US calls on India, Pakistan to resolve differences on Indus Waters Treaty
Washington D.C. [US], Jan. 4 (ANI): Asserting that Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) has served as a model for peaceful cooperation between India and Pakistan for decades, the United States has called on both the Asian neighbours to work together and resolve any differences relating with the issue.
Spokesperson of the U.S. State Department, John Kirby said, "The Indus Water Treaty has served as a model for peaceful cooperation between India and Pakistan for now 50 years. We encourage, as we have in the past, India and Pakistan to work together to resolve any differences."
Kirby also said that the United States encourages both India and Pakistan to work together bilaterally to resolve their differences.
"We're in regular communication with the Indian and Pakistani governments on a wide range of issues," he said.
Pakistan had earlier sought support of the United States on the implementation of the IWT with India.
Last Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had a telephone conversation with Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
Kerry said that the World Bank president had recently informed him about Pakistan's complaint against India on the subject of the IWT.
Pakistan has firmly stated that it will not accept any alterations or changes to the IWT after India had said that it is ready to engage in further consultations with Islamabad on the matter of resolving current differences over the Kishenganga and Ralte projects under the treaty.
Islamabad has argued that India was buying time to complete its two disputed water projects and then insisting that since the project was already complete, it could not be modified.
Pakistan is raising its objection to building of the Kishanganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts) hydroelectric plants by India saying that it violates the provisions of the treaty.
Tensions increased over the water dispute when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month threatened to block the flow of water into Pakistan.
World Bank had earlier asked both the countries to consider alternative ways to resolve their disagreements over the Indus Water Treaty Dispute 1960.
The World Bank had said that it was temporarily halting the appointment of a neutral expert as requested by India, and the Chairman of the Court of Arbitration, as requested by Pakistan, to resolve issues regarding two hydroelectric power plants under construction by India along the Indus Rivers system.
The treaty which was signed in 1960 by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan President Ayub Khan gives India control over the three eastern rivers of the Indus basin, the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej while Pakistan has the three western rivers, the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum.
As per the provisions in the treaty, India can use only 20 percent of the total water carried by the Indus River.
The Indus Waters Treaty 1960 is seen as one of the most successful international treaties and has withstood frequent tensions between India and Pakistan, including conflict.
The treaty sets out a mechanism for cooperation and information exchange between the two countries regarding their use of the rivers, known as the Permanent Indus Commission which includes a commissioner from each of the two countries. It also sets out a process for resolving so-called "questions", "differences" and "disputes" that may arise between the parties. (ANI)