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India builds dams to stop its share of water flowing into Pakistan-controlled Kashmir

Kashmiri traders participate in a protest against targeting of Kashmiri Muslims in Hindu-majority India, in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir Picture Dar Yasin/AP
By Associated Press Reporter

India has said it is building dams to stop its share of water from flowing into Pakistan-controlled Kashmir as it seeks to punish its neighbour over an attack on paramilitary soldiers that left 40 dead.

Water resources minister Nitin Gadkari said that India will harness its share of unused water from three rivers to help Indian states.

Pakistan, a country of 200 million people with a largely agriculture-based economy, fears that India may tamper with the 1960 Indus Water Treaty, brokered by the World Bank, which calls for the unimpeded flow of three other rivers through Kashmir and further into Pakistan.

The treaty has worked despite three wars between the two countries since 1947.

"Our Govt. has decided to stop our share of water which used to flow to Pakistan. We will divert water from eastern rivers and supply it to our people in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab," Mr Gadkari tweeted.

Public pressure is mounting on the Indian government to consider revoking the water treaty if Pakistan did not accept its demand to stop training and arming insurgent groups fighting for Kashmir's independence or its merger with Pakistan.

Pakistan denies the charge and says it offers only moral and diplomatic support to insurgent groups and accuses India of human rights violations in the Indian portion of Kashmir.

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