Indian minister says no more water for Pakistan


India’s Transport and Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday announced that his country has decided to “stop our share of water which used to flow to Pakistan”.

“Our government has decided to stop our share of water which used to flow to Pakistan,” he said on microblogging site Twitter.

He said India will divert water from eastern rivers and supply it to its territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.

Indus Water Treaty (IWT) essentially outlines the distribution of water from six rivers namely Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab, and Jhelum between India and Pakistan.

The treaty splits the six rivers into groups of two: eastern rivers and western rivers. Water from Beas, Ravi, and Sutlej under eastern rivers is to be controlled by India while water from Indus, Chenab and Jhelum under western rivers is to be controlled by Pakistan.

The minister’s announcement comes in the wake of increasing tensions between the two countries over Pulwama attack. At least 44 paramilitary personnel were killed when a suicide bomber struck a military convoy in restive Kashmir valley.

India accused Pakistan of orchestrating the attack, a charge vehemently denied by Islamabad. The Indian government, media and public all are in a state of war frenzy ever since the attack on paramilitary forces in Kashmir.

India blamed Pakistan for the attack and withdrew its ‘Most Favoured Nation’ status. It also asked Pakistani citizens to leave India in 48 hours and the anti-Pakistan sentiments led to the murder of a Pakistani inmate in a Jaipur prison.

The Indian prime minister declared an end to talks with Pakistan. Time for talks with Pakistan is over, Indian PM Modi said in a public rally, while ruling BJP chief urged an “attack on Pakistan to avenge the death of India soldiers”.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, what many call a calculated statement, urged the Indian government to refrain from baseless accusations, seeking “actionable evidence” so that his government could act in this regard.

“You accused Pakistan without providing any evidence, or saying what we stand to gain from this,” the prime minister said in a recorded address. Still, he said, Pakistan was ready to cooperate with India in the investigation.

“If you have any actionable intelligence, give it to us, I guarantee that we will take action. And we will take action not because of [external] pressure, but because these people would be enemies of Pakistan. If anyone is acting from Pakistani soil, they are harming us.”

The prime minister, however, warned India of a befitting reply, saying Pakistan will not hesitate in retaliation to a provocation.  “We all know that starting a war is easy. [But] starting a war may be in our hands, ending it won’t be,” the PM said, hoping that better sense will prevail.

But India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday evening responded negatively to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer for an investigation and dialogue over the Pulwama attack with further vitriol.