Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the waters of Sutlej, Beas and Ravi rivers that rightfully belong to India will be stopped from going waste in Pakistan and he will ensure that farmers here utilise it.
“Indus Water Treaty- Sutlej, Beas, Ravi – the waters in these rivers belong to India and our farmers. It is not being used in the fields of Pakistan but flowing into the sea through Pakistan.”
“Now every drop of this water will be stopped and I will give that to farmers of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir and Indian farmers.I am committed to this,” he said addressing a rally here.
He said a task force has been constituted to ensure that “each drop of water” that flows out of Sutlej, Beas and Ravi reaches Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.
“There is no reason that we cannot use our rights (over our waters) and let our farmers suffer,” he said, adding, “I need your blessings in order to fulfill your requirements for watering your fields.”
The solution for the problems of water could be found out through common dialogue, he said.
Criticising the previous governments at the Centre, Modi said, “Waters kept flowing to Pakistan, but successive governments kept sleeping on this issue and my farmer kept crying for the want of water.”
“If Punjab farmers get sufficient amount of water, they could produce ‘gold’ from the soil and could fill the coffers of the country,” he said.
Taking a swipe at the Congress, he said :
“Governments came and went in Delhi… no one paid attention to the problems of the farmer. Pakistan took full advantage of this, but not anymore. I will ensure that my farmers get what is rightfully theirs.”
He also commented that after India’s surgical strikes, “Pakistan didn’t know what hit it’. The country is yet to recover from the strike, he said of the operation carried out by the army in September targeting terrorist staging areas in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
The 1960 Indus Waters treaty brokered by the World Bank, on the sharing of the waters of six rivers between the two countries, became a flashpoint after the Uri attack in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed by terrorists from Pakistan. PM Modi then signaled a review of the pact, saying “blood and water cannot flow together.”
The Indus Waters Treaty gives India rights to use the eastern rivers – Ravi, Sutlej and Beas – and Pakistan has control over the three western rivers, Chenab, Jhelum and Indus.
India has asked for a neutral expert to examine Islamabad’s complaint against hydroelectric power projects on the rivers that flow into Pakistan. Pakistan has, at the same time, asked for an international court of arbitration.