“Blood and water cannot flow together. Utilise maximum water” : PM Modi reviews the Indus water treaty.

“Blood and water cannot flow together” – this is what the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi said after the high level meeting he chaired on reviewing the Indus Water Treaty, which is a 56 year old treaty on sharing of water between India and Pakistan. The meeting was attended by NSA Shri Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Shri S. Jaishankar, Principal Secretary to the PM Shri Nripendra Mishra and the Water resources secretary.

Last week, MEA Spokesperson had already hinted that the Indus Water treaty might be discontinued after he said, “There are differences on the treaty. For any such treaty to work, it is important there must be mutual trust and cooperation. It can’t be a one-sided affair.” The meeting chaired by the PM and the statement that water and blood cannot flow together is a clear indication that India is serious about reviewing the treaty.

The review meeting was chaired today by the Prime Minister in the aftermath of Uri attacks, in which 18 soldiers of Indian Army attained martyrdom after Pakistan sponsored terrorists attacked the army headquarters. There has been widespread anger all across the nation and people of India are united against the cross border terrorism sponsored by Pakistan, due to which the public opinion is totally in favour of “reviewing” the Indus water treaty, and take strict action against Pakistan until it stops training the terrorists on their soil and puts an end to conducting terror attacks in India.

During the meeting, PM Shri Modi asked to fully exploit the waters of all the rivers of Indus basin for agriculture and Hydro-electric power generation. Currently, India is irrigating only 8 lakh hectare of land from the water of these rivers, which PM Modi wants to increase to 13 lakh hectare after the review. The PM also gave directions to start all the irrigation and power projects on the 6 rivers and utilise maximum possible water. In the meeting, Prime Minister asked the work on the construction of 3 dams – Pakal Dul, Sawalkot and Bursar on river Chenab to be expedited and fast-tracked. PM also asked the authorities to expedite the various Hydroelectricity projects of 8500 Megawatt on the rivers Chenab, Beas, Ravi, Satluj, Jhelum and Indus.

Jammu and Kashmir deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh has also supported the review of Indus water treaty and is in favour of it. “The treaty has caused huge loss to Jammu and Kashmir as the people of the state cannot fully utilise the waters of various rivers, particularly Chenab in Jammu, for agricultural and other activities. The state government will support whatever decision is taken by the centre.

This is a significant development as India has finally taken an aggressive stand on Indus Water Treaty and has given a green signal to restrict the flow of water to Pakistan.

Kshitij Mohan