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Old Thursday, October 30, 2008
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Default Zardari Write a letter to indain PM

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday said he will write a letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the water issue. The President said he will remind the Indian Prime Minister of the promise made by him to resolve the issue of reduced inflow of water in River Chenab at Marrala Headworks in accordance with the provisions of the Indus Water Treaty 1960. The President made these remarks during a briefing in the Presidency today on the construction of Baglihar Dam in India reducing the inflow of water in Pakistan and adversely affecting agriculture and economy of the country. The briefing was given by Syed Jamaat Ali Shah, Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Water and attended by Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Minister for Water and Power, Kamal Majidullah, Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Water Resources, Secretary Water and Power and other senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The President said that letters should also be written to the Muslim countries, “Friends of Pakistan” nations and U.K drawing their attention to the issue and the need to resolve it amicably in accordance with the international treaty signed between the two countries. He said that Pakistan should vigorously pursue its case for compensation in the shape of water from India caused by the loss of water in Chenab. The President said that a proactive approach should be adopted in this regard to compel India to give Pakistan its rightful share of water. Earlier, briefing the meeting Syed Jamaat Ali Shah, Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters said that India had violated the Treaty provisions by reducing the water flow in river Chenab at Marrala Headworks below 55000 cusecs. He said that India had interfered with the flow of river Chenab by reducing water as compared to historical flows in violation of the Treaty provisions. Highlighting adverse affects, he said that reduced water flows would cause loss to cropped area in Lahore, Qasoor, Okara, Sialkot, Hafizabad, Sheikhupura, Faisalabad and Jhang districts besides causing early depletion of Mangla Dam by additional water withdrawals from it. He said that Pakistan had rejected the plea of discrepancy in data. President Zardari said that he had personally raised the issue during his meeting with the Indian Prime Minister in New York last month and Security Advisors of both India and Pakistan had also discussed this issue in New Delhi early this month. The Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Water said that following intervention at the highest-level India had agreed to the physical inspection of the dam and meeting of the Commission but the issue of compensation was yet to be resolved.

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