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Violation of water treaty risks war, senior Pakistan official warns

PM’s adviser Aziz says country will not accept any form of aggression

Gulf News

Islamabad: The adviser to Pakistan’s Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday said any violation of Indus Water Treaty by India would pertain to considerable risk of war and hostilities between the two countries.

“Pakistan will not accept Indian aggression in any form and any Indian step for disrupting water flow as upper riparian will pertain to considerable risk of war and hostilities,” the adviser said in the National Assembly in response to a calling attention notice.

He said India was feeling a lot of pressure due to its neighbour’s diplomatic onslaught, in which Islamabad raised its voice over grave human rights violations in Indian-administered Kashmir and the right to self-determination for Kashmiri people in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.

The adviser explained the provisions of Indus Water Treaty (IWT) and said, as per sub provision 3 and 4 of provisions of article 12 of IWT, the treaty cannot be altered or revoked unilaterally.

He said the treaty shall continue to be in force until modified by both the countries after an understanding. The treaty is for an indefinite period and is binding, he added. It is not time specific or event specific.

Sartaj Aziz said, the treaty offers no unilateral exit provision or revocation. Moreover, there is also an arbitration mechanism provided in Indus Water Treaty to resolve the disputes within its mechanism. He said according to international law and provisions of IWT, India cannot unilaterally revoke the treaty as it will not only undermine India’s international standing but also pertain to considerable risk of war and hostilities.

Aziz said if India tries to interrupt water flow into Pakistan as an upper riparian it will not only violate IWT but also set a regional state practice under which an international law can serve as a precedence for others.

Such an Indian act may also provide China with a justification to consider suspension of water of Indian river Brahmaputra.

“India has already damaged its credentials by even considering revocation of IWT and disrupting water flow into Pakistan.”

Sartaj Aziz said the IWT survived wars of 1965 and 1971 between Pakistan and India and was not even suspended during the Kargil and Ciachin conflicts.

“The treaty is quoted as most successful water treaty between the two countries and its revocation can be taken as an act of war or a hostile act against Pakistan.”

He said it was highly irresponsible on part of India to even considering revoking of this treaty as unilateral revocation can pose a threat to Pakistan and its economy.

“This Indian act can be taken as a breach of international peace and hence giving Pakistan a good reason to approach the UNSC on this issue.”

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