Peace unlikely in region till Kashmir is resolved: Pak ‘IWT can’t be altered or suspended unilaterally

Pakistan on Thursday said it wanted to “amicably” resolve all outstanding issues with India, including those related to the Indus Waters Treaty and Kashmir, but asserted that there can be no peace in the region unless the Kashmir issue was resolved.

“Kashmir dispute is the bone of contention between Pakistan and India,” Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said at the weekly news briefing here.

He appealed to the international community to play its due role in resolving the longstanding issue.
“We want to amicably resolve all outstanding issues including Kashmir with India,” he said adding, “There can be no peace in the region unless the Kashmir issue was resolved.”

In his opening remarks during the briefing, which was this year’s last, Zakaria said, “We condemn unabated violation of UNSC Resolutions on Kashmir by India.”

He said a country that does not abide by international law should not be granted membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

On reports that India was reviewing the Indus Waters Treaty following the Uri militant attack, Zakaria said the accord cannot be altered or suspended unilaterally.

“No country can abrogate the treaty,” he said, adding Pakistan is keeping an eye on the evolving situation and it would follow its strategy in case of any violation of the historic accord.
“We will assess India’s activities within the framework of the Indus Waters Treaty,” he was quoted as saying by the Radio Pakistan.

Pointing out that there is an arbitration mechanism to resolve the dispute regarding implementation of the treaty, he said many disputes related to it were resolved amicably in the past.
The IWT was signed in 1960 to allocate the three eastern rivers of the Indus basin — the Ravi, Beas and Sutlej — to India, while 80 per cent waters of the three western ones — the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab — were allotted to Pakistan.

India has recently said it would fully utilise its 20 per cent share of the Indus waters and that the proposed water projects would not be in any violation of the treaty. Pakistan has disputed India’s contention and sought a World Bank intervention.