"Blood and water cannot flow together," Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly said at the meeting with with the concerned departments on Monday regarding the implementation of the Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan following the Uri attacks.
The Indus Waters Treaty may not be scrapped but India might decide on greater use of the three 'western' rivers - Indus, Chenab and Jhelum - meant to provide water to Pakistan, according to local media reports.
PM Modi conducted a meeting with the officials concerned from several ministries, including the External Affairs Ministry and the Water Resources Ministry, to discuss about the advantages and disadvantages of acting against Pakistan, NDTV reported.
Foreign Secretaryc S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and PM Modi's Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra are present at the meeting.
There have been several calls to do away with the treaty following the attack on the Indian Army Headquarters in the Uri district of Jammu and Kashmir, which claimed the lives of 18 soldiers and wounded several others.
A Delhi based lawyer has also filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the constitutional validity of the Indus Waters Treaty, ANI reported.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said on Thursday that there needs to be "mutual trust and goodwill" for the treaty to work.
However, Former Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal told ANI that "abrogating" the treaty would be a "drastic step."
"It will entail a lot of problems at the legal level, with the World Bank etc. If Pakistan continues to pursue their policy of using terror as instrumental policy agnst us, then we may have to think of other options. Indus Water treaty is an international treaty and we are a responsible country. We can't behave irresponsibly at the international level," Sibal said.
The Indus Waters Treaty, which was signed in 1960 between then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan's president General Ayub Khan after World Bank brokered negotiations, has survived the two wars and tensions between the two countries. It classified the six rivers - Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, Jhelum, Chenab and Indus - as eastern and western rivers. The eastern rivers included Sutlej, Beas and Ravi while Jhelum, Chenab and Indus were classified as western rivers.
India has full rights over the eastern rivers as per the treaty. However, the western rivers flow to Pakistan "unrestricted" with India allowed to use the waters in a "non-consumptive" manner.
According to experts, India alone cannot withdraw the treaty since it is an international agreement and violating a legally enforceable treaty could lead to international condemnation, NDTV reported.
China hasn't signed any international water sharing agreement despite the fact that the Indus originates in the country. India could lose around 36 percent of the water if China diverts the Indus.
PM Narendra Modi chairs meeting on Indus Waters Treaty. FS Jaishankar, NSA Doval and PM's principal secretary Nripendra Misra attend meeting pic.twitter.com/5B4hyxtANt
— ANI (@ANI_news) September 26, 2016