Indus Water Treaty beneficial for India, Pakistan: Vohra

July 31st, 2008 - 12:13 am ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, July 30 (IANS) The Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan was beneficial for the people of both countries and needed to be further strengthened, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra said Wednesday. Vohra met a three-member Pakistani delegation led by Syed Jamat Ali Shah, Pakistan’s commissioner of the Indus Water Commission.

He said while the people of Kashmir should gain maximum benefit of water harnessing, the people of Pakistan needed to be assured that their interests are not jeopradised.

He said that the optimum harnessing of the hydel power potential of Jammu and Kashmir would lead to the prosperity of the masses and usher in the overall development of the region.

The governor expressed happiness over “the change of perspectives among the people of India and Pakistan in the past few years”.

Vohra called for an agreed approach to tackle serious problems which are faced by both countries and sharing information on various issues of mutual concern like water polution and depleting water resources in the wake of melting glaciers due to global warming.

The Indus Water Treaty signed between the two countries in 1960 pertains to sharing the waters of the Chenab, Indus, Jhelum, Ravi, Sutlej and Beas rivers.

While the treaty empowers India to build storage dams for hydel power generation on the Ravi, Sutlej and Beas, it prevents such storage dams on the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum where power projects must be built on the ‘run-of-the-river’ basis.

The mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir, including the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), have strongly opposed the Indus Water Treaty maintaining that it was discriminatory against the people of the state as the vast power potential of the state’s three rivers, the Indus, Chenab and the Jhelum, cannot be fully exploited because of the restrictions imposed by the treaty.

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