मंगळवार, २० एप्रिल, २०१०

Academic Study of Indus Water Treaty and it's Impact



The river Indus was the cradle of the great Indus valley civilization of the ancient world. Historically, India has been named after this great river-Indus.The river valley and its plain had the potential to produce a large surplus because of the fertility of the soil inundated by the annual flood and the easy availability of water for irrigating the field. The surplus production on a regular basis led to the sustenance of non-agrarian specialists like artisans, traders and rulers, who controlled and redistributed the surplus. They all lived in an area, which was away (not far enough) from the agricultural field, gradually leading to urbanization. Historically, even after the decline of the Indus civilization, the region witnessed the emergence of the great empires of the Bactrian Greeks, the Parthians, the Turks, the Mongols, the Mughals and the British.

However, one of the common features throughout was a somewhat solo political authority in the region. The river Indus hardly became a contentious issue even under the circumstances of flanking tribal conflicts. The simple reason was that river water remained a common property, away from any cetralised political control.


The north-western part of the Indian subcontinent is dominated by the


Indus River and its system of upper tributaries (collectively referred to as Indus River System in this article.) Originating 17,000 feet (518 m) above sea level in a spring near Lake Manasarovar at Mt. Kailash [i], the Indus river along with theBrahmaputra [ii], Sutlej , and Karnali rivers are fed by massive Tibetan glacial waters to become a mighty river with further feeds from other glacial catchment areas in Karakoram and Zanskar ranges. The Indus then traverses a distance of 1800 miles (2900 km) through Tibet, India, Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), and Pakistan before draining into the Arabian Sea south of Karachi. On its way, it is further enriched by the waters of several tributaries, the most important and discussed in this article are Beas , Sutlej , Ravi , Chenab and Jhelum rivers. The western tributaries of the Indus that include the Swat, Kurram, Gomal, Kohat, Zoab and Kabul are not discussed herein.
The great Indus river is 2900 Kms. long and the length of its tributaries as mentioned above is 5600 Kms. 4 The river has been variously known as the Sengge[2] or Lion River by the Tibetans[iii],Abbasseen or Father of Rivers by the Pathans of present NWFP Pakistan, and Mitho Dariyo or Sweet River by the denizens of the arid Sindh.

Chenab : This 675 mile (1086 km) long river originates in the Kulu and Kangra districts of Himachal Pradesh and is fed by the tributaries Chandra and Bagha as it enters J&K near Kishtwar. After cutting across the Pir Panjal range, it enters the Sialkot district inPakistan that built the Marala barrage across the river in 1968 with a maximum discharge of 1.1 million cusecs.

Jhelum & Kishenganga (Neelum): The Kishenganga river rises in the mountain complex west of Dras and south of Deosai plateau and is fed by a number of tiny tributaries and merges with Jhelum near Muzaffarabad in PoK. The Jhelum itself originates in the foothills of Pir Panjal near Verinag and flows through the four major cities of Anantnag, Srinagar , Sopore and Baramulla. Some important tributaries of the Jhelum are Lidar, Sind and Vishav.

Sutlej : The longest of the five tributaries, the Sutlej originates near Mt. Kailash along with the Indus and runs a course of 964 miles (1550 km) through the Panjal and Siwalik mountain ranges and enters Pakistan through the plains of Indian Punjab. The huge 740 feet (225 m) high Bhakra Dam, which Nehru called “the new temple of resurgent India ,” is also situated on this river. These eastern tributaries of the Indus known as Panjand combine at Mithan Kot.

Ravi : This 475 mile (764 km) long river rises in Himachal Pradesh and runs a course of 102 miles (164 km) before joining Chenab in Pakistan after flowing past Lahore . The Thien Dam (Ranjit Sagar Dam) is located on this river at the tri-section of Punjab , Himachal Pradesh and J&K States and feeds the Upper Bari Doab Canal (UBDC) which irrigates Northwestern Punjab .

Beas : This 290 mile (467 km) long river originates near Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh and flows through Kulu Valley and the Siwalik Range . The Pandoh Dam is situated on this and diverts water to Sutlej through the Beas-Sutlej link.

Indus international river basin is the largest, contiguous irrigation system in the world, with a command area of about 20 million hectares and annual irrigation capacity of over 12 million hectares.The Indus Delta covers an area of some 5,000 km2, of which 2,000 km2 is a protected area. The fan-shaped Delta is the sixth largest in the world and supports a population of over 130,000 people, whose livelihoods are directly or indirectly dependent on the Indus River.

According to a study made in Pakistan, the Indus river carries about 144 billion cubic yards, which is more is more than half of the total supply of water in the Indus River system."

Whereas the Jhelum and Chenab combined carry roughly one-fourth, the Ravi, Beas and the Sutlej combined constitute the remainder of the total supply of the system that is nearly one-four

Average annual flow of the rivers of Indus system.

Eastern Rivers

Western Rivers

Total

41 BCM ( 33 MAF )

166 BCM ( 135 MAF )

207 BCM ( 168 MAF )

British colonial rule

It was first of all under the British colonial rule that a background was prepared for future tensions in the region for the control of water flowing from the river Indus. They began huge water projects and incorporated many of the tributaries of the Indus into an integrated basin-wide management system. A network of large and small canals connecting one branch of the river to another, were built after 1859.

Partition and its aftermath

Immediate aftermath of the partition of the Indian sub-continent and the creation of two Dominions of India and Pakistan in 1947 was that bulk of the irrigation canals developed on the Indus system went to Pakistan. Out of 26 million acres of land irrigated annually by the Indus canals, 21 million acres lay in Pakistan and only 5 million acres in India. As per the 1941 census, the population dependent on the Indus system waters was 25 million in Pakistan and 21 million in India. Besides, India had "another 35 million acres of lands crying out for irrigation from the Indus basin sources". Thus the partition gave independent India much less undeveloped area inspite of the fact that it was an upsteam country with control over Ravi, Beas, Sutlej, Jhelum and Chenab. India had not only to cater to the food requirements of 21 million people but also those millions who migrated from irrigated areas in West Punjab and Bahawalpur, now in Pakistan, all of whom were dependent on the Indus waters.

