Islamabad: Pakistan, which has often accused
India of stealing its share of Indus waters, has said the
authorities within this country have a tendency to "pass the
buck" and exaggerate differences with New Delhi on the issue.
The mismanagement in Pakistan is resulting in the loss
of 34 million acre feet of water, Foreign Minister Shah
Mahmood Qureshi has said.
Qureshi made the remarks yesterday when he was asked
at a news conference whether Pakistan had taken up the issue
of India trying to block the flow of rivers by building dams
during a meeting in Bhutan between Prime Minister Yousuf Raza
Gilani and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh.
Pakistan had taken up the issue during the meeting on
the sidelines of a SAARC summit in Bhutan but Pakistani
authorities have a "tendency to exaggerate" and "pass the
buck" in this regard, Qureshi said.
The average supply of water that reaches Pakistan is
104 million acre feet while the water that is consumed is 70
million acre feet, he pointed out.
"Where is the 34 million acre feet of water going? Is
India stealing that water from you? No, it is not. Please do
not fool yourselves and do not misguide the nation. We are
mismanaging that water," the foreign minister said.
Pakistani politicians have accused India of trying to
turn the country into a desert by building a large number of
dams and power projects on rivers in Jammu and Kashmir.
Differences over the sharing of river waters have
emerged as a major irritant in bilateral ties in recent years.
India has denied the charges and said the flow in the
rivers has been affected by climate change and low rainfall.
Pakistan "must understand" actions made by India,
including the construction of dams and water projects, if they
comply with the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty, Qureshi said.
Pakistan has to see if new structures being built in
the Indian side of Kashmir are "in accordance with the Indus
Waters Treaty or in violation of it", he added.
"We should examine the Indus Waters Treaty and its
annexures which are binding. If there are any violations, we
must take them up and will do it without any compromise as
water is a matter of life and death for us.
"Pakistan`s progress and economy (is) dependent on
water and there will be no compromise on it," he said.
Qureshi also hinted that the Foreign Office had not
received any information from the concerned ministry about
violations of the treaty by India for almost 20 years but did
not give details.