LAHORE Participants of All Parties Conference (APC) held here at Punjab Assembly Thursday, lamented over blocking of three western rivers flow by the neighbouring country, urging the federal government to re-negotiate terms of the 1960 water accord with India. The APC, convened and chaired by Punjab Senior Minister Raja Riaz, who is also holding the charge of provincial irrigation department was organised to review and discuss the water sector issues facing Pakistan and to recommend measures to address the emerging challenges. Provincial chapters of various political parties, minus the PML-N and the PML-Q, attended the moot. A declaration, issued at the end of the conference, accused India of violating the Indus Water Accord of 1960 by not giving the due share of water to Pakistan from western rivers. It also urged revision of the said treaty, as participants view, India was taking undue advantage of the particular provision according to which, it has been allowed to make use of waters of these rivers for the purpose of power generation. The government should make all possible efforts to ensure that Pakistans water rights are not compromised at any cost, the declaration further read. Highlighting the need for construction of new water storages in the country, the APC also resolved that Kalabagh Dam should be constructed, but after evolving consensus among the provinces. The participants viewed that consent of the federating units in this regard was necessary to keep the federation intact. Participants also suggested that holistic measures for water conservation and improved water management should be taken by the government to address the issue. For this purpose, initiatives for canal lining, watercourse improvement, and efficient irrigation systems were proposed to be implemented. The conference also highlighted the imperative requirement of harnessing the potential of renewable / hydel energy in order to sustain and support the growth of economy. Recognising that Pakistan was fast turning into a water-scarce country, the conference stressed the need for developing better understanding among the provinces for water distribution while staying within the ambit of water accord. It was suggested in the end that a similar conference may also be convened at the federal government level besides observing a National Water Day to develop better understanding of the water sector challenges and future strategies. Later, while replying to a question during media briefing, Raja Riaz said that Indus Basin Waters Treaty was unjust and needed to be revisited. He was accompanied by PPP MPA Syed Muhammad Irtaza and other party leaders including Munir Ahmad Khan and Zekria Butt. According to the Treaty, he added, India had only been allowed to use waters of the western rivers for the purpose of electricity generation, but it was misusing this provision by storing water which actually belonged to Pakistan. As Punjab Minister for irrigation, I have serious objections to the treaty, he remarked. When asked whether Kalabagh Dam was a political or technical issue, Raja gave a diplomatic answer by saying: It is both political and technical. He said efforts were underway to develop consensus between Punjab and Sindh about distribution of water.