Pakistan says India can’t suspend Indus Water Treaty unilaterally

A day after India decided to revisit its Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan, Islamabad today said New Delhi has no right to unilaterally separate itself from the 56-year-old agreement between the two countries.

“According to the international law, India cannot unilaterally separate itself from the treaty. If India violates the treaty, Pakistan can approach the International Court of Justice,” Pakistan Prime Minister’s advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz told the Pakistani media.

Aziz said the Indus Waters Treaty was not suspended “even during the Kargil and the Siachen wars” between India and Pakistan.

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had hit out at Pakistan over the Uri terror attack, bluntly telling the neighbouring country that “blood and water cannot flow together” in a high-level meeting.

The government decided in the meeting to look at the full utilisation of the waters of the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum, the three western rivers of the Indus water system that flow through Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan.

Using water as a weapon, the government has decided there would no meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission set up to overlook implementation of the treaty till “terror is in the air”, and that India would also take a final call on the unilateral part of suspension of the Tulbul water navigation project in Jammu and Kashmir depending on what Pakistan did next.

The meeting decided that an inter-ministerial commission would be set up to look into various provisions of the bilateral water treaty that was signed in Karachi on September 19,1960, out of Pakistan’s fear that since the source of rivers of the Indus basin is in India, it could potentially create droughts and famines in Pakistan during times of war.

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