Indus Water Commissioners to meet amid Pakistani rhetoric

March 9th, 2010 - 10:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) Amid a pause in the composite dialogue between India and Pakistan, the Indus Water Commissioners of the two countries are set to meet in May against the backdrop of anti-India rhetoric whipped up by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed over the water issue.
Rejecting charges of India denying water to Pakistan, sources familiar with the subject here pointed out that Pakistan’s water woes arise from its internal domestic problems and inter-provincial rivalry.

Pakistan raised the issue of the alleged denial of Indus waters to it during the Feb 25 foreign secretary-level talks with India. But the Indian side stressed that the interests of the two countries were best served by sticking to the letter and spirit of the 1960 Indus Water Treaty.

The Indian side also brought to the notice of Pakistani officials shrill speeches by Saeed, who has launched a massive misinformation campaign against India over the water issue.

It is against this backdrop that Indus Water Commissioners of India and Pakistan will meet in May to resolve issues relating to the sharing of river waters.

“Dates and venue are in the process of being finalised,” the sources said.

Taking note of virulent rhetoric by Saeed, who has accused India of imposing war on Pakistan by constructing illegal dams and diverting water from Pakistani rivers, sources said here Tuesday that such negative propaganda is part of a coordinated effort to raise anti-India bogey.

Saeed had urged the Pakistani government at a rally in Lahore last week to prepare Pakistan to counter Indian aggression and accused India of water terrorism, according to reports in the Pakistani media.

India feels that Pakistan is trying to cover up its internal problems, which stem from inter-provincial rivalry in that country and wasteful management of water.

Sindh and Balochistan have often accused Pakistan’s western province of Punjab of denying them Indus water.

Under the 1960 treaty, India was given exclusive use of the waters of three eastern tributaries - Ravi, Beas and Sutlej - and the right to non-consumptive use of the western rivers - Indus, Jhelum and Chenab. The western rivers have a flow of 136 million acre feet (MAF) against a mere 33 MAF in the eastern rivers.

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