India assures Pakistan on Chenab water

November 27th, 2008 - 12:49 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 26 (IANS) India Wednesday sought to allay Pakistan’s concerns about the alleged diversion of water from the Chenab river and underlined that water will be distributed according to the Indus Waters Treaty. “We never stopped the flow of water as per the Indus Water Treaty. It depends on the availability of water at discharge points,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said after holding talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi here.

“If there is no adequate water, both sides suffer,” he said at their joint press conference.

He was replying to a question by a Pakistani journalist on whether India will compensate Pakistan for the alleged loss of water amounting to 22,000 cusecs that has severely affected crops in that country.

Underlining that “no misunderstanding” should be created on this issue, Mukherjee assured Pakistan that water will be distributed according to the letter and spirit of the 1960 Indus Water Treaty.

“Water commissioners and experts are meeting to find a mechanism to share data and information,” he said.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari had recently said that the row over the sharing of the Chenab waters could affect bilateral ties.

Last month, the water commissioners of India and Pakistan held talks to address the issue of reduced water flow in the Chenab river which Islamabad alleges has been triggered by the construction of the Baglihar dam in Jammu and Kashmir by New Delhi. India has denied any violation of the treaty.

According to reports in the Pakistani media, Pakistan is considering to demand compensation for the alleged massive loss of more than Rs.40 billion due to the water losses in the river that has affected cultivation in its territory.

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