News Desk |
As the muffled but significant tensions persist between Pakistan and India post-Pulwama escalation, India has resorted to its oldest trick in the book; impeding the flow of three rivers shared by the two nuclear-armed neighbors, local press reported on Monday, March 11, 2019.
India’s Union Minister of State for Water Resources Arjun Mehghwal made the announcement of the move at an event in Rajasthan on Sunday, March 10th, few days after another Indian jet crashed in the province causing national embarrassment. He said that New Delhi had stopped 0.53 million acre-feet of water from the three eastern rivers flowing into Pakistan.
Pakistan has, on numerous occasions, protested internationally on this violation by Indi which results in huge losses to irrigation systems, industry, and domestic spores.
“The water has been stored and will be used whenever Rajasthan or Punjab needs it. It can be used for drinking or irrigation purposes.” Another Indian minister, Nitin Gadkari, had announced similar plans just days after the February 14 Pulwama suicide bombing in occupied Kashmir.
It remains unclear whether New Delhi’s latest act of aggression could be viewed as a violation of the Indus Waters Treaty. Under the agreement signed in 1960, Islamabad has unrestricted access to the western rivers Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab, while New Delhi enjoys the same authority over the eastern rivers Ravi, Beas and Sutlej. The treaty has been a point of conflict since independence.
However, in December last year, Pakistan’s Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Dr. Muhammad Farogh Naseem said India had started using water from the western rivers for industrial purposes, which was a clear violation and based on malicious intent.
Read more: Can India and Pakistan cooperate on water?
“The treaty had ensured that India could only use water to generate electricity from these rivers if it did not disrupt water supply to Pakistan,” he said. Pakistan has, on numerous occasions, protested internationally on this violation by Indi which results in huge losses to irrigation systems, industry, and domestic spores.