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Indus row: India asks Pakistan to eschew rhetoric

Posted by on February 25, 2011 0 Comment

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) With Pakistan seizing a report by the US Senate to accuse New Delhi of diverting Indus waters, India Friday underlined its commitment to the Indus Waters Treaty and asked Islamabad “to eschew rhetoric” at a time when the two countries are resuming their dialogue process.

“The Indus Waters Treaty is an example of mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries, which has withstood the test of time for the past fifty years,” Vishnu Prakash, spokesperson of India’s external affairs ministry, told reporters here.

“India has always strictly adhered to the provisions of the Treaty, even during times when hostilities have broken out between the two countries,” he said.

“As we embark on re-engagement between the two countries, it is important that we eschew rhetoric that does not create a conducive environment for a comprehensive, sustained and serious dialogue,” Prakash said.

He was responding to a question on Pakistan’s comments on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee report entitled “Avoiding water wars: Water Scarcity and Central Asia’s Growing importance for stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan”.

Pakistan Thursday had cited the US Senate report as a vindication of its stance that the construction of dams by India on the western rivers in Jammu and Kashmir was in violation of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT).

According to the report – released by the Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, John Kerry, “while studies show that no single dam along the waters controlled by the IWT will affect Pakistan’s access to water, the cumulative effect of these projects could give India the ability to store enough water to limit the supply to Pakistan at crucial moments in the growing season”.

Reacting to a question on the report which refers to how the construction of dams by India in Jammu and Kashmir would limit the supply of water to Pakistan at crucial moments, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua said that Islamabad had conveyed its concerns to India through the Office of the Permanent Indus Commission.

Pakistan has alleged that that various projects being built by India are not in conformity with the terms of the IWT and wants New Delhi to address these concerns in a “sincere, forthwith and result-oriented manner”.

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