India, Pak spar over using ‘water as weapon’
Accusing India of waging “fifth-generation warfare”, Pakistan said on Monday New Delhi had failed to inform it about the release of water from a dam that could cause flooding across the border.
India, however, rejected the claim saying that under the terms of a water treaty between the two nations it had informed Pakistan about the release of excess water late on Monday when it crossed the threshold.
Islamabad said the unexpected release of water into the Sutlej river that flows from India to Pakistan was part of an attempt by New Delhi to flout the longstanding treaty between the countries.
“They try to isolate diplomatically, they try to strangulate economically, they’re trying to strangulate our water resources – and water automatically will have an impact on your economy, your agriculture and your irrigation,” news agency Reuters quoted chairman of the Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority, Muzammil Hussain, as saying. India was using its position upstream to wage “fifth-generation warfare” on the country, said Hussain.
India’s federal water resources ministry dismissed the allegation, saying that, under the treaty, advance information needs to be given in a situation when “extraordinary discharges of water from reservoirs and flood flows” could harm the other party.
“Until today no such extraordinary discharges had been observed on the Indian side in the current flood season. At 7 pm, the flow of Sutlej river reached the threshold level of high flood and the same was conveyed to Pakistan,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that it was committed to the treaty.