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Pak must keep option of force over water row with India: JuD

A meeting organised by the Jamaat-ud-Dawah in Lahore today demanded that the government should either stop India from building dams on rivers flowing into Pakistan or give a "free hand" to 'Kashmiri mujahideen' to deal with the issue.

world Updated: May 09, 2010 23:47 IST

A meeting organised by the Jamaat-ud-Dawah in Lahore on Sunday demanded that the government should either stop India from building dams on rivers flowing into Pakistan or give a "free hand" to 'Kashmiri mujahideen' to deal with the issue.

A joint declaration issued by the JuD after the meeting asked the Pakistan government to keep "open the option of using force" to protect water resources if India does not stop work on projects on rivers flowing into the country.

The JuD demanded that Kashmiri mujahideen should be given a free hand if the Pakistan government fails to stop India from building dams on the rivers.

The head of JuD’s political affairs wing, Abdur Rehman Makki, and the group’s "Pakistan Water Movement" convener Hafiz Safullah Mansoor presided over the meet.

JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, accused by India of masterminding the Mumbai attacks, did not attend the gathering.

The meeting, dubbed an "All Parties Conference", was attended by representatives of major political parties like the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, PML-N, Jamaat-e-Islami and cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s Tehrik-e-Insaaf.

"By building dams like Baglihar and Kishanganga on Pakistani rivers and water tunnels to divert the flow of water, India plans to economically destroy Pakistan like Somalia and Ethiopia.The Pakistan government’s incriminating silence over Indian water aggression is highly regrettable," said a statement issued by the JuD.

"All the government ministers and officials who speak Indian language on this vital national issue must apologise to the Pakistani nation and stop this behaviour of unilateral friendship with India at the cost of national interest," it added.

The JuD claimed the "silence" over India’s alleged "water aggression" by world bodies like the UN and the World Bank is a "big question mark on their neutrality and fairness".

India, it further claimed, is conspiring to make Pakistan’s provinces "fight with each other over water".

The statement further said the government should give "top priority to Kashmir and water issues" in its dialogue with dialogue.

"If India is not willing to focus on these vital issues, there is no gain in continuing such dialogue," it said.

The JuD contended that the Pakistan government’s role in resolving differences with India over sharing of river waters was "very disappointing".

It said, "Mere statements or few meetings (of the) Indus Waters Commission will not solve this problem. Concrete steps must be taken urgently."

The UN must take notice and make India stop disputed projects in "disputed land" that "may trigger regional tensions or a possible war", the statement said.

The JuD said it would continue its efforts, including public meetings, seminars, conferences and rallies, to make people aware of the water issue. It will go from door to door "to awaken people and try to build national consensus over the water issue," it added.