Kyoto declaration seeks Indian adherence to Indus Basin Treaty
By Khalid Mustafa
KYOTO: Despite severe opposition by India, Pakistan on Sunday managed to incorporate para-11 in the Kyoto Ministerial Declaration on Water Issues adopted here, which mounts pressure on India to respect the Indus Basin Treaty.
Para-11 in the draft, which was, adopted here states that riparian states on trans-boundary and boundary watercourses should cooperate with each other and contribute to sustainable water management. India opposed the inclusion of para-11 during the proceedings of the last day of the conference, saying it does not agree with the draft.
“Pakistan with the consent of all the regional countries including Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri-Lanka managed to forward Para 11, which was ultimately adopted,” Pakistan’s Minister of Water and Power Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao told Daily Times.
He said that India in the sub-group meeting did not oppose the para (recommendation), which Pakistan floated, but when the Japanese deputy foreign minister announced to adopt the final draft, India opposed it.
Pakistan’s Minister of Water and Power Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao and Secretary Water and Power Riaz A Khan said that India stands nowhere as the draft has been adopted. However, Mr Khan said that he also registered Pakistan’s concern over the unjustified opposition by India.
Mr Aftab Sherpao told Daily Times, “We have submitted our reaction to the India’s opposition which states that Pakistan endorses the declaration in its eternity, we appreciate the inclusion of para-11, which is also instrumental in ensuring world peace and harmony, we would rather suggest this forum to express its firm resolve and commitment to honour various bilateral and multilateral treaties.”
He said that with the inclusion of para-11 in the Ministerial Draft finalized here on Sunday, there would be a tremendous pressure on India to honour the Indus Basin Treaty, which India is violating by constructing 450 MW Baglihar project on Chenab River and depriving Pakistan from its due right of water.
The minister said that if India is adamant to opposing para-11, then it means that it has refused to cooperate with the international community to resolve the water related issues which is tantamount to the negation of the spirit of the Third World Water Forum.
Mr Sherpao further said that Pakistan has, however, decide in principle to move neutral expert against India for not complying with the Indus Basin Treaty, which was inked, by Pakistan and India in 1960. The World Bank had brokered the treaty.
He said although it is a bilateral issue between the two countries, but it may a cause of tension in the region, so in order to create peace and harmony, the ministers and heads of various countries have agreed to incorporate para-11.
After the closing ceremony of the Third World Water forum, Pakistan’s minister of water and power said he also met the Vice President of World Bank Mr Johnson and appreciated the major shift in the policy of the Bank and IMF with regard to extending the funds for developing the water infrastructure including dams in Pakistan.
Mr Riaz A Khan said that Pakistan would negotiate with the World Bank and IMF for funding the Mangla Raising Project and Basha Dam. It is pertinent to mention here that earlier both the IMF and World Bank had stopped the funding for big hydropower projects and dams and now in the wake of new strategy chalked out during the Third World Water Forum donor agencies have decide to double their funding for dams and other water development schemes.