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December 27, 2001
0105 IST

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India to abrogate Indus Waters Treaty

Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi

The Cabinet Committee on Security has decided to take four major steps to hit back at Pakistan for its continuing support of terrorist outfits targeting India, a top official in the prime minister's office told rediff.com

The measures are: significantly cutting down the strength of the Pakistani high commission in New Delhi; withdrawing Islamabad's 'most favoured nation' trade status; abrogating the Indus Waters Treaty and banning overflights by Pakistan International Airways.

"The CCS felt that Pakistan has shown little sensitivity to our concerns about the growing activities of terrorist outfits, notably the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed," the official said.

The meeting presided over by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee felt that India had been pushed to the wall and its patience tested to the extreme, and so the four measures ought to be implemented quickly. The formal announcement has, however, been delayed till Defence Minister George Fernandes returns from Siachen. The CCS is scheduled to meet again on Thursday, December 27, at 1700 IST.

Although India has recalled its high commissioner for Pakistan, Vijay Nambiar, the Pakistanis have not hit back as they would have been expected to, by recalling their envoy in New Delhi, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi. This has strengthened the government's suspicion that a majority of the 110-member Pakistani mission in Delhi comprises intelligence operatives indulging in subversion and espionage. Consequently, indications are that India wants at least a 40 per cent cut in the mission's strength.

The meeting felt that while withdrawing Pakistan's MFN status would hurt India more, it would be a worthwhile move in the national interest and would emphasise New Delhi's extreme annoyance with Islamabad.

India has already expressed regret that despite its demarche to Pakistan seeking action against the LeT and JeM, little has been done by Islamabad, with Islamabad arguing that New Delhi must furnish "concrete proof " of the involvement of these outfits in the December 13 attack on Parliament.

The Indus Waters Treaty was signed in 1960 in Karachi between then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and then president Mohammed Ayub Khan of Pakistan. Under this treaty, the waters of the eastern rivers along the border were allocated to India while those of the western rivers went exclusively to Pakistan. Abrogation of this treaty could cause a lot of problems in Pakistan.

EARLIER REPORT:
Cabinet meeting on security postponed for Fernandes

Complete Coverage: The Attack on Parliament

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