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Pakistan may ask India to review Indus Waters Treaty

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

Pakistan has hinted that it may ask India to review the Indus Waters Treat of 1960 as the historic accord is not favourable to the country, media reported today.

Water and Power Minister Khwaja Asif said the "government would decide whether it needs to be reviewed or not". He alleged that India was blocking water and building dams on rivers allocated to Pakistan by the treaty.

Pakistan has concerns regarding the Indus Waters Treaty because the country will get less water in coming years under the pact. The government is seriously looking at reviewing the treaty, Asif said yesterday.

According to The Express Tribune, Asif warned that Pakistan could face the severe consequences of water scarcity in coming years and an Ethiopia-like situation may occur due to water being allegedly blocked by India.

"The water issue has become a matter of life and death for us and we will have to face severe shortage in the coming 10 to 15 years," he said. Previous governments made wrong decisions that caused a water crisis and the country is paying the price today, he added.

Asif, a close aide of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said neighbouring countries should consider Pakistan's requirements before constructing their water reservoirs.

He said the government needs to adopt water conservation methods to avert any unpleasant situation and it will also have to control the growing population.

Additional Indus Waters Commissioner Sheraz Memon said Pakistan had objections to seven projects of India. He claimed India was using water from the Indus river, leading to a reduction in its level.

He claimed that India was building 53 power projects and seven dams. It has completed 16 projects on Chenab river while another four are under construction.

Memon warned Pakistan will approach the International Court of Arbitration if the construction of the 850-MW Ratle project is not stopped.

The Indus Waters Treaty was signed in 1960 with the support of the World Bank to settle thorny water issues. It is one of the most durable agreements between the two sides.

But Pakistan has become uneasy with the arrangement in recent years and voices are being raised for a review of the accord.

First Published: Sat, October 26 2013. 18:57 IST