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Pak's accusation on India using water as 'weapon of war' uncalled for: Jal Shakti Minister

ANI | August 23, 2019 11:51 AM
Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat speaking to ANI in New Delhi on Friday. (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], Aug 23 (ANI): After Pakistan accused India of waging 'fifth-generation warfare' in Kashmir by using water as a weapon, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Friday said the neighbouring country's claim was uncalled for and New Delhi has the right over tributaries of Ravi, Beas and Satluj rivers.

"When I said we will not let extra water flow to Pakistan I spoke in a certain context. I have clarified that today is not a time when we touch the Indus water treaty. India has right over three rivers tributaries. Islamabad's reaction to us stopping extra water to them is uncalled for," Shekhawat said.

He added that the water of three rivers rightfully belongs to the country's farmers and it should not be a matter for anyone's concern.

"The water was going to Pakistan because of our mismanagement. Technofeasibility tests are being conducted and we will utilise our water in a better way," he said.

On Monday, Islamabad had said that unexpected release of water into the River Sutlej that flows from India to Pakistan was part of an attempt by New Delhi to flout the longstanding treaty between the countries.

India is working on a priority basis to check its share of water under the Indus Water Treaty from going to Pakistan, Shekhawat had told ANI on Wednesday

Responding to French President Macron statement calling Kashmir a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan, he said, "Kashmir is an integral part of India, including Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Amit Shah has said this in the parliament and we stand by it."

Shekhawat's remarks come amid tensions between India and Pakistan following the abrogation of Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating the state into two Union Territories. A move that has rattled Islamabad and led to their desperate attempts at trying to internationalise the matters.

In May, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had said that India is mulling on the prospects of stopping the flow of river water to Pakistan in the backdrop of its "continuous support" to terrorism.

The Indus Waters Treaty was signed by 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.

According to 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 agreement. (ANI)

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