NEW DELHI: With reference to the Indus Water Treaty, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that water which belongs to India cannot be allowed to go to Pakistan.
“The fields of our farmers must have adequate water. Water that belongs to India cannot be allowed to go to Pakistan…the government will do everything to give enough water to our farmers,” said the Indian PM at the inauguration of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bathinda.
The Indian prime minister claimed he was more concerned about the welfare of Indian farmers than his politics, according to the Indian media.
“We formed a task force on the Indus Water Treaty to ensure farmers of Punjab and other states get each drop of water due to them,” Modi said.
The famous Indus Water Treaty was signed between Pakistan and India in 1960 with the support of the World Bank after India started interfering in the waters flowing downstream by blocking the rivers of Ravi and Sutlej from April 1, 1948.
The agreement gives India the right to use eastern rivers waters (Ravi, Sutlej, and Beas) and Pakistan the right over the western rivers (Indus, Jhelum, Chenab).
It also offers specific design criteria for any hydroelectric power plants to be built by India. Pakistan has held the position that the Indian hydroelectric projects violate those very parameters of the treaty.
However, the World Bank during the meeting committed itself to timely fulfilling its obligations under the treaty while maintaining a neutral stand.
In September, a delegation led by Pakistan’s Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali met senior officials of the World Bank at its headquarters in the United States and urged them to stop Indian hydroelectric projects on the Neelum and Chenab rivers.
Pakistan had called for an early appointment of judges pertaining to India’s construction of ‘Kishenganga’ and ‘Ratle’ hydroelectric plants on the rivers.