Pakistan to seek compensation from India for Chenab ‘water loss’

October 12th, 2008 - 1:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Oct 12 (IANS) Pakistan will seek from India “compensation for the loss” of water flow from the river Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir, media reports said Sunday.Pakistan’s Indus Water Commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah said he would press his Indian counterpart to ensure that Pakistan is compensated for the “last month’s water loss of 0.2million acre feet when he visits India for a week from next Saturday”, Dawn newspaper reported.

“India blocked the supply of regular water (23,000 cusecs a day) to Pakistan from the Chenab River last month while filling its Baglihar Dam (in Jammu and Kashmir), badly affecting Pakistan’s share of irrigation water,” the newspaper reported.

Pakistan considers the move as a violation of the September 1960 Indus Water Treaty.

The Indus Waters Treaty is a water-sharing agreement between the two countries signed by then Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and president of Pakistan Ayub Khan. The World Bank is a signatory as a third party.

According to the treaty, India has exclusive rights to use all of the waters of eastern rivers (the Sutlej, the Beas and the Ravi) and their tributaries before the point where the rivers enter Pakistan. Similarly, Pakistan has rights to use the waters of western rivers (the Indus, the Jhelum and Chenab - all in Jammu and Kashmir).

Shah told Dawn that the “treaty was between two nations, and not two persons to be taken too lightly or be violated”.

“We must respect this treaty as responsible nations. I tell you there are no guarantors in bilateral agreements between nations, but the nations concerned are its guarantors.”

Shah will be leading a Pakistani delegation to New Delhi Oct 18 to discuss the alleged violation of the treaty by India. The delegation will stay in India till Oct 24 and will also visit the Baglihar dam site in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Certainly, we have complaints for which we will do our best to get compensated,” he told The News, another Pakistani newspaper.

He said Pakistan reserved the right to take up the issue with the World Bank again if India refused to compensate it.

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