation of the Chenab, Jhelum and Indus rivers but said they would not violate a long-standing water treaty between the countries in the process.

The idea of approaching the WTO against Pakistan's stubborn refusal to grant India MFN status is not new but it had never acquired traction.

According to the media, Modi stated that "blood and water can not flow at the same time", implying that if terrorists, which India believes are operating out of Pakistan, continue to attack Indian targets, India would consider stopping the water. In an interview with Geo TV, Jamat Ali Shah, a former Indus Water Commissioner, implied that even a nuclear war was possible in such a scenario.

A move by India to use its share will hurt Pakistan, reeling from worsening water scarcity, but without attracting the charge of violation of the treaty. The Commission has held 112 meetings so far. Under the treaty the use of rivers and canals between the two countries was divided.

Responding to PM's "blood and water" remark, Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said under Article 62 of the Vienna Convention India is free to revoke the treaty.

Relations between India and Pakistan have nosedived over Islamabad raking up the Kashmir issue at worldwide fora and for its open backing of the current unrest in the valley that has seen 90 people killed in clashes with security forces since July 9.

"We have not exploited our 20 per cent rights on Western rivers fully, but now we are looking at exercising our legitimate rights under the treaty to the maximum capacity", sources said.

After the Indus Water Treaty, India will review the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status given to Pakistan at a meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Thursday.

It was also decided during the meeting to suspend the 1987 Tulbul navigation project and review it for future use.

Besides, India will also look at having a conservation storage of 3.6 million acre-feet water.

"If they (India) have chose to do so, there will be no meeting between the commissioners of the two countries that is mandatory to be held once in a year".

As of now, India is generating only 3,034 MW.

India is debating a series of steps to tighten pressure on Pakistan after the 18 September attack on an Army base in Jammu and Kashmir's Uri, in which 18 soldiers were killed by terrorists India says were from the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad. The decision to review the suspension signalled the Modi government's intent to revive it irrespective of Pakistan's protests.

Like this: