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India: Crucial Water Treaty With Pakistan Needs Mutual Trust

Even before the latest attack, the Indus water treaty was a source of friction between the two countries, with Pakistan saying the construction of dams and barrages by India deprives it of water, and New Delhi saying they are being built within the scope of the treaty

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A man sits on a boundary wall near the Indus river in Gilgit. VOA

New Delhi, 26 Sept, 2016: With tensions between India and Pakistan running high over an attack on an Indian air base, New Delhi has alluded to the possibility of revisiting a crucial water agreement with Pakistan, but a high-ranking U.N. official cautioned against getting caught up in “water-war rhetoric.”

Under the 1960 treaty, Pakistan has the right to use water from three Himalayan rivers in the west that flow from the Indian side, while India has access to three rivers in the east. The western rivers – Indus, Chenab and Jhelum – are an important source of irrigation and drinking water in Pakistan.

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Amid calls for India to scrap the arrangement, Foreign Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said, “For such a treaty to work, it is important that there must be mutual trust and mutual cooperation between both the sides. It can’t be a one-sided affair.”

The Indus, Jhelum and Chenab rivers in Pakistan. VOA
The Indus, Jhelum and Chenab rivers in Pakistan. VOA

Hours after the comment to reporters, U.N. Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson pointed out that the Indus water treaty has survived two wars between the rivals.

Speaking at an event on “water as a source of peace” on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, he said water represents a source of cooperation, a source of growth and a source of mutual positive dependence.

Analysts do not expect India to disturb the treaty, but see the Foreign Ministry comment as a message that New Delhi is weighing all options as it considers how to deal with the latest attack.

The assault, the worst in nearly two decades on an army facility in Kashmir, left 18 Indian soldiers dead and has put pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to retaliate against Islamabad in some way.

New Delhi has accused the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist group of mounting the assault. Islamabad has denied any involvement.

While India appears to have backed off any military escalation, officials have said they are considering a range of measures, including economic and regional isolation.

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For the time being, New Delhi is gathering diplomatic support to put pressure on Pakistan. “We hope that increasingly the international community will see the validity of ensuring that Pakistan is made to stop its state sponsorship of terrorism,” Swarup said.

Even before the latest attack, the Indus water treaty was a source of friction between the two countries, with Pakistan saying the construction of dams and barrages by India deprives it of water, and New Delhi saying they are being built within the scope of the treaty. (VOA)

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PM Modi Receives A Letter From Pamela Anderson To Promote Vegan Food

Anderson in her letter praised India's cuisine that made it the 'easiest place on earth' to be vegan.

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Anderson is a vegan, an advocate for animal rights, and an active member of the animal protection organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Baywatch icon and former Bigg Boss guest star Pamela Anderson on Friday wrote a letter on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to serve only vegan food at all government meetings and functions.

In this letter, she urges Modi to lead India’s fight against climate change by serving only delicious vegan (wholly plant-derived) food at all government meetings and functions. The animal rights group and the actor explained that raising animals for meat, eggs, and dairy causes nearly one-fifth of all human-induced greenhouse-gas emissions.

“With your country’s innovation and agricultural history, I’m sure that India-produced soy and other versatile foods can easily replace these damaging foods,” she writes. PETA Director urged Modi to adopt pro-vegan steps taken by other countries such as New Zealand, China and Germany.

“I appeal to you to show that India can equal or best them,” the 52-year-old actor added.

Modi  getting down from Air India Airplane.
Narendra Modi getting down from Air India Airplane.

Expressing concern over climate change she wrote, “My heart goes out to everyone affected by the severe air pollution plaguing Delhi. I worry about the residents as well as the animals who can’t wear face masks or stay indoors.”

She said that according to latest reports, 36 million Indians could face the threat of annual coastal flooding by 2050. The World Bank has predicted that at least 21 cities in India are approaching zero groundwater levels for next year and that 40 per cent of Indians may not have water to drink by 2030.

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Anderson in her letter praised India’s cuisine that made it the ‘easiest place on earth’ to be vegan. “India is the easiest place to be vegan… I still remember the beautiful colour of saffron rice and the alluring aroma of veggie biryani. India’s foods are so fantastic and varied that it’s the easiest place on earth to be vegan”, she added.

Last month, she had written to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking him to serve nutritious vegan meals in correctional facilities. (IANS)