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'Mutual trust important for Indus Treaty to work', India says amid calls to scrap pact with Pakistan

India and Pakistan share water from six rivers under the 56-year-old Indus Water Treaty signed in September 1960. Photograph: (Getty)

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Sep 22, 2016, 08.21 PM (IST)
The fifty-six-year-old Indus Water Treaty on Thursday cropped up in the current India-Pakistan discourse with India making it clear that "mutual trust and cooperation" was important for such a treaty to work. 

The assertion came amid calls in India that government should scrap the water distribution pact to mount pressure on Pakistan in the wake of the Uri terror attack earlier this week.

"For any such treaty to work, its important that there must be mutual cooperation and trust between both the sides. It cannot be a one-sided affair," Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said cryptically when asked if the government will rethink on the Treaty given the growing strain between the two countries. 

He also noted that the preamble of the Treaty itself said it was based on "goodwill".

"There are differences between India and Pakistan over implementation of the Indus Waters Treaty, which stood for 56 years, but this is an issue which is being addressed bilaterally. But let me make a basic point: eventually any cooperative arrangement requires goodwill and mutual trust on both sides," he added.

Under the treaty, which was signed by former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and former Pakistan President Ayub Khan in September 1960, water of six river - Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum - were to be shared between the two countries.

Swarup also noted that there were differences over the implementation of the treaty between the two countries.

Pakistan has been complaining of not receiving enough water and gone for international arbitration in couple of cases. 

Both sides are required to exchange information related to river flows observed by them and exchange information on agricultural use. 

India communicates flood data to Pakistan and information of its storage and hydroelectric projects. 

Both sides have Commissioner for Indus Waters who may discuss the questions arising under the Treaty.

(WION with inputs from agencies)

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