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Pak says not concerned over India’s plan to stop flow of water

Pakistan is not concerned over India’s plan to stop the flow of its share of water to Pakistan from the Ravi, Sutlej and Beas rivers under the Indus Waters Treaty, a top official said.

The response came hours after Union minister Nitin Gadkari said in New Delhi that India has decided to “stop” the flow of its share of water to Pakistan from rivers under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) after the ghastly Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

Talking to Dawn on Thursday, secretary of Pakistan’s Ministry of Water Resources Khawaja Shumail said, “We have neither concern nor objection if India diverts water of eastern rivers and supplies it to its people or uses it for other purposes, as the IWT allows it to do so.”

He said Pakistan did not see Gadkari’s statement as worrisome in context with the IWT.

But we will definitely express our concerns and raise objections strongly if they use or divert waters of western rivers (Chenab, Indus, Jhelum) on which our right to use prevails, Shumail said.

According to Pakistan’s Commissioner for Indus Waters Syed Mehr Ali Shah, as the IWT has already given a right to India in 1960 to use the water of eastern rivers, it is now up to it to do so or not.

Whether they diverted and used their unutilised share of eastern rivers’ waters in 1960, we had no problem. They want to do it now, we have no problem. And if they don’t want to use this, we have no issue, Shah said.

The reiteration to stop the flow of Indus water to Pakistan comes amid mounting Indo-Pak tension over the Pulwama terror strike that has triggered demands for action against the neighbouring country. India has already decided to revoke the Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan and mounted a diplomatic offensive to isolate it in the international community.

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