A meeting organised by the Jamaat-ud-Dawah in Lahore on Saturday demanded that the government should either stop India from building dams on rivers flowing into Pakistan or give a 'free hand' to the 'Kashmiri mujahideen' to deal with the issue.
A joint declaration issued by the Jamaat-ud-Dawa after the meeting asked the Pakistan government to keep open the option of using force to protect its water resources if India does not stop work on projects on rivers flowing into the country.
The JuD demanded that the Kashmiri mujahideen should be given a free hand if the Pakistan government fails to stop India from building dams on the rivers. The head of JuD's political affairs wing, Abdur Rehman Makki, and the group's Pakistan Water Movement convener Hafiz Safullah Mansoor presided over the meet.
JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, accused by India of masterminding the Mumbai terror attacks, did not attend the gathering. The meeting was attended by representatives of major political parties including the Pakistan Peoples Party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the Jamaat-e-Islami and cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan's Tehrik-e-Insaaf.
"By building dams like Baglihar and Kishanganga on Pakistani rivers and water tunnels to divert the flow of water, India plans to economically destroy Pakistan. The Pakistan government's incriminating silence over Indian water aggression is highly regrettable," said a statement issued by the JuD.
"All the government ministers and officials who speak Indian language on this vital national issue must apologise to the Pakistani nation and stop this behaviour of unilateral friendship with India at the cost of national interest," it added.
The JuD claimed that the silence over India's alleged water aggression by world bodies like the United Nations and the World Bank is a big question mark on their neutrality and fairness.
India, it further claimed, is conspiring to make Pakistan's provinces fight with each other over water. The statement further said that the government should give top priority to Kashmir and the water dispute in its dialogue with India. If India is not willing to focus on these vital issues, there is no point in continuing such dialogue, it said.
The JuD contended that the Pakistan government's role in resolving differences with India over the sharing of river water was very disappointing. "Mere statements or few meetings (of the) Indus Waters Commission will not solve this problem. Concrete steps must be taken urgently," declared the statement.
The UN must take notice and make India stop disputed projects in disputed land that may trigger regional tensions or a possible war, the statement said.
The JuD said it will continue its efforts, including public meetings, seminars, conferences and rallies, to make people aware of the water issue. It will go from door to door "to awaken people and try to build national consensus over the water issue," it added.