Pakistan Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz on Monday said India cannot unilaterally revoke the Indus Waters Treaty under international law, reported Hindustan Times. According to him, Islamabad could approach the International Court of Justice if New Delhi violates the treaty. Briefing the country’s lower House on the treaty, he said, “There is no provision in the pact for its suspension or a unilateral exit.”
Aziz pointed out that the water-sharing pact – signed in 1960 – was not suspended during wars and conflicts between the countries in the past, such as the Kargil war and Siachen conflict. Ahmer Bilal Soofi, a former federal law minister of Pakistan reiterated the same. Speaking to Dawn, Soofi said that if India decides to revoke the treaty, it can be interpreted as a hostile act against its neighbour.
Speaking to Geo News channel, former Indus Waters Commissioner Jamat Ali Shah said, “What should we believe of what the Indian PM says: Ending poverty or blocking flow of water into Pakistan…This is open economic terrorism.” According to the treaty, India controls Beas, Ravi and Sutlej, and Pakistan, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum.
This comes only a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met senior ministers and officials to discuss the fate of the treaty and said, “Blood and water cannot flow together.” The meeting was called in the wake of escalating tension between the two countries after a militant attack on an Army base in Kashmir’s Uri sector that left 18 soldiers dead on September 18. India believes the attack was orchestrated by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed outfit. However, Pakistan said that the allegations levelled against it are baseless.
Pakistan has also held India responsible for the crisis in the Kashmir Valley since the death of Hizbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani on July 8. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that the Uri attack could be a fallout of the alleged human rights violations in the region in the past two months.