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Water dispute can lead to dangerous situation, FO warns

Water dispute can lead to dangerous situation, FO warns

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office warned on Friday that water issues can lead to a dangerous situation and that Pakistan wants peaceful resolution of such problems as per spirit of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).

Speaking at a weekly news briefing in the capital, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said World Bank has assured that the international agreement will not be breached.

He said Islamabad has been effectively raising the issue of India’s controversial Kishanganga project to resolve it through a dispute resolution mechanism provided by the pact.

Lately, Pakistan sent a four-member delegation to World Bank in Washington to raise inauguration of Kishanganga hydropower plant by India in violation of the agreement.

Pakistan has opposed the project as it violates a World Bank-mediated treaty on the sharing of waters from the Indus and its tributaries upon which 80 percent of its irrigated agriculture depends.

New Delhi claims that IWT allows it to build ‘run-of-river’ hydel projects that do not change the course of the river and do not deplete the water level downstream. Disagreeing with the Indian interpretation, Islamabad says that the Kishanganga project not only violates the course of the river but also depletes its water level.

The spokesman further said India’s denying visas to Pakistani artists and authors obstruct people to people contacts, which are necessary for promoting peace and tolerance in the region.

He said Pakistan desired to have peaceful neighborhood, which is imperative for socio-economic development of the people of the region, but at the same the country was not oblivious to its national security.

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