Pakistan has said it has “neither concern nor objection” to India’s decision to divert water from three eastern rivers of the Indus Basin to Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. Its Minister of Water Resources Khawaja Shumail was quoted as saying by Dawn that the country has nothing to do with the water, which, otherwise, finally flows to Pakistan.
“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 Indus Water Treaty (IWT) allows it do so,” Shumail told Dawn.
“Actually India wants to construct Shahpurkandi dam at the Ravi basin. This project is abandoned since 1995. Now they (India) want to construct this in a bid to use its own share of water that goes unutilised and finally flows to Pakistan. So if they want to use this whether through storing it through construction of this dam or any other way for their people, they can do as we have nothing to do with it,” he said.
India’s Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari Thursday said the government will “stop” waters of the Ravi, Sutlej and Beas from flowing to Pakistan by diverting it to Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. According to the 1960 Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan, the waters of these rivers are assigned entirely for use by India.
However, he warned that Pakistan will object if waters from the western rivers are used or diverted. “We will definitely express our concerns and raise objections strongly if they use or divert waters of western rivers (Chenab, Indus, Jhelum) on which our right to use prevails,” he added, reported Dawn.
Tension between the two countries has escalated since the Pulwama terror attack on February 14 which killed 40 CRPF personnel. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Post the attack, India has undertaken a slew of diplomatic and economic measures to isolate Pakistan on global platforms.