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Constitution of India is supreme: J-K govt

Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India]: As the Supreme Court recently said Jammu and Kashmir has “no vestige of sovereignty outside the Constitution of India”, state Education Minister Peoples Democratic Party chief spokesperson Naeem Akhtar on Sunday said the Constitution of India is supreme and the state has its own Constitution which is what the apex court has also said.

“Who says no; there are two constitutions operating in Jammu and Kashmir. The Constitution of India is supreme and we have our own Constitution at the state level and that is what the Supreme Court has also said.

Reaffirming that the state is an integral part of India and does not enjoy sovereign status either under its Constitution or that of India, the apex court on Friday said the state’s constitution was subordinate to the Indian Constitution and its permanent residents were Indian citizens.

Responding to Pakistan’s statement that it won’t accept any change in the Indus Water Treaty, Akhtar said, “Who is saying that; we are only trying to harness the optimum level of water that belongs to us. We are not violating the Indus Water Treaty that is nobody’s intention. We want to utilise whatever water we can under the treaty.”

Pakistan has stated that it will not accept any alterations or changes to the Indus Waters Treaty ( IWT) after India had said that it is ready to engage in further consultations with Islamabad on the matter of resolving current differences over the Kishenganga and Ralte projects under the Indus Water Treaty.

“Pakistan will not accept any modifications or changes to the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty. Our position is based on the principles enshrined in the treaty. And the treaty must be honoured in…letter and spirit,” the Dawn quoted Special Assistant to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Tariq Fatemi, as saying.

Islamabad has argued that India was buying time to complete its two disputed water projects and then insisting that since the project was already complete, it could not be modified.

Pakistan is raising its objection to building of the Kishanganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts) hydroelectric plants by India saying that it violates the provisions of the treaty.

Tensions increased over the water dispute when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month threatened to block the flow of water into Pakistan.

The World Bank had earlier asked both the countries to consider alternative ways to resolve their disagreements over the Indus Water Treaty Dispute 1960.

The World Bank had said that it was temporarily halting the appointment of a neutral expert as requested by India, and the Chairman of the Court of Arbitration, as requested by Pakistan, to resolve issues regarding two hydroelectric power plants under construction by India along the Indus Rivers system.

The treaty which was signed in 1960 by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan President Ayub Khan gives India control over the three eastern rivers of the Indus basin, the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej while Pakistan has the three western rivers, the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum.

As per the provisions in the treaty, India can use only 20 percent of the total water carried by the Indus River.

The Indus Waters Treaty 1960 is seen as one of the most successful international treaties and has withstood frequent tensions between India and Pakistan, including conflict.

The treaty sets out a mechanism for cooperation and information exchange between the two countries regarding their use of the rivers, known as the Permanent Indus Commission which includes a commissioner from each of the two countries. It also sets out a process for resolving so-called “questions”, “differences” and “disputes” that may arise between the parties. (ANI)