Bathinda, November 25 (Indian Express): In a bid to woo Punjab’s farmers ahead of the Punjab State Assembly elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that water that belongs to India cannot be allowed to go to Pakistan. He was referring to the Indus Waters Treaty.
“The fields of our farmers must have adequate water. Water that belongs to India cannot be allowed to go to Pakistan…Government will do everything to give enough water to our farmers,” Modi said in Bathinda where he inaugurated a new AII India Institute of Medical Sciences.
The Prime Minister said he is concerned more about the welfare of farmers than election arithmetic.
The Indus Waters Treaty, signed by India and Pakistan in 1960, administers how waters of the Indus and its treaties are utilized. The treaty gives India control over Beas, Ravi and Sutlej rivers, while Indus, Chenab and Jhelum are governed by Pakistan.
The Indus river flows out of India which, however, can use just 20 per cent of its water.
“We formed a task force on Indus Waters Treaty to ensure farmers of Punjab and other states get each drop of water due to them,” Modi said.
In a statement that was seen as a reference to the row over the Indus Waters Treaty, Pakistan recently warned against the use of water as an instrument of coercion or war.
“The international community must assume a responsibility to develop, nurture and protect normative frameworks, at multilateral and bilateral levels, to ensure that states remain willing to resolve water issues cooperatively,” Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi said in her address to the UN Security Council during an open debate on water, peace and security.
(The featured picture above is that of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing farmers)