The dispute over sharing of Indus waters came to fore immediately after partition. In order to maintain and run the existing systems as before partition, two Standstill Agreements were signed on 20 December 1947 by the Chief Engineers of East Punjab and West Punjab. These interim arrangements were to expire on 31 st March 1948, after which East Punjab started asserting its rights on its waters. It was on 1 April 1948 that the East Punjab Government in control of the head works at Madhopur on the Ravi and at Ferozpur on the Sutlej, cut off water supplies to the canals in Pakistan fed by these head works, after the Standstill agreements expired on 31 March 1948.

In fact, East Punjab had formally notified West Punjab on 29 March 1948 that the 'Standstill Agreements' would expire on 31st March, and had accordingly invited the Chief Engineers of West Punjab to Shimla for negotiating an agreement of resumption water supplies.

According to Rushbrook Williams, the water supplies were cut because "the canal colonies in Pakistan served by these head works did not pay the standard water dues. The people incharge of the head works were applying exactly the same kind of sanction that they would have applied in undivided India - no canal dues, no water."

The Chief Engineers of the two Punjabs met in Shimla and on 18 April 1948 concluded two agreements which were to take effect from the date of their ratification by the Dominions of India and Pakistan.

Finally at the inter- Dominion Conference on 3 May 1948 at Delhi the matter came up for discussion. It was on 4 May 1948 that an agreement was reached after a meeting at Nehru's instance between the Indian Prime Minister and Pakistan's Finance Minister, Ghulam Mohd.

By the Delhi Agreement of 4 May 1948, East Punjab agreed not to withhold water from West Punjab without giving the latter time to tap alternative sources. On its part West Punjab recognized "the natural anxiety of the East Punjab.” As regards the payment of seigniorage charges to East Punjab, the West Punjab government agreed to deposit immediately in the Reserve Bank of India." It may be pointed out that the British Province of Punjab recovered, before partition, from Bikaner State seigniorage charges for the supply of water to the State in addition to proportionate maintenance costs etc. of the Ferozepore headworks and of the feeder canal. East Punjab now wanted to recover a similar charge for water supplied to West Punjab.

Though this agreement was not final, it did provide some basis for dealing with the vexed problem. But soon it was found that Pakistan was unwilling to stick to the agreement, as it was seeking to use the Indus water dispute as a political tool in the battle over Kashmir being fought at the United Nations. Pakistan also sought to create anti-India hysteria in Pakistan over this issue. As such Pakistan unilaterally abrogated the May 1948 Agreement saying that it was signed "under duress".Besides, Pakistan refused to pay the dues to India even after a year of the agreement.Pakistan now asked for a reference to the International Court of Justice for final verdict, which was objected to by India. Pakistani media and politicians launched a campaign over the issue of canal waters dispute to create a scenario of serious crisis in Indo-Pakistani relations. All along Pakistan's policy was to seek third party

The Lilienthal Proposal

It was in this atmosphere of mutual distrust and contrived tensions, that David E. Lilienthal, formerly Chairman of the Tenessess Valley Authority and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission visited India and Pakistan in February 1951 on a supposedly private visit.

Before embarking upon this visit Lilienthal had met the then U.S. President Truman, the U.S. Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, Pakistan's Foreign Minister, M. Zafrulla Khan and Secretary General of Pakistan's Delegation to the U.N., Muhammad Ali.

While in India, Lilienthal was guest of Prime Minister Nehru and he also held talks with Sheikh Abdullah on Kashmir. In Pakistan, Lilienthal discussed with Prime Minster Liaquat Ali Khan, Kashmir and the "economic warfare" between India and Pakistan. Liaquat Ali was reported to have told Lilienthal that "unless the Kashmir issue is settled it is unreal to try to settle the issue about water or about evacuees".

On his return to America, Lilienthal wrote an article titled Another "Korea" in the Making analysing the Indo-Pakistani relations. He prefaced his article with a loaded comment : "India and Pakistan are on the edge of war over which shall possess Kashmir - a fight the U.S. might be forced to enter....

The direct issue is whether the historic region of Kashmir and Jammu shall be part of India or Pakistan. On one of this disputed region's frontiers lies Red China, on another Red Tibet. Along another frontier is Soviet Russia".

Explaining the importance of the Indus waters for ensuring food security to millions of people in India and Pakistan, Lilienthal proposed that the canal waters dispute could be solved by India and Pakistan by working out a program jointly to develop and operate the Indus basin river system. He wrote : "Jointly financed perhaps with World Bank help an Indus Engineering Corporation, with representation by technical men of India, Pakistan and the World Bank, can readily work out an operating scheme for storing water wherever dams can best store it, and for diverting and distributing water".

Lilienthal, who appeared to be concerned about the presence of Communist China and Soviet Union on the borders of Kashmir, was hoping to become the head of the proposed Indus Engineering Corporation.

Whereas Lilienthal sent copies of his article to the Indian Ambassador and the Pakistani Counsel on the water dispute, he also persued the proposal with the U.S. State Department.

World Bank Initiative

Interestingly around the same time, Eugene R. Black, then President of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Washington World Bank and a close friend of David Lilienthal became interested in the Lilienthal proposal.

In September 1951, World Bank formally offered its good offices to both India and Pakistan to work out a solution of the Indus waters issue on the basis of Lilienthal proposals.

The World Bank offer was conditioned by the 'essential principle' that "the problem of development and use of Indus Basin water resources should be solved on a functional and not a political plan without relations to past negotiations and past claims, and independently of political issues".

Both countries accepted the suggestion after the World Bank President, Eugene Black personally net both the Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers. By May 1952 the first of the long series of conferences opened at Washington which were continued at Karachi and Delhi. But it soon became clear that Lilienthal's proposal of a joint Indus Engineering Corporation could not be realised. Instead it was found necessary to replace the existing supplies from alternative sources. So in February 1954 the World Bank officals proposed to India and Pakistan, the division of rivers.

