BHATINDA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has threatened to turn Pakistan into a desert by stopping water flow to the neighboring country and instead providing it to farmers of India.
Modi addressed farmers in the Indian Punjab on Friday
He said: “We will soon turn Pakistan into a desert. We will stop every drop of water going from India to Pakistan”
“The fields of our farmers must have adequate water. Water that belongs to India cannot be allowed to enter Pakistan. The government will do everything to give enough water to our farmers,” he added.
“I am committed to stopping that water and bringing it to our farmers in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of India.”
He asked farmers to stop burning crops which have been predicted to have caused smog in India and Pakistan.
Noting it that the water sharing issue had not been taken up by previous Indian governments, Modi said the previous governments had been sleeping in Delhi till now.
“Our farmers kept crying and water kept going to Pakistan. We will fight for the rights of our farmers. The water of Sutlej, Beas, Ravi over which our farmers have them. The water of these rivers is the right of India and our farmers. This water is passing through Pakistan before flowing into the sea. Neither Pakistan uses it nor our farmers are able to use it. I am moving ahead with conviction and have set up a taskforce on the Indus Water Treaty.”
“Pakistan didn’t know what hit it,” Modi commented on India’s surgical strikes.
“The country is yet to recover from the strike,” he said regarding the alleged operation carried out by the army in September in Azad 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 allegedly 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.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has asked for an international court of arbitration. Pakistan warned India at the UN Security Council against using water as ‘an instrument of coercion or war”.