NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a meeting to review the Indus Water treaty with Pakistan amidst heightened tension between the two countries.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, the Water Resources Secretary, and senior PMO officials were present at the meeting.
The review was undertaken as India weighs options to give a befitting response to Pakistan in the wake of the Uri attack that left 18 soldiers dead.
There have been consistent calls in India that the government scrap the water distribution pact to mount pressure on Pakistan in the aftermath of the terror attack.
Under the treaty, which was signed by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan President Ayub Khan in September 1960, water of six rivers – Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum – were to be shared between the two countries.
Pakistan has been complaining of not receiving enough water and gone for international arbitration in couple of cases.
Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh had said last week that his state will fully support whatever decision is taken by the Union government on the 1960 agreement.
“The treaty has caused huge loss to Jammu and Kashmir” as the people of the state cannot fully utilize the waters of various rivers, particularly Chenab in Jammu, for agricultural and other activities, Singh had said.
“The state government will support whatever decision is taken by the central government on Indus Waters Treaty,” he had said.
India had last week made it clear that “mutual trust and cooperation” was important for such a treaty to work.
According to sources, officials from the Union Water Resources Ministry gave a presentation to the Prime Minister on the treaty and the projects involved.
“The Ministry Secretary (Shashi Shekhar) made a presentation on the facts and current positions with regard to the treaty before the Prime Minister,” the sources said.
“Any decision regarding the treaty will be taken at the higher level which will be conveyed by the Foreign Office. The Ministry’s role was limited to putting forth facts regarding the treaty,” the sources said.–PTI