"The three eastern rivers Ravi, Beas and Sutlej would be available for the exclusive use and benefit of India, after a specified transitionary period. The Western rivers Indus, Jhelum and Chenab would be available for the exclusive use and benefit of Pakistan, except for the insignificant volume of Jhelum flow presently used in Kashmir... Each country would construct the works located on its own territories which are planned for the development of the supplies. The costs of such works would be borne by the country to be benefitted thereby".

Whereas India accepted the World Bank proposals, inspite of its sacrifices, Pakistan vacillated and accepted 'in principle' only after the Bank pressed her for a reply. In his letter of 22 March 1954 to the World Bank President, Prime Minister of India while conveying his general acceptance to the principles governing the Bank proposals as the basis of agreement stressed that : "the actual agreement which would be worked out with the assistance of the Bank authorities will naturally deal with number of details including the question of the small requirements of Jammu and Kashmir."

On the other hand, Pakistan continued to ask for clarification of details and further technical studies, thereby taking several years in the negotiations.

India's acceptance of the World bank proposals was based on the hope that in five years' time India would be able to make use of the waters of the eastern rivers. This was, however, frustrated by Pakistani procrastination. Pakistan was seeking a comprehensive replacement-cum-development programme in Pakistan involving high investment of about 1.12 billion US dollars.

World bank’s Financial plan

And in 1959 the World Bank USA and certain western countries became ready to foot the bill for this huge construction programme in Pakistan, so that the vexed canal waters dispute between India and Pakistan could be solved.

It was on 1 March 1960 that the World Bank made a public announcement of the financial plan it had evolved for the replacement and development works of the Indus system. It was estimated to cost about 1000 million dollars partly in foreign exchange and partly in local currencies. The Bank announced that the requisite expenditure would be contributed by Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Germany, United Kingdom, United States, the World Bank besides the contributions by India and Pakistan.

Ironically as it may sound, the bulk of this financial plan was meant to be spent in Pakistan 691 million dollars out of 747 millions of grants and loans with India getting only 56 million dollars as loan for the Beas Dam, as against Pakistan getting all her development underwritten by the Bank's financial plan. Besides, the World Bank press release did not mention about the additional U.S. grant of 235 million dollars in local currency.

Yet, India stuck to its commitment to conclude the Indus Waters Treaty based on the World Bank proposals. And the Treaty was duly signed on 19 September 1960 at Karachi by Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India, President Ayub Khan of Pakistan and W.A.B. Iliff of the World Bank.
The Treaty

The main features of the Treaty are as follows :


(i) The waters of the three eastern rivers - the Ravi, the Beas and the Sutlej - would be available for unrestricted use by India, after a transition period.

(ii) The waters of the three western rivers-the Indus, the Jhelum and the Chenab - would be allowed to flow for unrestricted use by Pakistan except for some limited use such as a domestic use, b non-consumptive use, c agricultural use, d generation of hydro-electric power run-of-river-plants in Kashmir.

India 's Irrigation Entitlement on Western Rivers

The Indus

Jhelum

Chenab

Total

70,000

400,000

231,000

701,000

India 's Entitlement for "other" Storages

River Name

General Storage (MAF)

Power Storage (MAF)

Flood Storage (MAF)

Indus

0.25

0.15

Nil

Jhelum (ExcludingJhelum Main )

0.50

0.25

0.75

Jhelum Main

Nil

Nil

As in Paragraph 9, Annexure E

Chenab (ExcludingChenab Main )

0.50

0.60

Nil

Chenab Main

Nil

0.60

Nil

The treaty does not provide an exit clause for India per se. Article 54 of Protocol I

(1977) to the Geneva Convention (1949) prohibits any measures that could result in the starvation of people. It specifically refers to water resources and irrigation works.

Abrogation is bound to incite reactions from the World Bank and the countries that

were party to the treaty and have provided funds.

Why India had Sign it?

The Indus Treaty was signed by Nehru in the fervent hope of ushering all round improvement in India-Pakistan relations and resolution of all outstanding problems including Kashmir.

Perhaps Nehru was impressed by Ayub's offer of joint defence with India made in early 1959 in the wake of deteriorating India-China relations.

Although India did not accept the concept of joint defence, it sought to improve relations with Pakistan by agreeing to substantially pay for the cost of irrigation programme in Pakistan, besides surrendering the use of three western rivers. India treated the Indus waters issue as a technical and engineering problem.

Nehru went to Karachi on 19 September 1960 to sign the Treaty hoping to begin a new chapter in the history of Indo-Pak relations.

As such Nehru's assertion in the Lok Sabha on 30 November 1960 that "we purchased a settlement, if you like; we purchased peace to that extent and it is good for both countries",was not borne out by the subsequent events.

U.N,World bank,U.S. and other countries pressure as Pakistan being a member of SEATO and CENTO, which made him susceptible to western prescriptions for regional peace and cooperation.

That Nehru himself had realised this soon after, is confirmed by N.D. Gulhati, who led the Indian delegation during the negotiations over Indus. Gulhati recalls : "When I called on the Prime Minister on 28th February 1961, my last day in office, in a sad tone he said, 'Gulhati, I had hoped that this agreement would open the way to settlement on other problems, but we are where we were".

Why world bank and US supported...

Pakistan was member of SEATO and CENTO .

At that time the U.S. and its friendly western nations viewed the Communist Block - USSR and China, as a greater threat.

Pakistan succeeded in extracting huge financial assistance of about one billion dollars from the World Bank, USA and other western countries, using the geopolitical environment in the region to its advantage.

The manner in which the Treaty was negotiated and concluded, lends and impression of external pressure group network exerting their influence since huge investments were involved in the construction of big dams and canals. It is a reflection on the functioning of the World Bank which was influenced by the Cold War politics in the region and by the interested construction lobbies.

Questions come in mind.....

