Taking on Islamabad on the issue of river water sharing and tension along the border, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that he was determined to stop the flow of water into Pakistan and supply it for farmers in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.
“The water on which India has its right is flowing into Pakistan. I am committed to stop that water and bring it for our farmers in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of India,” Modi told a public rally near Bathinda town after laying the foundation stone of an AIIMS.
Expressing his surprise that the water sharing issue had not been addressed by previous Indian governments, Modi said: “The governments slept in Delhi in the past. Our farmers kept crying and the water kept going to Pakistan. We will fight for the rights of our farmers.
“The Indus water treaty, Sutlej, Beas, Ravi – the water of all three rivers, over which our farmers have their right, is not available to them. The water of these rivers is the right of India and our farmers. This water is passing through Pakistan into the sea. Neither Pakistan uses it nor our farmers can use it.
“I am moving ahead with conviction on this and have set up a task force on Indus Water Treaty,” Modi said.
Modi, while pointing out that he was standing close to the border with Pakistan and wanted to address the people of Pakistan, said people in the neighbouring country should force their rulers to fight against poverty and corruption instead of fighting with India.
“Look at the strength of our Army. Our soldiers did a surgical strike in a 250-km belt. Pakistan Army has seen what our Army can do. There was big turmoil (in Pakistan) and it is still not settled.
“Standing close to the Pakistan border, I want to address people in Pakistan.
“If schoolchildren are killed in Pakistan, 125 crore Indians cry for them. I want to urge the people of Pakistan to force their rulers that if they have to fight, they should fight against poverty, corruption and other evils,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister said vested interests in Pakistan were trying to keep “tension alive with India”.
Referring to the campaign launched by his government against corruption and black money, Modi said: “I want to stop the exploitation of the middle class and get the poor their rights.”
He said the public had faced problems and inconvenience following his decision to demonetise the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes. He said people had borne the trouble for the sake of honesty.
The Prime Minister urged people not to let the black money holders to rise again. “Join us in this campaign to make this country great again,” he added.