22 Feb, 2019
India has reiterated claims it is building dams to shut off its share of the water supply to Pakistan-controlled Kashmir in response to the February 14 suicide bomb attack in Pulwama which killed 40 paramilitary soldiers.
The bombing in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir was claimed by an insurgency group called Jaish-e-Mohammed which operates out of Pakistan. It was the deadliest attack on Indian soldiers since the Kashmiri insurgency began in 1989. India has accused its neighbour of not doing enough to rein in extremist insurgents operating within its borders while Pakistan denies any involvement.
Under the leadership of Hon'ble PM Sri @narendramodi ji, Our Govt. has decided to stop our share of water which used to flow to Pakistan. We will divert water from Eastern rivers and supply it to our people in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.
— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) February 21, 2019
A war of words has ensued in the aftermath and now Indian Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari has said his country will harness the water supply from rivers that flow through Kashmir for use in Indian states.
In a fiery response, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda pulled no punches with a threatening series of tweets that touted the strength of Pakistan’s army.
And it’s high time you realise the consequences of a war. Pak Army is not a dummy force. It’s bold, brave and well trained capable to destroy Modi’s generations but we don’t want that so learn that your warmongering won’t do you any good dear India.
— Faisal Vawda (@FaisalVawdaPTI) February 21, 2019
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi took a more measured approach but still emphasised how high the stakes are.
“This is an act of war and after seeing all these irresponsible statements of Indian leaders, I have written a letter to the secretary-general of the United Nations apprising him of Indian threats,” he said.
Secretary of Pakistan’s Ministry of Water Resources Khawaja Shumail said it will “raise objections strongly” if India violates the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960.
The treaty, brokered between the rival nations by the World Bank, ostensibly insures the unimpeded flow of the Chenab, Indus and Jhelum rivers into Kashmir and beyond into Pakistani territory. The treaty has held even in spite of three wars between the two nations since 1965.