New Delhi [India]: Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said Pakistan has “destroyed the spirit” of Indus Waters Treaty, and claimed that the people were requesting him “not to give even a drop of India’s water” to Islamabad.
“The Indus Waters Treaty between Jawaharlal Nehru and Ayub Khan was done in good faith, love, and harmony. Pakistan has destroyed this spirit today by supporting terrorism and terrorists. That’s the reason why people are disappointed today. People have even requested me to not give even a single drop of water of our rivers to Pakistan,” Gadkari told ANI.
The Indus Waters Treaty was signed between former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and former Pakistan President Ayub Khan in 1960. As per the Treaty, India has full rights over the waters of ‘eastern’ rivers—Ravi, Beas and Sutlej. In return, India had to let ‘western’ rivers–Indus, Chenab and Jhelum–flow ‘unrestricted’ to Pakistan.
In reply to a question, Gadkari said: “The decision on stopping water flowing to Pakistan is not just a part of my department. This decision will be taken at an upper level with the Indian government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi,”
“But I have told my department to build a technical design of the water flowing to Pakistan. If they will continue to behave with us like this and will support terrorists and terror organisations, then there is no meaning in behaving properly with them on the basis of humanity,” he said.
“That is why we are working on the technical design. Pakistan should quickly stop terror-related activities. Otherwise we will use as much amount of money is needed to stop the water flowing to Pakistan,” Gadkari said.
“Pakistan still has an opportunity to stop doing any such activities and take strict actions against various terror outfits,” he said.
As per the Treaty, India can use the waters of ‘western’ rivers as well, but only in a ‘non-consumptive’ manner. It could use the water for domestic purposes, and even for irrigation and hydropower production, but only in the manner specified in the treaty.
Union Minister Gadkari’s observation comes a week after the Pulwama terror attack in which as many as 40 CRPF personnel were killed. The responsibility of the attack was claimed by Pakistan-based terror outfit–Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).