Two days after PM Modi declared in his election rally that India’s share of waters flowing to Pakistan will be stopped and diverted for the welfare of Indian farmers, a rattled Pakistan has resorted to shrill sabre-rattling claiming that any attempt by India to divert water flow would be considered as an ‘act of aggression’.
In his weekly media briefing, the Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said that Pakistan had “exclusive rights” over the waters of three Western rivers under the Indus Water Treaty. “Any attempt by India to divert the flows of these rivers will be considered an act of aggression and Pakistan has the right to respond,” he said.
In his election campaign trail in Charkhi Dadri, PM Modi announced that the waters of the river flowing towards Pakistan will be diverted and utilised for the farmers in Haryana, Rajasthan and other states of India. Referring to the Indus Water Treaty that allowed water distribution from 6 rivers between India and Pakistan, PM Modi said, “People of Haryana, trust me, Indian farmers’ legitimate share of water, Haryana farmers’ legitimate share of water, that was going to Pakistan for the last 70 years will be stopped. I will stop the water and divert it to your houses. I have already initiated the work in this direction because Indian farmers have right over this water, framers of Haryana, Rajasthan have right over this water.”
The statement comes at a time when there are heightened tensions between the two neighbours over India’s decision to abrogate Article 370, stripping away the separate status of Jammu and Kashmir and turning it into two union territories-Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Pakistan has approached multiple international forums and foreign powers in an attempt to pressurise India into undoing the abrogation. But, most countries except China and Turkey have sided with India, hailing the decision as a harbinger of growth and development for the strife-torn region.