Pune: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) is a technical matter and Indus commissioners of both countries will talk to each other on this issue.
Asked about India’s standpoint on current developments in Pakistan and what would be the implications of India’s decisions regarding the IWT, Jaishankar said it would not be appropriate for him to comment in public about the happenings in that country.
“In this (Indus Water) treaty, there are commissioners from both countries (India and Pakistan). It is a technical matter and Indus commissioners will talk to each other and after that, we can see what would be the next step,” said Jaishankar during an interaction with the audience in a question-answer session during the launch of ‘Bharat Marg’, the Marathi translation of his book ‘The India Way’, in Pune.
His remarks came against the backdrop of India, according to sources, issuing a notice to Pakistan for the first time, seeking a review and modification of the IWT, in view of Islamabad’s “intransigence” to comply with the dispute redressal mechanism of the pact that was signed more than six decades ago for matters relating to cross-border rivers.
Queried about some people or leaders from political parties lacking confidence in India while speaking about China (military stand-off), he said there are some people in the Opposition who have such thinking which he finds difficult to understand.
He, however, added sometimes such people spread wrong news or information about China on purpose.
“If you want to ask why they have no confidence, why are they misleading people, why they spread the wrong khabar (news) about China? How can I answer these questions? Because I know they are also doing politics. Sometimes they deliberately spread such news that they know is not true,” Jaishankar added.
“Sometimes, they talk about some land, which was taken by China in 1962. But they will not tell you the truth. They will give you the impression that this thing happened yesterday,” he said without taking names.
When asked about the failure of a rogue nation (read Pakistan) which is a nuclear power and also an unfortunate neighbour, and whether the situation there will be an asset or liability for India, the Union minister said, “like Pandavas could not choose their relatives, India also cannot choose its neighbours”.
“We hope the good sense prevails. The practices of the past are not followed. That is our hope, and in diplomacy, it is important to be hopeful,” he added.
Jaishankar said sometimes some people say there is “soch me kami” (lack of understanding) in him.
“Yes, there could ‘soch me kami’ in me. But if I am ignorant about something, I know who to approach. I will go to the military leadership, Army, or Intelligence. I will not call the Chinese ambassador and seek information,” he said.
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Notably, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had last September said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given “100 square kilometres of Indian territory” to China “without a fight,” and asked the government how it will be retrieved.
In 2017, when India and China were locked in a standoff on the border area abutting Bhutan, the Congress said Rahul Gandhi had met the ambassadors of the two neighbouring countries.
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