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Explained: India to stop share of water flowing to Pakistan – India Today

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India said on Thursday it would restrict the flow of water to Pakistan from its share of rivers under a 1960 agreement, a move officials said was not a new decision.

The Indus Water Treaty gives India water from three rivers in the Indus system — the Ravi, Beas and Sutlej — and Pakistan water from three others. Around 95 per cent of the water was being used in India after building of three main dams, and close to five per cent flowed to Pakistan.

Nitin Gadkari, the central minister for water resources, announced India’s plans to stop water from flowing to its northwestern neighbour exactly a week after a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide bomber killed 40 CRPF paramilitary soldiers in southern Kashmir.

Jaish-e-Mohammed is based in Pakistan, and India has accused Islamabad’s spy agency, ISI, of involvement. Pakistan has denied responsibility for the attack.

In 2016, too, there were demands to stop Indian waters from flowing to Pakistan, in the wake of a terrorist attack in Uri that New Delhi responded to by carrying out cross-border strikes in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

After the attack in Uri, India began to fast-track the development of some dam projects, escalating tensions with Pakistan.

Pakistan has opposed some of the projects, saying they violate the Indus Water Treaty, on which 80 percent of its irrigated agriculture depends.

Now, Pakistan’s water resources minister Faisal Vawda has described India’s plans as a “failed attempt to divert attention” from the Kulbhushan Jadhav case, and its foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, has urged the World Bank to take note.

Shiraz Jamil Memon, the deputy Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters, said Nitin Gadkari had made “empty threats”.


Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday that water would be diverted from eastern rivers to supply Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, both border states.

He said construction work on a dam on the Ravi river — the Shahpur-Kandi project — had begun in Punjab.

Gadkari also said the Ujh project would store water for use in Jammu and Kashmir, and that “balance water will flow from 2nd Ravi-BEAS Link to provide water to other basin states”.

Officials say it may take up to six years for India to implement plans to block Indian waters flowing into Pakistan, as dams as high as 100 metres need to be built.

This week, Nitin Gadkari also said at a rally in Uttar Pradesh that India would divert water to the Yamuna river.


India has long accused Pakistan of abetting terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, and has vowed to exact revenge after the suicide bombing in Pulwama on February 14.

Pakistan has threatened to retaliate if India attacks, and warned residents of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir living along the Line of Control that it may do so.

Nitin Gadkari’s announcement on Indus waters caps a week that saw India kill the mastermind of the Pulwama bombing and two other terrorists, increase basic customs duty on Pakistani exports and launch a diplomatic offensive to isolate Islamabad on the world stage.

The Indian Army has warned parents of Kashmiri terrorists that anyone who picks up a gun in the Valley will be killed, and urged them to ask their children to surrender.

The United Nations Security Council has condemned the terrorist attack in Pulwama and acknowledged Jaish-e-Mohammed’s claim of responsibility.

But China, a member of the council and a Pakistan ally, has blocked attempts to get the Jaish chief, Masood Azhar, designated a global terrorist by the UN.

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