UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon expressed hope that India and Pakistan will bilaterally resolve issues over water sharing.
“We will take a look at the issue on water. Obviously, we hope it’s something that the two parties can resolve themselves,” Ban’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters at the daily press briefing here on Monday when asked about Modi’s remarks on the Indus Waters Treaty amid escalating tensions between the two nations.
Addressing a rally in Punjab last week, Modi had said the waters of Sutlej, Beas and Ravi rivers that rightfully belong to India will be stopped from going waste in Pakistan and he will ensure that Indian farmers in India utilise it.
“Now, every drop of this water will be stopped and I will give that to farmers of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir and Indian farmers. I am committed to this,” he said.
Last week, during a Security Council debate on water, peace and security, Ban cited the Indus Waters Treaty signed by India and Pakistan as well as other similar agreements “as instruments promoting stability and peace” and said “shared water resources often generated cooperation”.
During the debate, Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi warned against use of water as an instrument of coercion or war.
She said the 1960 treaty was an example of what can be achieved through bilateral agreements but also a case study of what could go wrong if such agreements are not honoured or threatened with abrogation by a state party.
Separately, Ban also expressed deep concern last week over the deterioration of the situation along the Line of Control in Kashmir in recent days, saying he “trusts” India and Pakistan can find “common ground” and work towards a sustainable peace.
The UN chief had called on all involved to prioritise the restoration of calm and stability in order to prevent any further escalation and loss of life.
When asked during the briefing about India-Pakistan tensions at the border, Dujarric the issue was of “great concern to the secretary-general”.