New Delhi: After revoking the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status and hiking the excise duty on imports to 200 per cent, India has decided to stop its share of river waters flowing to Pakistan in the wake of the deadly Pulwama terror attack.

“Under the leadership of Hon’ble PM Sri Narendra Modi ji, Our Govt. has decided to stop our share of water which used to flow to Pakistan. We will divert water from Eastern rivers and supply it to our people in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab,” Gadkari tweeted.

In an attempt to isolate Islamabad in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack which claimed the lives of 40 CRPF men last week, the minister said the construction of dam has started at Shahpur- Kandi on Ravi river. “Moreover, UJH project will store our share of water for use in J&K and the balance water will flow from 2nd Ravi-BEAS Link to provide water to other basin states,” he added.

As per the Indus Waters Treaty, India has full rights over the waters of the eastern rivers (Ravi, Beas and Sutlej). In return, India had to let the western rivers–Indus, Chenab and Jhelum–flow “unrestricted” to Pakistan. India could use the waters of western rivers as well, but only in a “non-consumptive” manner. It could use it for domestic purposes, and even for irrigation and hydropower production, but only in the manner specified in the treaty.

Water is a hot-button issue for Pakistan and Islamabad has always raised the issue of “unfair water-sharing” from India in its dialogue. While India claims that it has always honoured its commitments under the 1960 treaty, Islamabad claims the opposite.

This is not the first time that New Delhi decided to maximise the potential of India’s use of water on the three western rivers. In the aftermath of the 2016 Uri attack, the meeting of the Indus water commissioners of the two countries, held twice a year, was suspended.

On February 14, 40 CRPF jawans were killed after a suicide bomber had rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into a convoy in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. While Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad had claimed responsibility for the attack, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said ruled out its involvement, saying it was open to a probe into the attack.

 

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