New Delhi: With New Delhi launching a diplomatic blitz against Islamabad following Sunday’s cross-border terror attack on an army base in Kashmir, there seems a possibility of India revisiting the Indus Waters Treaty that was signed with Pakistan in 1960.
“I am sure you are aware that there are differences between India and Pakistan on the implementation of the Indus Waters Treaty,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in reply to a question at a media briefing in New Delhi on Thursday. “But this is an issue which is being addressed bilaterally. But let me make a basic point. Eventually any cooperative arrangement requires goodwill and mutual trust on both sides,” Swarup said.
“For any such treaty to work, it is important there must be mutual trust and cooperation. It can’t be a one-sided affair,” he added.
The water distribution treaty brokered by the World Bank was signed between the two countries in 1960 after Pakistan’s fear that since the source rivers of the Indus basin are in India, it could potentially create droughts and famines in Pakistan during times of war.
According to the agreement, India has control over three eastern rivers — Beas, Ravi and Sutlej — all flowing from Punjab.
Pakistan, according to the treaty, controls the western rivers of the Indus — Chenab and Jhelum — that flow from Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir has been demanding a review of the treaty as it robs the state of its rights to use the water of the rivers.
India and Pakistan are currently locked in a diplomatic war after the killing of 18 Indian soldiers in Uri, close to the Line of Control with Pakistan.