In retrospect, it can he stated that India was too generous to Pakistan, both in terms of allowing use of waters of western rivers and by making payment of more than 62 million Pounds Sterlingi.e. about 430 crores of rupees in current value to Pakistan. It is also surprising as to why World Bank advanced such disproportionate proposals to India,"particularly when the eastern rivers given to India carried 20 to 25 percent of the total flow of the Indus Basin as against the 75 to 80 percent in the three western rivers allocated to Pakistan".

Out of the total annual flow of 168.4 million acre feet m.a.f of water in the Indus system of rivers, the total requirement for irrigation water was 96.36 m.a.f. for the entire cultivable area of the Indus basin, thereby leaving a surplus of 72.02 m.a.f. of water which would be going to the sea.

Since the cultivable area on the three eastern rivers was 22.856 million acres, little less than on the western rivers 25.100 million acres, the mean annual supplies made available by the eastern rivers was only 32.8 m.a.f., that is 13.57 m.a.f. less than the actual water requirement of 46.37 m.a.f. In quite contrast to this, the mean annual flow in western rivers was 135.6 m.a.f., i.e. 85.59 m.a.f. more than its requirement of only 50.01 m.a.f. of water. It is quite intriguing as to why the Indian government delegation involved in the prolonged negotiations over Indus waters, agreed to much lower share of water available in the eastern rivers, particularly when the concerned officials were in know of the facts.

However, it appears that the Jammu and Kashmir government, particularly its irrigation and power development departments, had not done their homework to study and quantify the existing and future water requirements for irrigation, hydel power generation and other uses inside Jammu and Kashmir.

As such the Indian delegation failed to secure the necessary safeguards in the Treaty for future consumption of water for hydel power purposes, excepting by run-of-the-river methods. Gulhati himself admits that "since no study had ever been made until then, of the development locally possible, above the rim stations, none of us had, at that time, any real idea of the quantum of future developments in the upper reaches of the Western Rivers. Nor did we have any idea of the irrigation from the Indus in Ladakh. As regards hydro-electric development we felt that, being a non-consumptive use, it was not covered by the Bank proposal which dealt only with irrigation uses".Moreover, it is not the number of rivers but quantum of water which was to be distributed. Besides, the World Bank did not include the Kabul river while dividing the six rivers among the two countries.

If we consider the internationally accepted Helsinki Rules framed by the International Law Association which postulate the equitable utilisation of waters of an international drainage basin taking into consideration various factors such as the extent of the drainage area, hydrology of the basin, economic and social needs of each basin state, population dependent on the waters of the basin, then India did not get a fair deal.

According to S.K. Garg, who has computed the respective entitlement of India and Pakistan on the basis of the population, drainage areas, length of rivers and culturable area, India should have been given 42.8% share in the waters of the Indus Basin, as against the actual allocation of 20 to 25%, flowing in the three eastern rivers.

Impact on Jammu and Kashmir

The treaty which was carried out in the best interest of nation has, however, deprived the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) state to use its own water resources and thereby severely affected the development process of the state.

The state’s rightful riparian rights have been snatched in the so-called national interest and to benefit Punjab and that too without the state being consulted at the time of treaty or even compensated for the consequent consistent loss.

A report by IWMI-Tata Water Policy Programme has revealed that the Indus Water Treaty signed by India and Pakistan in 1960 has put Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) behind by an estimated Rs 6,500 crore annually.

The report also says that J&K’s power generation and agriculture potential has been badly hit by the treaty.

Under the treaty, J&K can use only limited waters of the Chenab and Jhelum for power generation and lift irrigation. It cannot built reservoirs or dams on these rivers without prior approval of Pakistan. Nor can it construct any barrage for irrigation.

The Irrigation and Flood Control Department of the state has proposed 12 new irrigation schemes for Baramulla, Kupwara, Anantnag and Budgam districts on the various streams which are awaiting approval.

Shaheen observes that the food grain import graph of J&K shows a sharp increase in overall imports. J&K, according to his estimates, could have increased its area under irrigation by one lakh acres had the state had the freedom to harness its available water resourcesThe IWMI report suggests, “One way to compensate J&K for the losses could be a favourable sharing ratio for power generated from centrally funded projects in the state.”

According to the IPS News Agency, economic development in Kashimir was hindered because only 40% of the cultivatable land can be irrigated. Moreover, there is still 25% of Kashmiris living without electricity and 55% living without safe drinking.

The state’s agricultural potential has also been worst hit. While in 1950-51, the state could irrigate 1.56 lakh hectares under rice cultivation, today after more than half a century, the irrigation potential has risen by an unremarkable 74 thousand hectare to 2.20 lakh hectares. Similarly, the irrigation for the area under other crops which was about 0.07 hectare in 1950-51 has come down to 0.01 hectare. There has been only a marginal increase in the irrigation infrastructure. In 1950-51, the state could irrigate 244 thousand hectare through canals, 3000 hectare by tanks, 3000 be wells and 11,000 hectares by other sources. But in 2000-01, the state irrigates only 284.25 thousand hectare by canals, 2.57 thousand by tanks, 1.42 thousand by wells and 17.73 thousand hectares by other sources.

As a result, the state has now rationed population of 86.14 lakh people dependant on the supply by the consumer affairs and public distribution department which procuress the rice from outside the state. Besides this, a good percentage of population also purchases rice from private dealers, which forms the staple food of the region.

The yield of saffron, the major and exclusive cash crop of the state, that was 2.8 to 3 kg per hectare in early nineties dipped to as low as 500 gm over the past five years. Due to the consequent non-availability of the commodity, it was the cheaper Iranian saffron which claimed the market. Besides, the absence of precipitation also brought pests and diseases to the cultivated fields.

As a result, the government has had to shell out Rs 40 crore a month to make purchases under public distribution system from Food Corporation of India (FCI). The foodgrain imports graph of J&K state shows a sharp increase in the overall imports.

Interestingly, the productivity level of paddy, at about 40 quintals per hectare in Kashmir valley is the highest in the country.

