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'Zardari to send letter to Manmohan Singh'

world Updated: Nov 03, 2008 14:47 IST
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President Asif Ali Zardari is expected to soon convey Pakistan's concerns about a row over sharing of river waters with India in a formal communication to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The letter, drawing Singh's attention to the urgency of the issue and the need for its early resolution, has been prepared with inputs from the foreign ministry. It is expected to be sent through diplomatic channels before Zardari leaves for an official visit to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Zardari had said last week that he would ask Singh to deliver on his promise to settle a row over the sharing of the waters of the Chenab river in line with the Indus Waters Treaty.

The Pakistani President said he would remind Singh of the promise the latter had made about resolving "the issue of reduced inflow of water in river Chenab at Marrala headworks" in Pakistan in accordance with the treaty signed in 1960.

The letter is currently at the presidency awaiting the President's signature, The News daily reported. Once it is signed, it will be send to India through diplomatic channels.

Pakistan has accused India of causing a loss of 0.2 million acre feet of water by diverting the flow of the Chenab river to fill the Baglihar dam in Jammu and Kashmir. It has claimed this was a violation of the Indus Waters Treaty.

Islamabad is seeking compensation in the form of water from New Delhi to amicably settle the issue. India has denied Pakistan's accusations and said it will address the concerns over the water-sharing pact.

Pakistan has also hinted that it could seek the intervention of the World Bank, which brokered the Indus Waters Treaty, if it s not compensated for the reported diversion of the Chenab's waters.