Move international court on Indian 'water aggression': Pak minister

The agriculture minister of Pakistani Punjab, Ali Aulakh, has said the federal government should take the matter of Indian ''water aggression'' to the International Court of Justice.

Talking to journalists in Lahore on Friday, he said that India was violating the Indus Water Treaty by connecting the Chenab River with the Beas; which was another blow to Pakistan's water resources after India constructed several dams.
 
He said that agriculture was the backbone of the country but Pakistan was already facing a severe shortage of irrigation water. He said the Chenab River was allocated to Pakistan under the provisions of the Indus Water Treaty.

He said that instead of building new water reservoirs and adding cheap hydroelectricity to the national grid, the federal government was allowing India to deprive Pakistan of its existing water resources, which was a national crime.

''The diversion of the Chenab waters is not only in violation of the treaty but will also create water shortages in Pakistan particularly during low flow periods of the rabi and early kharif sowing seasons,'' he added.

He said that to maintain the standing rabi crops, requisite supplies would have to be drawn from reservoirs, which caused extra depletion of reservoir levels.

As a resultant, the Tarbela reservoir level reached the dead storage level of RL-1378 on 7 March, and the Mangla reservoir level was depleted to the minimum level of RL-1040 on 10 March.