Pak's allegation over India diverting water 'baseless': Indian Envoy

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Karachi, Apr.4 (ANI): Rejecting Islamabad's allegations that New Delhi is diverting Pakistan's share of water by building dams over rivers, Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, Sarat Sabharwal, has said that the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) should be used more effectively to address the water problems between both neighbouring nations.

The PIC was established under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) inked between India and Pakistan in 1960.

Speaking at a function organised by the Karachi Council on Foreign Relations (KCFR) and the Pakistan-India Citizens Friendship Forum (PICFF), Sabharwal termed Pakistan's allegations regarding India diverting its share of river water as 'baseless'.

"New Delhi has no 'storage and diversion canals network' to withhold Pakistan's share of water, and all claims to the contrary were baseless allegations," Sabharwal said.

"Of late, it has been alleged in Pakistan that India was responsible for its water shortage. These claims have nothing to do with reality. New Delhi had provided Pakistan its share of water even during the wars of 1965 and 1971, and during other periods of tense relations," he added.

Referring to the long pending river water issues between India and Pakistan, he said the PIC is the best forum to resolve all outstanding issues in this context.

Sabharwal also criticised some sections of Pakistani media and leadership which has constantly been targeting India over the water sharing issue.

"Angry statements' targeting India can neither increase the quantity of available water, nor can such statements become a substitute for the mechanism in the IWT to resolve differences regarding its implementation," he said.

Earlier this week, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, however, had rejected the notion that India is responsible for the country's water woes.

In an interview with a private television channel, Qureshi had admitted that his country was facing acute water shortage due to wastage, and not because of India.

The confession comes at a time when Pakistan has expressed reservations about India building a hydroelectric power project on the Kishanganga River which is a tributary of the Indus.

Pakistan has been blaming India for an unsporting attitude during bilateral talks, which were initiated to resolve the impending water dispute. (ANI)

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