Diverting Pakistan's water will be an act of aggression, India warned

FO spokesperson says Modi's remarks show he is bent on turning his country into 'aggressor state'

​ Our Correspondent October 17, 2019
Owais Leghari wants a contingency plan if Delhi revokes Indus Waters Treaty. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday cautioned India against stopping its share of water under the historic Indus Water Treaty, saying any such attempt would be considered as an act of aggression and the country reserves the right to respond.

The statement from the Foreign Office spokesperson came in response to recent remarks by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which he stated that India would not allow its share of water flow to Pakistan.

Speaking at the weekly news briefing, Dr Muhammad Faisal made it clear that under the 1960 World Bank brokered treaty, Pakistan had exclusive rights on the waters of three western rivers.

“Any attempt by India to divert the flow of western rivers will be considered an act of aggression and Pakistan has the right to respond,” Faisal added.

The spokesperson also said such statements coming from the Indian leadership were another glaring example of the fact that Modi government was bent upon making India an “irresponsible aggressor state that has no regard for human rights and international obligations.”

“Such statements should be an eye opener for the world which must realize the extremist government of Modi is a clear threat to peace in South Asia and the World,” Faisal said.

Under the Indus Water Treaty signed in 1960, Islamabad has unrestricted access to the western rivers Indus, Jhelum and Chenab, while New Delhi enjoys the same authority over the eastern rivers Ravi, Beas and Sutlej.

The landmark treaty has survived despite three wars and many phases of tense relationship between Pakistan and India. But in recent years, India, under BJP, has threatened to scrap the water accord.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson condemned the Indian blatant human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir. He said the “humanitarian nightmare” in the held valley was worsening with continued military lockdown and complete communications blockade.

About Kartarpur corridor, the spokesperson said Pakistan had almost completed work on the corridor.

The spokesperson also confirmed that the upcoming visit of Turkish President Recep Tayab Erdogan was postponed apparently due to the current situation in Syria. The visit was postponed for the time being and would be rescheduled, the spokesperson added.

On the Turkey’s military campaign in Syria, Faisal reaffirmed Pakistan’s support to Turkey, saying Ankara had remained a victim of terrorism for a long time and “we need to recognize its legitimate security concerns in the region.”

However, he added that “Pakistan continues to support the territorial integrity of Syria and hopes a political solution to the Syrian conflict will be reached at the earliest.”

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