PM Modi calls for breaching Indus Water Treaty to help farmers

New Delhi, Nov 26: At times, when India and Pakistan is finding hard to draw an amicable solution for the border fight, Prime Minister Narendra Modi came up with a big jolt for India’s arch rival by saying the waters of Sutlej, Beas and Ravi rivers will not be shared with Pakistan.

He, on Friday, highlighted that the waters rightfully belonged to the country and it will be stopped from going waste in Pakistan. PM added that he will ensure that farmers here utilise it the resource.

“Indus Water Treaty — Sutlej, Beas, Ravi — the waters in these rivers belong to India and our farmers. It is not being used in the fields of Pakistan but flowing into the sea through Pakistan. Now every drop of this water will be stopped and I will give that to farmers of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir and Indian farmers. I am committed to this,” he said addressing a rally.

In order to ensure that ‘each drop of water’ of these three rivers reaching three states, a task force has been constituted.

“We cannot let our farmers suffer when we have god gifted resources. Hence we have to use our rights over our waters,” he said, adding, “We collectively have to fulfil  the requirements of our farmers and I need your cooperation and blessings as well.”

The solution for the problems of water could be found out through common dialogue, he said.

Pointing the fingers to the previous governments, Modi said, ” Waters kept flowing to Pakistan , but successive governments kept sleeping on this issue and my farmer kept crying for the want of water.”

“If Punjab farmers get sufficient amount of water, they could produce ‘gold’ from the soil and could fill the coffers of the country,” he said.

“Our government is committed to work in tandem with the Badal government in Punjab to get farmers their rights and address their concerns,” he said.

The Indus Waters Treaty was signed on September 19, 1960 by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan’s President Ayub Khan. It was brokered by the World Bank. The treaty administers how river Indus and its tributaries that flow in both the countries will be utilised. According to the treaty, Beas, Ravi and Sutlej are to be governed by India, while, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum are to be taken care by Pakistan.

However, since Indus flows from India, the country is allowed to use 20 per cent of its water for irrigation, power generation and transport purposes. A Permanent Indus Commission was set up as a bilateral commission to implement and manage the Treaty. The Commission solves disputes arising over water sharing.

The Treaty also provides arbitration mechanism to solve disputes amicably. Though Indus originates from Tibet, China has been kept out of the Treaty. If China decides to stop or change the flow of the river, it will affect both India and Pakistan.

Climate change is causing melting of ice in Tibetan plateau, which scientists believe will affect the river in future. It maybe noted that both India and Pakistan are still at loggerheads over various issues since Partition, but there has been no fight over water after the Treaty was ratified.