Hydel power potential

State government's official estimates put the total hydel power potential of the State at 15,000 MW, the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy CMIE has reported it to be at 7487 MW which constitutes about 9 per cent of the total hydel power potential of the country.The state government has to bank on more power imports from the Northern Grid and till date the arrears have touched over Rs 1600 crore. And whenever the state is in a position to meet at least 80 per cent of the demand during spring season when the rivers remain gushing, it exports power to reduce the size of the arrears. This question has assumed significance following enormous difficulties being faced by one crore people and several thousand industrialists in the state owing to acute electricity crisis. The power shortage has been an old phenomenon, but during the past four years the state government has been forced to resort to 11 to 14 hour power shedding.

Since the Treaty has placed curbs on the construction of storage reservoirs which could ensure the provision of requisite water flow, all power projects in the State are to be run-of-the-river type. This not only raises the construction cost of the projects but also affects adversely the cost-effectiveness of power generation from these projects. Cost of run-of-the-river projects using small head fall is reported to be about 75 per cent higher than hydel projects using high head fall. Thus "the generating capacity of all run-of-the-river projects falls by about 65 to 75 per cent during winter because the water level in different rivers gets depleted substantially." These high cost hydel projects generate electricity much below their installed capacity. For instance, run-of-the-river Uri Hydel Project built at a cost of more than 800 million US dollars has been producing maximum of only 200 MW in winter as against the 480 MW installed capacity.

As such the J&K State is unable to meet its demand of about 700 MWs, even after it has been importing 230 MWs of power from the northern grid. The State accounts for only 0.9 per cent of the hydel power generated in the country.

The shortage of power in the State has not only been causing problems for domestic consumption, but has also been inhibiting the growth of industry and agriculture. During the past forty years, since the Indus Treaty was signed, there has been sizeable increase in the State's population and standards of living. Simultaneously, the State has witnessed a big leap in demand for electricity. As such there have been fundamental changes in the ground situation, so far as the actual power requirement of the State for domestic, agricultural and industrial uses, is concerned.

Chenab river originates in Indian province of Himachal Pradesh. It begins its 700 Km journey as two small rivers, Chandra and Bhaga from Baralaha Pass in Lahul Spiti district. They rejoin about 70 Km later and become Chanderbhaga. This river crosses another district of Himachal Pradesh i.e. Chamba through the Pangi Valley region and enters Kashmir at its eastern end. In its 150 Km journey above, the river gathers more water and becomes a full-fledged river. Before it reaches Kashmir it has already collected 60% of its total water flow and dropped in elevation from about 13000 feet to about 9,000 feet. In Kashmir, this river in its another 220 Km journey collects the remaining 40% water and drops another 7,000 feet elevation before it enters Sialkote area of Pakistan near Akhnur.

The above elevation drop, which the river undergoes in Kashmir, is of greatest importance to India. This together with volume of water is a huge energy reserve, which needs to be tapped. Hence India has planned no less than twenty small and large projects of which Baglihar, Dul Hasti, Salal etc. are the big one. Most of these projects are in the middle of construction or nearing completion. With the completion of the above projects, Kashmir will be significantly ahead in meeting its current and future energy needs.

Baglihar Dam

Pakistan had created a controversy over the construction of the Baglihar Dam on the Chenab river. The Rs.4000 crore Baglihar Dam project is being constructed by the Jammu and Kashmir government since the year 2000, and over Rs. 2500 crore have already been spent.

This hydel project which has an installed capacity of 450 MW and is expected to be completed by the year 2007 will go a long way in alleviating the problem of power shortage in Jammu and Kashmir. Though the Baglihar project is "run-of-the river project as provided under the Indus Waters Treaty,

Pakistan sought to scuttle this project by creating a controversy over its design, pondage, height of the dam and spillways,."

Pakistan disputed the Indian contention that Bagilhar project was a run of the river project and that the storage called pondage was necessary to meet the fluctuations in the discharge of the turbines and claimed that the water will ultimately go to Pakistan. Since talks over a long period remained unsuccessful, the World Bank intervened though it made it clear that it was not a guarantor of the treaty.

A neutral expert was appointed by the World Bank. The neutral expert Professor Lafitte of Switzerland while delivering the verdict, rejected most of Pakistan’s objections but did call for minor design changes including the reduction of the dam’s height by 1.5 metres. The expert did not object to the right of India to construct dams for storage purposes purely for technical reasons for the efficiency of the turbines and did not even call the project as a dispute between the two countries but as “differences.”

Tulbul Navigation Project

Similarly, work on the construction of Tulbul Navigation Project started by the J&K government in 1984 in order to raise the level of water in the Wullar lake for facilitating transport on the river Jhelum, was stopped in 1988 after India accepted Benazir Bhutto's demands and stopped construction work at the Tulbul project.

Despite several rounds of talks held with Pakistan during the past 17 years, the issue remains unresolved. Whereas the Tulbul Project would not diminish or change the flow of water to Pakistan, it would keep the Jhelum river navigable for a considerable stretch thereby bringing economic benefits to the people in the valley.

This project could provide a cheap mode of transport to the fruit growers in north Kashmir and thus transform the region's economy.

The existing dam in the Salal project is full of silt upto three fourths of its 400 feet height, which needs to flushed out urgently in order to let the project run. India had earlier agreed to Pakistan-dictated terms on the Salal project, which led to very high siltation levels affecting power generation sharply.

Various water bodies particularly the famous Dal lake, Wullar lake and other aquatic systems have shrunk, thereby causing alarm.

Timber losses

Yet another associated problem has been the revenue loss of millions of rupees to the J&K State, as a result of the floating of timber logs from Jhelum and Chenab across the LoC into Pak-occupied Kashmir. This author learnt from some responsible officials of some insurance companies operating in J&K State, that the local timber merchants have been claiming millions of rupees of insurance compensation on lieu their timber losses on this account.

