Review Indus water treaty: PaK PM to Islamabad

He stressed that the Kashmir issue should be resolved as per the desires of the Kashmiri people by implementing the historic UN Security Council resolutions.

Lahore, Publish Date: Sep 17 2018 12:56AM | Updated Date: Sep 17 2018 12:56AM
Review Indus water treaty: PaK PM to IslamabadFile Photo

The state government of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) has asked Islamabad to quit or at least review the pros and cons of the “controversial” Indus Waters Treaty, a World Bank-brokered settlement signed in Karachi on September 19, 1960, between Pakistan and India to use the water available in the six rivers of the Indus system.

According to this agreement, control over the water flowing in three eastern rivers – the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej with the mean flow of 33 million acre-feet (MAF) – was given to India, while control over the water flowing in three western rivers – the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum with the mean flow of 80 MAF – was given to Pakistan.

In an exclusive interview with a  Pakistan based daily Pakistan Today, PaK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan said that Pakistan must review the controversial water treaty with India as there was nothing in it but a clear devastation. “I don’t know why Islamabad signed a one-sided agreement with a country that is very much clear to destroy not only Pakistan but also other neighbours,” he said. “The objectives are recognising rights and obligations of each the country in settlement of water use from the Indus rivers in a spirit of goodwill, friendship and cooperation contrary to the fears of Islamabad that India could potentially create floods or droughts in Pakistan, especially at times of war since substantial water inflows of the Indus basin rivers are from India,” the treaty’s preamble declares. During his extensive talk, PM Haider revealed that India was planning to divert the Poonch River, which is a tributary of the Jhelum River flowing through Jammu and Kashmir to PaK. “This is another fact that India is planning to create drought situation in Pakistan and in our side of the state,” he said. Under the PaK Wildlife and Fisheries Act 2010, the state government designated the Poonch river, its tributaries and their beds from Degwar Madarpur to the Mangla Dam as the ‘Mahasheer National Park’ to protect the Golden Mahasheer. This largest freshwater fish, known as Tor Putitora in scientific name, inhabits the southern watersheds of the Himalayas and prefers to live in the lakes, dams or manmade impoundments but migrates upwards to the tributaries to locate the shallow and gravel stream beds where it breeds each year. Besides mainstream political leadership, the policymakers and intellectuals would also have to sit together to discuss India’s continuous efforts to create unending water crises in Pakistan and to destroy its economy, Prime Minister Haider said.“We have to make a clear national policy to confront India’s water aggression in the South Asian region,” he suggested. The PaK Prime Minister also demanded full membership of the Indus River System Authority (IRSA), a five-member body setup under the Indus River System Authority Act 1992 to regulate and monitor the distribution of water sources of Indus River in accordance with the water accord amongst the four provinces.“We don’t need any observer status as we are key stakeholders,” he said.

Kashmir Solution 

He stressed that the Kashmir issue should be resolved as per the desires of the Kashmiri people by implementing the historic UN Security Council resolutions. To a question, he completely rejected a four-point formula, introduced by former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf and propagated by former foreign minister Khursheed Mahmood Kasuri. He said that only two persons – Musharraf and his close aide and then national security advisor Tariq Aziz – might know veracity of the much-propagated formula. “I don’t think that Kasuri even (still) knows the actual position of the (four-point) formula,” he said. “We have to understand that Kashmir is not a border dispute between Pakistan and India.” “Musharraf, during his undemocratic rule, was trying to convert the Kashmir issue of right to self-determination into a border dispute through his so-called formula,” the PaK Prime Minister said. “We have no other option but to follow and demand with conviction resolution of the Kashmir issue through the UN Security Council resolutions,” he said. (COURTESY PAKISTAN TODAY)

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