India rejects Pakistan’s claim of using water as ‘war weapon’
Pakistan accused India of waging "fifth-generation warfare” by using water as a weapon on August 19. Pakistan claimed that India failed to inform it about the release of excess water from a dam over River Satluj, which could cause flooding in the nation.
India rejected Pakistan’s claim of using water as a weapon of war and stated that under the terms of a water treaty, it had informed Pakistan about the release of the excess water on Monday when it crossed a certain threshold.
Pakistan claimed that the sudden release of the excess water into River Sutlej could be an attempt by India to flout the longstanding Indus Water Treaty between the two countries. Pakistan claims that India is using upstream position to wage fifth-generation warfare on the country. The River Sutlej flows from India to Pakistan.
India, however, clarified that under the Indus treaty, prior warning needs to be given in a situation where there is an extraordinary discharge of water from reservoirs or flood flow that could harm the other nation.
The already tense situation between India and Pakistan following terror attacks was further strained after the ruling government in India revoked Article 370, withdrawing the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating the state into two union territories.
Pakistan responded to the move by suspending transport links with India, expelling India's ambassador and cutting off all trade links as well.
Water has become the latest topic of argument between the two nations. The Indus Water Treaty, mediated between India and Pakistan by the World Bank splits the Indus River and its tributaries between the two countries.
The Indus river basin comprises fives rivers – Indus, Sutlej, Jhelum, Ravi, Beas and Chenab. Around 80 percent of Pakistan’s irrigated agriculture depends on the water from Indus and its tributaries.
India had reportedly threatened to stop sharing excess water with Pakistan after the suicide bomb attack on CRPF personnel in Pulwama in February 2019.