Drinking water

Despite being endowed with plentiful water resources, Srinagar has experienced 19 droughts extending over four to six consecutive months in a cycle of 72 years. The Kashmir Valley alone


The acute water crisis in the Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir has added to the worries of local residents, who have been forced to face numerous problems due to it.

More than sixteen villages of the district are facing problem due to the acute shortage of water in the area.

The villagers are the major sufferer, as they have to walk for around 3 Kilometers one side to fetch water for their daily chores. Women folk, children have to stand in lines for several hours to cumulate water.

Villagers have no other alternatives because there is no other source of water around 10 kilometers adjoining the village.

Villagers have even adopted different measures to preserve rainwater and in adverse conditions they even use this water for drinking purpose. Villagers have to buy water at the rate of Rs 50 for 40 litres.

Global warming has resulted in delay of monsoon, which has further dried up of major natural sources of water like the rivers, streams and ground water sources like hand pumps. Consequently, the harried locals are lamenting at the limited water supply.

Villagers complained that it is not a new problem for them and they have been facing this problem from the last 15 years.

What JK people think about the Indus water treaty...

On 3 April 2002, the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, cutting across party affiliations, called for a review of the Treaty. Speakers who denounced the Treaty ranged from the National Conference's G. M. Bawan to the Bhartiya Janata Party's Shiv Charan Gupta and Communist Party of India Marxist leader Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami.

The State government has been contending that in spite of having an untapped hydro-electric potential of 15,000 MW, the State has been suffering from acute power deficiency due to restrictions put on the use of its rivers by the Indus Treaty.

And when the State Chief Minister, or his officials point to the losses accrued to the State by virtue of this Treaty, they are not indulging in any rhetoric. In fact their views that the requirements of the J&K State were not taken into account while negotiating the Treaty with Pakistan are shared largely by the intellectual, media and public circles in Jammu and Kashmir.

Not only that, some people even stretch it further suggesting that the central government has been insensitive to the State's problems. Pakistan's action is seen to be obstructing the agro- economic development of Jammu and Kashmir State.

The State Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Syed and other political leaders have appealed to Pakistan to facilitate the economic growth of Jammu and Kashmir by not raising objections to hydro power projects in the state under the Indus Treaty provisions.

Over the last few years, the state government of Jammu & Kashmir and industrial groups in the state have been demanding compensation from the central government for the losses incurred by the state because of the Indus Water Treaty.

Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain

Shall the state seek abrogation of IWT? Seeking abrogation can be a good political

slogan but it will not work. It is as good as seeking independence. Well known political commentator, Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain, in one of his articles in Greater Kashmir writes: “State administration and those who moan the negative impact of Indus water treaty can better serve people of Kashmir by looking for protection of Kashmir interests within the ambit of the treaty rather than dreaming beyond it.

Jammu and Kashmir must pursue for its share within what India has got out of this treaty. India has managed to get exclusive rights over waters of Satluj, Beas and Ravi where as J&K has lost its capability of exploiting waters of Chenab and Jhelum. State of Jammu and Kashmir has not been compensated for the benefits which Punjab ,Haryana and Rajasthan got out of this treaty. Infact whole of the green revolution in India is indebted to Indus water treaty. This seems to be the only positive impact of occupation of Kashmir in favour of India.

There has been a lot of talk about monetary compensation but such compensation is unlikely to benefit masses. Most of the money if secured will go waste the way other financial investments in J&K have been going. Whatever aid and grant the state has been receiving from centre has gone into the pockets of so many Chotalas of Kashmiri establishment.

Jammu and Kashmir is recipient 20% waters of Ravi. If we ask for exclusive rights over waters of Ravi as a compensation for losses that occurred to the state as a result of Indus Water Treaty, it can be a worthwhile and sustainable compensation. Ravi constitutes the border between Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.

Exclusive right of utilisation of its water will in great way enhance water resources of the state. Apart from utilizing these waters for electricity generation they can help in complete transformation of Kathua and Jammu districts in terms of agricultural production.”

Shaiq Nazir, a Kashmiri journalist and writer based in Srinagar.

India and Pakistan have fought wars, questioned each others positions, spread discontent in each others countries and yet they have one thing common - their collective desire to exploit Kashmir’s natural resources mainly water. Despite the bonhomie between the warring neighbours, it is feared that India & Pakistan are going to be more rigid on their position vis-à-vis Kashmir.


The reason is simple: they may be insecure about their water needs more than ever and obviously won’t like to be exposed for one more moral crime they have committed against Kashmir in the form of Indus Water treaty of 1960.

The questions both the countries have to answer are: How could they treat Punjab and J&K on the same lines? While Punjab had an international border marked and was out of any disputes between the two, Kashmir’s future was as uncertain in 1960 as it is in 2006.

Also who represented Kashmir then at the table? What was the locus standi of the two countries to abuse waters of a region that had independent identity till 1947 and on which they disputed each other’s claim afterwards?

The fact is that Kashmiris were taken as for-granted then as they are taken now. Hence both the countries could divide waters of the region, which both had subjugated and colonized jointly.

Despite all this, it was never ensured that development in J&K remains in tune with Punjab and other regions that reaped (raped) the benefits of Indus Water Treaty. Nobody actually cared? When it was for the greedy needs in the form of development of both the countries they had no problems to behave like decent neighbours and divide the water resources in an amicable way, so that the needs (greeds) of both the nations could be fulfilled leaving the poor region of Jammu and Kashmir in a lurch and also ensured that it remains in darkness (without electricity and development). The region still experiences curtailment of electricity regularly so perfectly evolved and punctual that it has earned the name of Kashmir standard time. Predictably, the treaty has no provisions for compensating the losses to the region or share in the developmental benefits that other regions enjoy due to the treaty.

The Indian government always tries to project the state economy as tourism driven, and blames the conflict situation in J&K region since 1990, for the setback to the development. However, it does not talk about its wrongs committed against the region by its colonial policies, like gifting of its huge water resources away and depriving the region of huge earnings it could have made by them.

