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India’s move to divert water flow will be taken as ‘aggression’: FO

Pakistan on Thursday cautioned India to refrain from pursuing its designs of diverting the flow of three western rivers, saying the move will be considered as an ‘act of aggression’ and will be ‘well responded’.

“Any attempt by India to divert the flow of these rivers will be considered an act of aggression and Pakistan has the right to respond,” Foreign Office spokesman Dr Faisal said here at a weekly press briefing while responding to a media query on Pakistan’s stance over a recent statement by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that New Delhi will stop the water flowing to Pakistan and divert it to the State of Haryana.

The spokesman said Pakistan has exclusive rights over the waters of three western rivers under the Indus Water Treaty, and termed the statement an excuse to cover the ongoing blatant human rights situation in Indian-held Kashmir. “After imposing a crashing curfew in Kashmir for more than two months, such statements coming from Indian leadership are another glaring example of the fact that the present government of India is bent upon making India an irresponsible and aggressive state that has no regard for human rights or international obligations,” he said.

The spokesman said such statements should be an eye-opener for the world, which must realize that the extremist government of Modi is a clear threat to South Asia as well as the world peace. He said the situation is not only a threat to regional peace and security but can also result into strategic miscalculation.

Asked if the parts of Gilgit-Baltistan handed over to China under 1963 agreement will take part in case a plebiscite was held in Jammu and Kashmir, the spokesman said the UN Security Council resolutions call for holding plebiscite in State of Jammu and Kashmir as existed in 1947. “The plebiscite will be held in the areas which are part of Jammu and Kashmir. I cannot add or delete [in the UN’s position] on my own,” he added.

To a question regarding the outcome of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visits to Saudi Arabia and Iran, the spokesman said he offered to facilitate the two brotherly countries to help reduce tensions in the region and resolve differences or disputes through diplomatic and political means, which was welcomed by the both. On Kartarpur Corridor, the spokesman said Pakistan has completed its side of construction work with all necessary arrangements, however the date of opening is still under consideration. Asked about follow-up of the case of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, the spokesman said Pakistan has already provided the consular access and the next steps pertaining to logical and legal procedures have been initiated. On postponement of visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Pakistan earlier due on October 23, he said the visit has been put off for the time being and will be rescheduled.

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