CM Says J-K Interests Were Ignored While Signing Indus-Water Treaty
10 March 2005
The Indian Express
Jammu: Interests of Jammu and Kashmir were ignored while signing the Indus- Water Treaty with Pakistan, while due attention was paid to the interests of the other states of India, said Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. He was delivering the keynote address during a national seminar 'India and Pakistan: Pathways Ahead' organised at the Brig Rajinder Singh Auditorium at the Jammu University here today. The Chief Minister added that 'ignoring the interests of the J&K resulted into big loss to the state in many ways.' 'Since this huge loss of the state occurred due to wrong policies of the Centre while signing the Indus Water Treaty, it becomes the onus of the Centre to fulfill this colossal loss and compensate the J&K state for it, the Chief Minister elaborated. He further elaborated that 'the J&K state has been suffering the scarcity of water despite having three big water resources - Sindh, Jhelum and Chenab.' The Chief Minister said, 'I have spoken to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue of compensation and he has responded positively.' He further said, 'The process to improve bilateral ties between India and Pakistan has been going on but the issue of the Baglihar project should also be discussed during the next round of the composite dialogue between them.' He said, 'If Pakistan cannot give up the issue of Kashmir, we also cannot abandon work on the Baglihar project.' 'But since there is an upsurge in the relations of the two countries, there is no reason to believe why the matter will not be resolved,' the Chief Minister stated. He said, 'Not long ago, it was said that the defence budgets of India and Pakistan are determined in each other's capital. A missile for missile, bomb for bomb, tank for tank and bullet for bullet was the order of the day. Our destiny seemed to have bogged down with defence alone as if the two countries were created only to live as hostile and unwilling neighbours. But the two nations are now obviously more confident. Their defence strategies are based as much on computerised war games as on peace initiatives. De-induction of forces rather than the use of jackboot is the ethos of changed times.' He said, 'We have come a full circle in understanding of each other. The Chief Minister said, 'The Central (point) to my optimism is Kashmir. If we ever witness a peace tsunami in South Asia, its epicentre could be no place other than Kashmir. It is this state that is leading the reconciliation process from the front.' While referring to the Uri-Muzaffarabad road, the Chief Minister said, 'The opening of the Muzaffarabad road is the mother of all confidence-building measures (CBMs). While for Kashmiri Muslims, this road would cater primarily to an emotional requirement of the divided families, the opening of the road will become a trend and can open immense possibilities for all regions of the state.' Others who attended function, included former foreign secretary M K Rasgotra, former foreign secretary K Raghunath, Gen (Retd) V P Malik, Kapil Kak, Air Cmde(Retd) Jasjit Singh, former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan G Parthasarathy, Vice Admiral (retd) K K Nayyar, National Security Advisory Board convenor S K Lamba, Balraj Puri, director, Institute for J&K Affairs, Ved Bhasin, chairman of Kashmir Times group, Lt Gen Hari Prasad, Lt Gen Sudhir Sharma, Prof Satish Kumar.