Iit has given a diplomatic edge to Pakistan and in a way strengthened its claim on J&K as it could easily argue the point that as India was never sure that it could retain its hold in J&K it thought better not to invest in huge projects like dams and railways in the region.


Till today there is no intra railway system in J&K, and India has only recently started some projects in the direction. Instead it opted for 'stable regions' like Punjab. Thus in a way it gave more credence to the Pakistan's claim on Kashmir.
Pakistan and Indus water Treaty

As late as February 13 this year, many members of Pakistan National Assembly expressed great concern over the alleged violation of the Indus Water treaty by India in building dams across rivers meant for Pakistan and warned of a possible war between the two countries over this issue.

Even before the treaty of 1960, late Suhrawardy as Prime Minister of Pakistan threatened that Pakistan will go to war on the sharing of waters of the Indus.

These threats have been repeated periodically and so regularly by people at the political, military, bureaucratic and technical levels that these threats have lost their meaning now.

President Ayub Khan in his broadcast to the nation on September 4, 1960 stated: “The very fact that we will have to be content with the waters of three western rivers will underline the importance for us of having physical control on the upper reaches of these rivers to secure their maximum utilisation for the ever growing needs of West Pakistan.”

Hardly a month had lapsed after Nehru's visit to Karachi, and President Ayub of Pakistan speaking at a public meeting in Muzaffrabad Pak occupied Kashmir in early October 1960 declared that "Pakistan could not trust India until the Kashmir question was settled and that the Pak army could never afford to leave the Kashmir issue unsolved for an indefinite period."

At one point, one of the influential editors of the Urdu press Majeed Nizami of Pakistan went one step further and threatened that Pakistan will have to go for a nuclear war over the river waters issue.


The Water bomb by MAJID NIZAMI

However, of all the problems none is more threatening than the schemes of Hindu India to block the water of Pakistan’s Rivers, thereby causing water famine in the country.

Unfortunately, awareness of this threat has been lacking on the part of Pakistan’s rulers in the past. But we cannot afford to ignore it any longer because the consequences will endanger not just the agriculture, economy and the stability of Pakistan but its very survival. India knows this vulnerability of Pakistan and fired by its eternal enmity to this country has been moving ahead with plans to hit Pakistan hard in the sensitive sphere of water. India, as you would also know by now, is constructing 58 dams and water reservoirs on Pakistan’s Rivers, Chenab, Jhelum and Sindh.

Baghliar Dam is of such a large size that, whenever it so wants, India can block 7000 to 8000 cusec-ft of water per day. Besides, India has already built 14 hydroelectric plants at River Chenab’s northern part and is building still more plants to enable it to block the entire water of Chenab for 20 to 25 days. If India were to store the water of Chenab and Jhelum for just 2 to 3 months, Pakistan’s agriculture would be ruined, with dreadful consequences for the nation. India plans to formally begin the operation of Baghliar Dam on June 30, 2008.

The Sindh Tas Water Council Pakistan, which has been engaged since 1984 in the in-depth study of India’s designs of denial of water to Pakistan, has discovered that India is actually working on a secret mega-plan that was drawn years ago with the aim of bringing Pakistan to its knees, when the time came, by subjecting it to total starvation of water. This mega-plan is being financed and implemented by a consortium consisting of India and three other countries (one of which is Israel), two multinational companies, one trans-national NGO and three secret agencies.

I was not exaggerating when a few weeks ago I warned our government to beware of India’s “Water Bomb.”

The “water bomb” is a reality that Pakistan’s rulers must not overlook in the artificial scenario created by the so-called “confidence building measures.”

To divert the water coming into the Mangla Dam, India is building Ohrri Two Dam at River Poonch, Kishan Ganga Dam at River Neelum, and 19 Hydel-Projects at River Jhelum, aimed to be completed by 2012. Mangla Dam receives its stock of water from Rivers Jhelum, Neelum and Poonch. If this water is stopped, Mangla Dam would turn into a dry clay field.

‘Unresolved water issue could trigger Indo-Pak war’

The impending issues over sharing river water between India and Pakistan could trigger a war between the two countries, Advisor to Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on education, Sardar Aseff Ali has said.

Talking to media persons on the sidelines of a seminar here, Ali said Pakistan could pull out of the Indus Water Treaty with India, if the latter does not stop violating the treaty by constructing new dams on the Indus River, a move which could greatly affect Pakistan’s water share.

He said Islamabad might also take the issue to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) or the United Nations Security Council.

Responding to a question regarding the Baglihar Dam project, he blamed former president General Pervez Musharraf for failing to prevent India from constructing the dam.

“India had served two notices to the Musharraf regime before the construction of the dam, but the Musharraf government did not respond to them. The Musharraf regime only raised hue and cry when the dam had become operational,” Ali Said.


Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that there can be no permanent peace and stability in South Asia without a negotiated resolution of the Kashmir issue.

Talking to US special envoy Richard Holbrooke he said that as an advocate of cordial and cooperative relations between Pakistan and India, he welcomed the forthcoming foreign secretary-level talks between the two countries, but felt that instead of a one-off meeting, the two countries should resume the composite dialogue process, which is the only formal, structured and mutually agreed upon format, for peaceful negotiations between the two countries.

According to the Daily News, Sharif also expressed concern about India's efforts to divert and deny Pakistan its rightful share of the waters, from rivers allocated to Pakistan under the Indus Water Basin Treaty.

"We already have enough problems between us, so India should stop creating another," he was quoted, as saying.

G.Hameed Gul

According to the Indus Water Treaty the waters of the Western rivers belong to Pakistan (Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab)and the waters of the Eastern Rivers (Ravi Beas & Sutlej) belong to India–at least in theory. By illegally occupying Kashmir with a forged article of accession (which is ostensibly lost now–and was never shown to either Pakistan or the UN), India now controls all the rivers. Water wars are not part of some sci-fi movie–they are happening now.

