New Delhi: After Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s yesterday’s remark that “blood and water cannot flow together” on the Indus Waters treaty, Pakistan on Tuesday said that India cannot opt out “unilaterally” from a 56-year-old key water-sharing agreement and that any attempt by New Delhi to block Islamabad’s share of water could be seen as an act of war.
“According to international law, India can’t unilaterally separate itself from the treaty,” Sartaz Aziz, the Adviser on Foreign Affairs to Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif, said.
“Pakistan will not accept “aggression by India in any form” and China would get justification to block Indian water if New Delhi did the same to Islamabad,” he added.
Earlier, the Narendra Modi-led NDA govt had said that India would withdraw the Indus Waters treaty in retaliation to the Sunday 18 Uri terror attack in which 18 soldiers were killed.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said last week that there were differences between India and Pakistan on implementing the Indus Waters Treaty.
He had also said that any cooperative arrangement requires goodwill and mutual trust on both sides.
The water distribution treaty brokered by the World Bank was signed between India and Pakistan in 1960 after Islamabad’s fear that since the source rivers of the Indus basin are in India, it could potentially create drought and famine in Pakistan during times of war.
According to the agreement, India has control over three eastern rivers — Beas, Ravi and Sutlej — all flowing from Punjab.
Pakistan, as per the treaty, controls the western rivers — the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum that flow from Jammu and Kashmir.