Revoking of Indus Water Treaty will be treated as ‘act of war’: Sartaj Aziz

Islamabad [Pakistan], Sept. 27 : Advisor to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday warned India that if it revokes the Indus Water Treaty, Islamabad would treat it as "an act of war", adding that such a step would "provide China a justification to consider the suspension of waters of the Brahmaputra river".

Speaking at the National Assembly, Aziz said the Indian act can be taken as a breach of international peace, which will give Islamabad a good reason to approach the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

"Its revocation can be taken as an act of war, or a hostile act against Pakistan. It is highly irresponsible on the part of India to even consider revocation of the Indus Water Treaty.

Unilateral revocation of IWT can pose a threat to Pakistan and its economy. This Indian act can be taken as a breach of international peace, and hence, will give Pakistan a good reason to approach the UNSC," Aziz said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday met with officials to review provisions of the Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan.

New Delhi ruled out cancelling the Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan but is looking for ways of increasing its use of waters that flow from India but are controlled by Pakistan.

This development comes as ties between India and Pakistan have hit a new low following the Uri attack in Kashmir in which 18 Indian soldiers were killed.

Aziz maintained that statements and actions from the Indian leadership for considering unilateral revocation of the Indus Water Treaty are a blatant violation of International law, and also constitute a breach of the Indus Water Treaty.

"The Treaty is of indefinite duration, and was never intended to be time-specific, or event-specific. The treaty is binding on both the states equally and offers no exit provision. There is an arbitration mechanism provided in the Indus Water Treaty to resolve the disputes related to the implementation of the Treaty only," he added.

Asserting that according to international law and provisions of the Indus Water Treaty, India cannot unilaterally revoke IWT, the advisor said the move will not only undermine India's international standing but also pertains considerable risk of war and hostilities.

"It will not only violate Indus Water Treaty but also set a regional state practice under which international law can serve as a precedent.

It will provide China, for example, a justification to consider a suspension of waters of the Brahmaputra river.

India has already damaged its credentials by even considering invoking IWT and disrupting water flows into Pakistan," he said.

The treaty was inked in 1960 by the India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and then Pakistan President Ayub Khan, which allocates 80 percent of water to Pakistan from the six-river Indus Water System, including Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum that flows from India to Pakistan.

The treaty, brokered by the World Bank, is often considered to be one-sided and there has been growing clamour to relook at it.

The pact has survived wars and phases of frosty ties between India and Pakistan. According to reports, India currently generates about 3,000 megawatts of energy from hydropower plants along rivers in Kashmir, but believes the region has the potential to produce 18,000 megawatts.

Source: ANI