Days ahead of the Heart of Asia meet in Amritsar that will be attended by Pakistan Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said Indus river waters “belong to our farmers” and India has the right to the waters flowing into Pakistan.
“The Indus river waters, India has the right to those waters…it flows into Pakistan. Flowing through Pakistan, the water goes into the sea. That water belongs to the Indian farmers. We will do whatever we can to give enough water to our farmers,” PM Modi said at a rally in Bathinda, Punjab.
Taking a swipe at the Congress, he said, “Governments came and went in Delhi… no one paid attention to the problems of the farmer. Pakistan took full advantage of this, but not anymore. I will ensure that my farmers get what is rightfully theirs.”
He also commented that after India’s surgical strikes, “Pakistan didn’t know what hit it’. The country is yet to recover from the strike, he said of the operation carried out by the army in September across LoC post Uri attacks.
The 1960 Indus Waters treaty brokered by the World Bank, on the sharing of the waters of six rivers between the two countries, became a flash point after the Uri attack in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed by terrorists from Pakistan. Prime Minister Modi then signaled a review of the pact, saying “blood and water cannot flow together.”
Meanwhile the ‘Heart of Asia’ ministerial conference will work on a regional counter-terrorism strategy that will make it binding on member nations, especially Pakistan, to stop sponsoring extremism.
Representatives of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Russia and nine other member countries will discuss a draft of the regional counter-terrorism strategy which has been proposed by the Afghan circulated among stakeholders. Once adopted, the strategy will be binding on all 14 ‘Heart of Asia’ nations, including Pakistan, which has been accused by both India and Afghanistan of exporting terror. The Afghanistan-focussed sixth ministerial meet is scheduled on December 4.
M Ashraf Haidari, director-general (policy and strategy) in the ministry of foreign affairs of the Afghan government, indicated to a select group of media that the strategy would involve “an action plan, enlisting cooperation of all Heart of Asia countries and their resources to implement their stated common objectives in the fight against terrorism with regional and extra-regional roots”.
The meet next month, to be jointly inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President M Ashraf Ghani, will see participation of 17 other supporting countries and 11 regional and international organisations. Afghanistan is expected to pitch for India to be a stakeholder in the stabilisation of the war-torn nation.
At the conclave, the Indian delegation will be led by a cabinet-level minister who will be standing in for ailing external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.
It is learnt that Swaraj will clear files and hold meetings with top officials of her ministry on key policy matters this week.
Online Source: The Economic Times.