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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Can India scrap the Indus Water Treaty? If scrapped, what will be the consequences?

The Indus water treaty signed in 1960 between Jawaharlal Nehru from India and Ayub Khan from Pakistan is one of best water sharing treaties signed between two countries. Recently, after the Uri attack there have been sporadic declarations of scrapping this treaty in order to tighten reins on Pakistan.
Also, the ministry of external affairs has hinted that the continuity of this treaty relies on mutual trust and cooperation between the two nations. Before discussing the possibility of giving up on this treaty, let's see what this treaty is all about.

What are the provisions of this treaty?

This is one of the most generous water sharing treaties ever signed between two countries. It was signed in 1960 between India and Pakistan to end eater wars between the two countries.

The provisions of this treaty provide for the following-

The eastern rivers Satluj, Ravi and Beas would provide water for India.
The western rivers Chenab, Jhelum and Indus would provide water to Pakistan
There are specific dos and don'ts for the Indian side with regard to the usage of dams on the western rivers. Which India follows.

The total effect of this treaty provides that 80 percent of the water is to be used by Pakistan and the rest, a meagre 20 percent for India, despite India being a source for these rivers.

Can we abrogate it? 
 The UN deputy secretary general remarked at the UN meet that this treaty has survived two wars between India and Pakistan making this treaty a success.But the Ministry of external affairs declaration, is there any weight to that? I would say no. 

We do have the capability of stopping water flow to Pakistan because of the presence of all the dams on the rivers. It would be a matter of closing the dam gates to wreck a worse havoc than a nuclear bomb, without using a single bullet. Without water and irrigation facilities the lands of Pakistan would become infertile.

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