IWT Row:US Asks India, Pakistan To Fix Issue Bilaterally

Washington: The US on Wednesday asked India and Pakistan to work together bilaterally to resolve any differences over the key Indus Water Treaty (IWT) while skirting questions whether it would mediate between the two nations to settle the issue.

US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to Pakistani finance minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar over phone on the Indus Water Treaty issue. “I can confirm that he (Kerry) did speak on the 29 December with finance minister Dar. I am not going to read that out in any great detail,” State Department spokesperson John Kirby told reporters at his daily news conference.

“The Indus Waters Treaty has served, as a model for peaceful cooperation between India and Pakistan for now 50 years. We encourage, as we have in the past, India and Pakistan to work together to resolve any differences,” Kirby said.

However, he refused to entertain questions on if the US has offered help to India and Pakistan resolve the issue. “As I said, we encourage India and Pakistan to work together bilaterally to resolve their differences,” he said. “We are in regular communication with the Indian and Pakistani governments on a wide range of issues,” Kirby said.

Earlier, Pakistan had sought support of the US on the implementation of the Indus Waters Treaty with India even as Kerry had called for an amicable settlement of the issue between New Delhi and Islamabad. The development came after Pakistan was irked by the World Bank pause in mediation to resolve differences over construction of two water projects by India.

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