Pak warns against use of water as an instrument of coercion

Srinagar: Pakistan has warned against use of water as an instrument of coercion or war and asserted that international community must remain vigilant to any sign of unwillingness to maintain cooperation on resolving water issues, media reports said on Wednesday.

“The international community must assume a responsibility to develop, nurture and protect normative frameworks, at multilateral and bilateral levels, to ensure that states remain willing to resolve water issues cooperatively,” Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi said in her address to the UN Security Council during an open debate on water, peace and security, the reports said.

“It must promote bilateral and regional agreements on waterways; and once they are evolved, ensure that they are not undermined through unilateral or coercive measures,” Lodhi was quoted by the reports to have said, as she described the India-Pak Indus Water Treaty of 1960, with the World Bank as guarantor, a model of what can be achieved through bilateral agreements.

“But this Treaty is equally a good case study of what could go wrong if such agreements are not honoured or threatened by one of the state parties to be abrogated altogether.

The international community must remain vigilant to any sign of unwillingness to maintain cooperation and be willing act to avert any conflict,” Lodhi was quoted by the reports to have said.

In his address, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also mentioned Indus Water Treaty, saying it withstood frequent tensions between India and Pakistan, including wars, the reports added.

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