New Delhi:Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says his administration is “committed” to cutting the water supply to Pakistan amid an escalation of tensions between the two nuclear neighbors.
Modi said at the inauguration of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the city of Bathinda on Friday that the government was “committed” to getting “farmers their rights.”
“Now every drop of this water will be stopped and I will give that to … Indian farmers. I am committed to this,” Modi stated.
He said a task force had been set up to cut “each drop of water” from reaching Pakistan.
On November 23, Indian media speculated Modi’s decision to cut the water supply to Pakistan.
Under an internationally mediated agreement between India and Pakistan signed in 1960, named the Indus Waters Treaty, the water of six rivers, namely Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum, are to be shared between the two countries.
On November 24, Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan’s adviser to the prime minister on foreign affairs, said in response to Modi’s decision that revocation of the treaty by India “can be taken as an act of war.”
Islamabad will “react befittingly” if Modi attempts to violate the Indus Waters Treaty, Aziz warned.
Tensions have intensified between the two arch-rivals in the past months over cross-border military attacks and diplomatic spat.
Analysts believe Modi’s provocative remarks against Pakistan aim to further escalate tensions for two purposes. First, in the domestic sphere, escalating the conflict into an all-out war between the two nations would distract the public from economic hardships already awaiting them due to the Indian rupee’s devaluation. Second, New Delhi thinks further aggravating the situation would make the international community disregard its heavy-handed crackdown on the restive Muslim-majority region of Kashmir.
Pakistan, however, says it will not accept any pressure from India and will continue to support freedom fighters in Kashmir.
The Kashmir issue is an “unfinished agenda of the partition,” Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday.Pakistan and India have already fought three wars since their partition in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.