Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the waters of Sutlej, Beas and Ravi rivers that rightfully belong to India will be stopped from going waste in Pakistan and he will ensure that farmers here utilise it.
" Indus Water Treaty — Sutlej, Beas, Ravi — the waters in these rivers belong to India and our farmers. It is not being used in the fields of Pakistan but flowing into the sea through Pakistan.
"Now every drop of this water will be stopped and I will give that to farmers of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir and Indian farmers.I am committed to this," he said addressing a rally.
He said a task force has been constituted to ensure that "each drop of water" that flows out of Sutlej, Beas and Ravi reaches Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. "There is no reason that we cannot use our rights (over our waters) and let our farmers suffer," he said, adding, "I need your blessings in order to fulfill your requirements for watering your fields."
Taking a swipe at the Congress, he said: "Governments came and went in Delhi... no one paid attention to the problems of the farmer. Pakistan took full advantage of this, but not anymore. I will ensure that my farmers get what is rightfully theirs."
He also commented that after India's surgical strikes, "Pakistan didn't know what hit it'. The country is yet to recover from the strike, he said of the operation carried out by the army in September targeting terrorist staging areas in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
"If Punjab farmers get sufficient amount of water, they could produce 'gold' from the soil and could fill the coffers of the country," he said.
"Our government is committed to work in tandem with the Badal government in Punjab to get farmers their rights and address their concerns," he said.
The Indus Water Treaty (IWT) is a water sharing arrangement, signed in Karachi on September 19, 1960, by then Prime Minster Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan's President General Ayub Khan. The World Bank (the erstwhile international bank for reconstruction and development) brokered the treaty and is also a party to it.
The Indus system of rivers comprises three western rivers which includes the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab and three eastern rivers — the Sutlej, Beas and Ravi.