Paused Treaty

March 11, 2017 EDITORIAL 209 Views

Indus Water Treaty is once again paused by the interventions, causing much of a strain in the relationship of India and Pakistan. The Indus Waters Treaty is a water-distribution treaty between India and Pakistan, brokered by the World Bank (then the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) The treaty was signed in Karachi on September 19, 1960 by Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and President of Pakistan Ayub Khan. The World Bank has paused the separate processes initiated by India and Pakistan under the Indus Waters Treaty to allow the two countries to consider alternative ways to resolve their disagreements. This comes after the cropping up of the new differences between the neighbours over sharing of water under the Treaty. In a recent speech, Modi had said the waters of Sutlej, Beas and Ravi rivers that rightfully belong to India will be stopped from going waste in Pakistan and he will ensure that farmers here utilise it. “Now every drop of this water will be stopped and I will give that to farmers of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir and Indian farmers. I am committed to this,” he said addressing a rally at Bathinda. Earlier also. Modi had said that “the blood and water cannot flow together,” and even threatened to stop the entire water from J&K’s three rivers from flowing into Pakistan and ensure all the water that India was entitled to use from the rivers under the treaty was used. This may appear impossible but this is one of the retaliatory actions being contemplated in India after the alleged Pakistan-sponsored terrorist attack on an Indian Army camp in Kashmir which killed nineteen soldiers. The attack brought the World Bank brokered 1960 Treaty between the two nations under serious stress. India’s ministry of external affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that in the absence of the mutual trust and cooperation, the Treaty “can’t be a one-sided affair”. According to the Treaty, India got control over three eastern rivers – the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej – while as the waters of the three western rivers – Indus, Jhelum, Chenab – which also originate from India were to be allowed to flow to Pakistan with India entitled to use some of the water for irrigation and run-of-the-mill hydro-electric power stations. But with India threatening to review it, the issue assumed far larger dimensions with experts warning about its geo-political implications in a region in the throes of a new Great Game between global powers. Should India set this precedent, many experts argue even China, Pakistan’s ally, which has upper riparian rights over river Brahamaputra can withhold its flow into in North-East India by diverting it for its own use. Now the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim wants the two countries “to begin to resolve the issue in an amicable manner and in line with the spirit of the treaty rather than pursuing concurrent processes that could make the treaty unworkable over time”.

Related articles