|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Pak to take up violations of Indus Water Treaty with India
Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad | April 18, 2008 22:16 IST
Pakistan will take up with India 'certain violations' of the provisions of a 1960 treaty in water projects, being constructed by the neighbouring country on Chenab and Jhelum rivers, during External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's visit to Islamabad in May.
"Certain violations of the Indus Waters Treaty have been committed by India and the government will take up the issue with the visiting Indian foreign minister in May," Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Friday.
Responding to a call attention notice in the National Assembly regarding the construction of controversial water projects by India on the Chenab and Jhelum rivers, Qureshi said, "We are cognizant of the issue."
Design changes in the water projects being built by India go beyond the provisions of the Treaty and Pakistan is making efforts for their rectification, he said.
India has started projects on the upstream section of these rivers, which have been designated for Pakistan under the Indus Waters Treaty. These issues will be taken up during Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's visit to Pakistan next month, Qureshi said.
"Pakistan forcefully took up the Wullar Barrage construction issue earlier with the Indian government through the (Indus Waters) Commission's permanent representative," he said. "The Wullar Barrage issue is also part of the composite dialogue between the two countries," he added.
"The water issue is very sensitive. We are not negligent to it and I assure you we will not repeat the follies of the past," Qureshi said.
The Indus Waters Treaty gave Pakistan the rights to the waters of the Jehlum, Chenab and Indus rivers and the flow of their waters cannot be stopped, Qureshi said.
"But India violated the treaty in terms of designs of dams or otherwise, and Pakistan is raising this issue at the appropriate forum. We will not allow anything that harms our national interests," he said.
Pakistan wants to resolve all outstanding issues with India through dialogue and water-related matters will be taken up according to the mechanism provided in the Indus Waters Treaty, he said.