Why are critics apprehensive of the Indus Water Treaty? The state government of Pakistan administered Kashmir has asked Islamabad to quit or at least analyse the advantages and disadvantages of the ‘controversial’ Indus Waters Treaty. While the country does not trust India and sees it as a destroyer, it said that India is planning to bring the drought-like situation in Pakistan.
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The treaty is a World Bank-brokered settlement signed in Karachi on September 19, 1960, between Pakistan and India to use the water available in the six rivers of the Indus system. As per this agreement, India was given control over the water flowing in three eastern rivers – the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej with the mean flow of 33 million acre-feet (MAF), while Pakistan was given control over the water flowing in three western rivers – the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum with the mean flow of 80 MAF.
Prime Minister of Pakistan administered Kashmir – Raja Farooq Haider Khan said that Pakistan must examine the controversial water treaty with India as there was nothing in it but a clear devastation. “I don’t know why Islamabad signed a one-sided agreement with a country that is very much clear to destroy not only Pakistan but also other neighbours,” he said.
“The objectives are recognising rights and obligations of each the country in settlement of water use from the Indus rivers in a spirit of goodwill, friendship and cooperation contrary to the fears of Islamabad that India could potentially create floods or droughts in Pakistan, especially at times of war since substantial water inflows of the Indus basin rivers are from India,” the treaty’s preface reads.
Farooq, during his extensive talk, disclosed that India was planning to divert the Poonch River, which is a tributary of the Jhelum River flowing through Indian Kashmir to Pakistan occupied Kashmir. “This is another fact that India is planning to create drought situation in Pakistan and in our side of the state,” he said.
Besides mainstream political leadership, the policymakers and experts would also have to sit together to talk about India’s continuous efforts to create unending water crises in Pakistan and to destroy its economy, Prime Minister Farooq Haider said. “We have to make a clear national policy to confront India’s water aggression in the South Asian region,” he suggested.
The Kashmiri prime minister also demanded full membership of the Indus River System Authority (IRSA), a five-member body set-up under the Indus River System Authority Act 1992 to control and observe the distribution of water sources of Indus River in accordance with the water agreement amongst the four provinces. “We don’t need any observer status as we are key stakeholders,” he said.
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