Pakistan warns of “water war” with India if decades-old treaty violated

ISLAMABAD/NEW DELHI: Pakistan would treat it as “an act of war” if India revoked the Indus Water Treaty regulating river flows between the two nations, Pakistan’s top foreign official said on Tuesday.

Tension has been mounting between the nuclear-armed neighbours since at least 18 Indian soldiers in the disputed Kashmir region were killed this month in an attack that New Delhi blames on Pakistan.

India on Tuesday summoned Pakistan’s High Commissioner in New Delhi to inform him about two men from Pakistan now in Indian custody who it alleges helped gunmen cross the disputed Kashmir border before the attack. Pakistan denies involvement in the raid and has urged India to conduct a proper investigation.

One retaliatory move being considered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is for India to “maximise” the amount of water it uses including by accelerating building of new hydropower plants, along three rivers that flow into Pakistan, a source with knowledge of a meeting attended by Modi on Monday told Reuters.

The source said India does not plan to abrogate the decades-old Indus Water Treaty. But using more of the rivers’ water is still likely to hurt Pakistan as the Islamic Republic depends on snow-fed Himalayan rivers for everything from drinking water to agriculture.

Aziz said India’s provocative posturing constitutes a breach of the Indus Water Treaty and “threats of a water war are part of a military, economic and diplomatic campaign to build pressure on Pakistan”, and deflect attention from civil unrest by the Muslim population in the Indian-ruled side of Kashmir.

Full article: Pakistan warns of “water war” with India if decades-old treaty violated (Channel NewsAsia)

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