India violating treaty on sharing river water: Pak

Pakistan on Thursday said India had been violating a treaty on the sharing of river waters and that it had "strong reservations" over two hydropower projects being built in Jammu and Kashmir.

Last Updated: Jun 03, 2010, 20:23 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday said India had
been violating a treaty on the sharing of river waters and
that it had "strong reservations" over two hydropower projects
being built in Jammu and Kashmir.

"There have been violations by India of the Indus
Waters Treaty of 1960. For instance, we still have strong
reservations vis-a-vis the Kishanganga and Nimmo-Bazgo
projects," Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit told a weekly
news briefing.
Pakistan wants to settle all differences and disputes
with India over the sharing of river waters in accordance with
the dispute settlement mechanism of the Indus Waters Treaty,
Basit said while replying to a question.

Basit did not respond to a query on reported remarks
by Pakistan`s Indus Waters Commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah that
the two sides had resolved differences over some projects
following recent talks held in Delhi.

He said the Foreign Office could not comment on the
matter as the agreed minutes of the meeting in Delhi were yet
to be received.

Pakistan recently informed India of its intention to
set up a court of arbitration under the provisions of the
Indus Waters Treaty to resolve differences over the
Kishanganga hydropower project.

Responding to another question, Basit said the "trust
deficit" between Pakistan and India was not a new phenomenon
as it dated back to Pakistan`s independence and the "lingering
Jammu and Kashmir dispute".
"We do need to bridge this gap seriously and as far as
we are concerned, we are approaching the meeting which will
take place in Islamabad between the two Foreign Ministers on
July 15 with sincerity of purpose," he said.

Pakistan hopes that "this re-engagement would lead to
a sustained and meaningful dialogue process" so that the
region and bilateral relations are freed from conflicts and
disputes, he said.

The settlement of disputes is important for building
"normal relations between our two countries", he added.

Asked about remarks by American officials that the
upcoming India-US strategic dialogue would include parleys on
India`s role in Afghanistan, Basit made it clear that
relations between Delhi and Kabul should not affect
Islamabad`s interests.
"Afghanistan and India do have bilateral relations. As
sovereign countries, they are entitled to have bilateral
relations to their mutual benefit and interests. Our position
has always been that these relations should not be at the cost
of Pakistan`s security and stability," he said.

Basit expressed the hope that the India-US strategic
dialogue would help "promote peace and prosperity in our
region".

Pakistan wants US-India relations to be a "factor of
stability in South Asia", he added.

The US, while taking Pakistan into confidence on its
upcoming dialogue with India, had said that it "would continue
pursuing vigorously the goal of expanding and diversifying
Pakistan-US relations in our mutual interest", Basit said.

PTI