New Delhi, Dec. 14 (ANI): As India and Pakistan are chalking out schedules and modalities for the comprehensive bilateral dialogue, Congress Member of Parliament Ahmed Patel on Monday reminded Prime Minister Narendra Modi of his suggestions on Sir Creek to his predecessor Dr. Manmohan Singh, while hoping that his government would stick to his suggestions during talks.
Patel tweeted: “When Govt discusses Sir Creek, hope it remembers what then CM (Modi) wrote 2 Dr Singh on Guj poll eve. Will govt abide by it?”
He also posted on Twitter a copy of the letter by Prime Minister Modi to Dr Singh on December 12, 2012.
In the letter, Prime Minister Modi, who was then the chief minister of Gujarat, wrote: “I am writing on a serious issue of talks going on Sir Creek being handed over to Pakistan.
“Sir Creek issue has been settled 100 years back between rulers of Kutch and Sindh. Even the tribunal verdict in 1968 headed by the British Prime Minister Harold Wilson shows Pakistan getting only 10 percent of claim of 9,000 sq km of this broader area.
“Handing over Sir Creek to Pakistan will totally open up Gujarat border with Pakistan, and will give them more control over the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the sea. This will be permanent threat to fishermen of Saurashtra and Kutch area and also the vital defence installations and major industrial installations like refineries and ports.
“I am of firm opinion that Kutch, Saurashtra and north Gujarat have vast potential of oil and gas both off shore and on shore. Handing over Sir Creek to Pakistan will endanger our energy security from these potential oil and gas reserves in the future.”
Sir Creek is a 96-km tidal estuary on the India and Pakistan border, which opens up into the Arabian Sea and divides Gujarat from Sindh province.
The dispute goes back to 1908 between the ruler of Kutch and the British authorities in Sindh.
In 1914, the government of Bombay province took up the resolution of the dispute and gave an award, where on the map attached they indicated that the boundary lay along the eastern bank of the creek, called the Green Line, now claimed by Pakistan.
But the actual text of the decision seemed to suggest that the boundary was through the middle of the creek, as per the international law’s ‘Thalweg principle’. (ANI)