Pakistan needs to improve its internal management of water resources before it seeks external mediation to resolve differences with India over the sharing of river waters, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Islamabad on Monday.
Describing the wastage of water within Pakistan as "extraordinary", Clinton said 92 per cent of clean water goes into agriculture and is "not used efficiently".
Pakistan has the world's most extensive system for irrigation and transportation of water but it has "been neglected and fallen into disuse" and steps need to be taken to address the situation, she said during an interaction with a panel of television anchors.
Clinton, who was responding to a question on whether the US will step in to settle differences between India and Pakistan on sharing river waters, said Pakistan needs to do much more internally to tackle the problem.
She pointed out that the US had helped arrange the first meeting of Pakistan's federal, provincial and local water authorities, who "were not talking to each other".
Before seeking external mediation, Pakistan should get its own house in order so that questions are not raised about its use of water resources, she said.
"It's not that there may not be some serious issues that have to be mediated but Pakistan has to get control of the water you currently have, because if you go to a... mediation body and say water is being diverted, the first response will be you are not efficiently using the water you have," she said.