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Pakistan

APP
May 9, 2019

Pakistan approaches World Bank as India threatens to halt water flow

Pakistan

APP
Thu, May 09, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday called upon the World Bank to set up its Court of Arbitration under Indus Water Treaty after India hinted of restricting the flow of water into Pakistan from its share of rivers.

Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal, at a weekly press briefing, said contrary to India’s reluctance, Pakistan favoured the continuity of Treaty and also the smooth functioning of its dispute resolution mechanism.

India’s Minister of Water Resources and Shipping Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said New Delhi will stop Pakistan’s share of water as allocated under the Indus Water Treaty.

Minister Gadkari also announced that “India was not bound to follow the Treaty and had plans to divert the water flow to Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan”.

The FO Spokesman said Indus Water Treaty was mutually agreed upon between Pakistan and India, however India violated it by constructing Kishanganga and the under-progress Ratley hydroelectric projects.

Under the Indus Water Treaty signed in 1960, Islamabad has unrestricted access to the western rivers – Indus, Jhelum and Chenab – while New Delhi enjoys the same authority over the eastern rivers – Ravi, Beas and Sutlej.

On Afghan peace process, he said Pakistan supported dialogue and political solution of Afghanistan with focus on “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned approach”.

He said Pakistan urged all the stakeholders to converge their energies on negotiations to avoid conflict in the already war-torn country.

On chances of meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organization moot on May 21-22 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, he said “informal handshake could be a possibility, however there is no meeting scheduled so far”.

The FO Spokesman confirmed that Aasia Bibi, the woman acquitted by the Supreme Court on charges of blasphemy, had left Pakistan on her own free will. However, he did not specify which country she had moved to.

Owing to chaotic situation in Libya, he said Pakistan’s mission was in touch with the representatives of Pakistani community and had advised them to register with the embassy for prompt coordination in case of any emergency situation.

On recent detention of some Chinese citizens by Federal Investigation Agency on charges of human trafficking, the Spokesman declined to comment, saying the matter pertained to Ministry of Interior.