Pakistan has protested Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kashmir and the laying of foundation stones for the Rattle and Kwar hydroelectric projects on the Chenab River, which it claims is a “direct violation” of the Indus Waters Treaty.
Prime Minister Modi made his first public appearance in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday since the repeal of Article 370 in August 2019.
During his visit, Modi laid the groundwork for the Rattle and Kwar hydroelectric projects, an 850 MW facility on the Chenab river in Kishtwar that will cost around Rs 5,300 crore, and a 540 MW Kwar hydroelectric project on the same river that will cost more than Rs 4,500 crore.
“Since 5 August 2019, the international community has witnessed many such desperate attempts by India to divert attention from the actual underlying issues in Kashmir,” the Foreign Office said in a statement on Sunday night.
Pakistan also criticized the laying of foundation stones for the Rattle and Kwar Hydroelectric Projects (HEP) on Kashmir’s Chenab River.
“The construction of Rattle hydroelectric plant, as designed by India, has been disputed by Pakistan, and for Kwar Hydroelectric Plant India has so far not fulfilled its Treaty obligation of sharing information with Pakistan,” the FO said.
“Pakistan views such laying of foundation stones of the two projects by the Indian Prime Minister as a direct contravention of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) of 1960,” the Foreign Office said.
Pakistan has urged India to fulfill its obligations under the IWT and refrain from taking actions that are detrimental to the IWT framework.
The Indus Waters Treaty, negotiated by the World Bank and signed by then-prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan’s president Ayub Khan in 1960, governs how the water of the Indus River and its tributaries flows in both countries.
The waters of the eastern rivers, Sutlej, Beas, and Ravi, had been allocated to India under the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960, and the waters of the western rivers, Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab, to Pakistan, except for certain non-consumptive uses for India.
According to the FO, Pakistan will continue to provide all possible assistance to the Kashmiris in their just struggle for the right to self-determination.
Relations between India and Pakistan deteriorated after New Delhi announced in August 2019 the withdrawal of Jammu and Kashmir’s special powers and the division of the state into two union territories.
India has repeatedly told Pakistan that Jammu and Kashmir “was, is, and shall forever” be a part of India. It also advised Pakistan to accept reality and refrain from spreading anti-India propaganda.
India has also expressed its desire for normal neighborly relations with Islamabad in an atmosphere free of terror, hostility, and violence.