“Blood and water can’t flow at the same time,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday during a meeting to review the Indus Water treaty+ with Pakistan amidst heightened tension between the two countries.
Principal secretary to PM, Nripendra Misra, national security adviser Ajit Doval, foreign secretary S Jaishankar, the water resources secretary, and other senior officials were present in the meeting.
At the meeting, it was decided that India will exploit to the maximum the capacity of three Pak-controlled rivers — Indus, Chenab, Jhelum — as per the Indus Water Treaty.
India will also review the construction on Tulbul navigation project, which was suspended in 2007.
The review is being 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 should 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 river – Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum – were to be shared between the two countries.
According to the agreement, India has control over three eastern rivers — Beas, Ravi and Sutlej — all flowing from Punjab.
Pakistan, as per the treaty, controls the western rivers — the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum that flow from Jammu and Kashmir.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said last week that there were differences between India and Pakistan on implementing the Indus Waters Treaty.
Jammu and Kashmir deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh had also 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 utilise the waters of various rivers, particularly Chenab in Jammu, for agricultural and other activities, Singh had said.