Islamabad, Feb 22: In response to India’s decision to stop the flow of its share of water from the Beas, Ravi and Sutlej to Pakistan, Islamabad said that it was not concerned if New Delhi diverted water of the three eastern rivers. Indian’s announcement on Thursday comes in addition to other actions like withdrawal of the most favoured nation (MFN) to Pakistan and slapping of a 200 per cent duty on all imports from Islamabad in the wake of the February 14 Pulwama attack that killed over 40 CRPF troopers. The attack was carried out by militant outfit JeM. Speaking to Dawn news on Thursday night, Secretary of Pakistan’s Ministry of Water Resources Khawaja Shumail said: “We have neither concern nor objection if India diverts water of eastern rivers and supplies it to its people or uses it for other purposes, as the IWT (Indus Waters Treaty) allows it do so.” Shumail said Pakistan did not see India’s decision as worrisome in context with the IWT. “But we will definitely express our concerns and raise objections strongly if they use or divert waters of western rivers (Chenab, Indus, Jhelum) on which our right to use prevails,” he added. According to Pakistan’s Commissioner for Indus Waters Syed Mehr Ali Shah, as the IWT has already given a right to India in 1960 to use the water of eastern rivers, it is now up to it to do so or not. “Whether they diverted and used their unutilised share of eastern rivers’ waters in 1960, we had no problem. They want to do it now, we have no problem. And if they don’t want to use this, we have no issue,” Shah told Dawn. While commenting about the proposed visit of Indian experts (India’s commissioner for Indus waters) to Kotri Barrage (Sindh) keeping in view the tension between the two countries after the Pulwama attack, the Commissioner said: “Let’s see what happens in this regard. But we hope for the best.” A three-member delegation of Pakistani experts headed by Shah completed its general tour of inspection (from January 28 to February 1) to various hydropower projects – 1,000MW Pakal Dul, 48MW Lower Kalnai, 850MW Ratlay and 900MW Baglihar dam at Chenab Basin in India. Before the Pulwama attack, India also shared the design data of its three planned run-of-the-river hydropower schemes with Pakistan under the IWT. (IANS)
Mirwaiz on India, Pak situation ‘Dialogue not war only war forward’ Monitor News Bureau Srinagar, Feb 22: Hurriyat (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday said that dialogue and not war is the only way forward for India and Pakistan. “Dialogue not war is the only way forward for India and Pakistan. Even after wars in the past issues including Kashmir still unresolved,” Mirwaiz tweeted on Friday. Addressing the Friday congregation at Jamia Masjid here, Mirwaiz, as per a statement, said that “Kashmir is a political issue and time and again I have said that Kashmir has no military solution instead it needs political handling solution.” “People of India are being misled by a state narrative on Kashmir that obfuscates the fact of it being a dispute. J&K is not Bihar, Himachal or any other state but an internationally accepted disputed territory divided between India and Pakistan,” he said. Mirwaiz added that the talk of strikes against Pakistan and starting a war, will only lead to destruction in entire sub-continent as both nations are nuclear powers and achieve no solution as in the past. “Kashmiris are against war and violence. We are only asking for resolution of the dispute by peaceful means the most effective being dialogue. History is witness that nations even after fighting wars, have still to sit on a negotiating table to hammer out a solution,” he said. He, while addressing the congregation, said the people of Kashmir have been watching with dismay the treatment meted out to Kashmiri students, traders, shawl sellers and businessmen in a systematic manner. “In Jammu itself Kashmiri employees and families were targeted and dozens of vehicles torched by anti-Kashmir fanatics,” Mirwaiz said. Mirwaiz, as per the statement, said that the anti-Kashmir hatred later spread to other states of India where Kashmiri students were beaten, harassed and in some cases rusticated from their respective colleges and Universities. Mirwaiz said that even the Governor of Mizoram called for boycotting of Kashmiri products and Kashmiris. He demanded that authorities ensure safe passage of every single Kashmiri back to their home land. Mirwaiz reminded the people of India how Kashmiri youth first saved non-state residents including forces personnel in the deadly deluge of 2014 while in 2008 Amarnath Land agitation, not a single Yatri or non-state resident was ever attacked despite provocation. “When the incident happened last week at Pulwama, Kashmiris regretted it as we believe that every human life is precious and every human has a right to live, yet our lives and human rights are not trampled and we are killed with impunity and incarcerated under draconian PSA,” Mirwaiz said.
Pak Army warns India of ‘surprise’ Islamabad, Feb 22: The Pakistan Army on Friday said the country does not wish for war, but warned India of “surprise” in case it takes any aggressive military measures, amidst heightened tensions between the two sides following the Pulwama attack that killed 49 CRPF personnel. Addressing a press conference, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor also said that India blamed Pakistan for the Pulwama attack “without due investigation” and New Delhi has not yet accepted the “reality of partition”. “We have a 72-year history. The partition happened in 1947 and Pakistan was liberated. India still hasn’t been able to accept that,” the Army spokesman said after the strike by Jaish-e-Mohammad group in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14. “We are not preparing for war, you (India) are issuing threats…We have right to respond to the threats. We are not preparing to initiate but planning to defend and retaliate which is our right,” the Army spokesman said. He further said: “Should you (India) initiate any reaction first, you would never be able to surprise us…We will surprise you.” He said when it comes to India, “Pakistan has singleness of conception. We have will and determination.” Ghafoor warned that military response this time will be different in case of war. “We are not the army of past, we are a battle-hardened army. We have fought against an unseen enemy and won,” he said. The army spokesman said that “we can respond to full spectrum threat” and warned “I hope you (India) get (the message) and do not mess with Pakistan”. To a question about nature of preparations, he said, “We are not preparing for war but we are preparing for response and whatever response is needed, we have prepared for it.” He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday authorised the Army to take all measures to defend the country in case of any attack. He said the Pulwama attack was negative for Pakistan as it came when important events were taking place in Pakistan including visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. “Our reaction shows that the prime minister offered complete cooperation if evidence is shared and he promised to take action. He also offered to talk about the issue of ‘terrorism’,” Ghafoor said. He said Pakistan was changing and “we came to this point after heavy struggle. We are the only country and army which fought terrorism like we did.” He said that media in Pakistan was behaving responsibly while “Indian media is doing war journalism”. The already sour relations between India and Pakistan have worsened as New Delhi blamed Islamabad for the Pulwama attack. Both countries have called back their envoys for “consultations.” (PTI)