Zardari asks India to abide by water-sharing agreements

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Islamabad, Oct 13 (UNI) Pakistan expects India to abide by the international agreements on sharing of water in the Indus River system, President Asif Ali Zardari has said.

'' Pakistan would be paying a very high price for India's move to block former's water supply from the Chenab River. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had assured me in our meeting in New York that his country is seriously committed to our water sharing treaty. We expect him to stand by his commitment,'' Mr Zardari said in a statement yesterday.

Pointing to the ramifications of the violation of the Treaty, Mr Zardari said the Indian move would damage the bilateral ties the two countries had built over the years. ''India should not trade-off important regional objectives for short-term domestic goals,'' he said.

He also said the government is pursuing the issue of India's violation of agreement on water supply on the highest level.

''Pakistani officials would be taking up the matter with the Indian officials,'' he said.

Mr Zardari said New Delhi and Islamabad should reap the benefits of shared border, rather than allowing that to become a burden for the two nations.

''Our two governments would be obliging to public sentiments if they move to strengthen the bilateral ties,'' Mr Zardari said.

''However, our national interests are equally important and our government is committed to protecting them. We hope that the Indian PM would remember agreements on the judicious sharing of the Chenab waters and New Delhi would look to better relations with Pakistan.'' UNI XC ARB PK HT1022

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