G.Hameed Gul, however, warned that the mujahideen would damage all dams. Sindh Water Council Chairman Hafiz Zahoor-ul-Hassan Dahr said that when the dispute on water would not be resolved, there would be conflict between the two countries. He said, “India is not building dams under the Indus Water Treaty but on the Pakistani rivers.” He said that the food shortage would be forty per cent next year that would increase starvation in the country. He warned, “Pakistan can become Somalia and Ethopia,” he added.

Water War By Naveed Ahmad

Analyst believe that low water flows and energy deficiency have forced India to increasingly manipulate the IWT to its advantage; secondly, Delhi wants to use water as political leverage against Pakistan; thirdly, keeping up ancillary issues as a wall to keep the core issue on the backburner and lastly, to prove to the Kashmiris that Islamabad is denying them jobs and opportunities which originate from the state’s very own resources. Water War By Naveed Ahmad

According to many experts more than 40% of the Indus water flows into the ocean and is waster. If some of this was placed into a reservoir, this could be held of bad times. Some in Pakistan believe that some water has to flow into the ocean to keep the ocean taking away good land in Sindh. This totally condradicts facts on the ground.

Recently Lashkar-e -Toiba chief Hafeez Saeed accused India of waging 'water wars' on Pakistan, In fact, Saeed has decided to launch a nationwide movement against India on the issue.

He alleged that India has been constructing dams illegally and diverting waters from Pakistani rivers.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Islamabad and the issue also came up at Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary level talks.

Anti-India ideologues like Hafiz Saeed and his deputy Abdur Rahman Makki of Lashkar have warned that "Muslims dying of thirst would drink the blood of India".

Pakistan faces one of the severest water shortages in the world as seen in its’ per capita availability of water per annum fall from 5300 m3 in 1951 to less than 1100 m3 today. This figure is alarming given that it is below the internationally recommended level of 1500 m3 and precariously close to the critical 1000 m3 level. Compounded with the failure to fill the country’s two largest reservoirs to capacity, declining flows in the Indus River System, elusive and contentious the inter-provincial water accord due to mutual suspicions among provinces, and an unsustainable population growth rate of 2% do not bode well for Pakistan’s water situation. Disagreements on construction of new reservoirs, declining groundwater potential, and growing number of disputes with India after a relatively uneventful period of 44 years of water sharing will further complicate matters. In summation, the water situation in Pakistan (a country whose landscape is largely arid to semi-arid) is truly disastrous in spite of the Indus , its tributaries, and a treaty with generous concessions that has been implemented faithfully by upper riparian India to date in spite of grave provocations. Pakistani farmers may be forced to change to higher yielding earlier maturating crops, modify their sowing patterns, and employ micro irrigation in coming years to mitigate shortages-all of which will entail higher costs. Its frivolous objections to Indian projects and a general unwillingness to engage India constructively are partly to force India to amend the IWT to accommodate the emerging patterns of water use in Pakistan , such as water sharing during periods of shortage-a situation not envisaged in the treaty.

Pakistan and Pok

Pakistan's primary interest in Kashmir to secure its water resources in order to satisfy Punjab and contain Sindh is in confrontation with the interests of the people of Kashmir on both sides of line of control. For the last 15 years, Kashmiri youth have been preoccupied with a conflict with India. However, a water war with Islamabad is in the offing.

Kashmir on the Pakistani side of the line of control is predominantly agriculture-based, depending on farming, livestock and related activities. Of the total cultivated area in the region, only 10 per cent is irrigated, compared with about 80 per cent in Pakistan.

The average farm size is only 1.2 hectares, as compared with 4.7 hectares in Pakistan.

The average annual per capita income in Kashmir is half of the national average.

Industry is underdeveloped, with only 930 industrial units, mostly in the private sector. There is no railway network. Road and air transport is the only means of transportation.

Per capita electricity consumption is around 232 kWh, as compared with 325 kWh in Pakistan.

With regard to health, as of 1999, there were 1,382 hospital beds in the province, averaging 0.46 beds per thousand persons as compared with 0.67 in Pakistan.

In Kashmir (Pakistan), 13 per cent or 172,721 hectares of land is under farming. Agriculture is an important sector of the Kashmir economy, providing livelihood to 84 per cent of the household. About 97 per cent of the farmers have less than 5 ectares of land and the farming system is based upon cereals and livestock production. The typical farmer has, on an average, 1.2 hectares land in which 60 per cent of land is either under forest or wasteland, with only 0.47 hectares constituting the farm size.

Average household size is 7-8 persons. There is an intense population pressure that is already evident in many areas. Though this region is well endowed with water resources, it is marginally irrigated. Worse, hardly any development projects have been envisaged. Apart from lack of development, the province also suffers from manipulations. Its resources are tapped, but the region is not duly compensated.

The Mangla dam, constructed in Mirpur has revolutionised agriculture in Punjab, but at the cost of Kashmir's deprivation. The Mangla dam, a major asset to the region, irrigates the

canals in Punjab and also generates electricity. This dam supplies 20 per cent of the hydro-electricity needs of Pakistan. However, till early 2003, the province had not received any royalty for the electricity generated from Mangla dam. NWFP, however, has been receiving due compensation for the electricity generated from its Tarbela dam.

In late 2002, during General Musharraf's regime, it was decided to raise the height of Mangla dam by another 30 feet to 1,264 feet. This issue had long been under dispute due to objections from Kashmir. It was feared that by raising the dam, around 44,000 persons and 8,000 households in Kashmir would be displaced, and the district of Mirpur would be

submerged.

Following the federal government's decision, Kashmiris organised several protests. Though the water authorities assured building a new city adjacent to Mirpur for the project-affected people, the locals are not inclined to trust the authorities and almost all the political parties in the province opposed to the project.

To appease the government in Kashmir, Pakistan decided to pay royalty to the province for the electricity generated from Mangla dam. It was also decided to charge domestic consumer electricity rates, as against the prevailing bulk rates, which are considerably higher.

General Musharraf while inaugurating the Mangla dam extension project stated: “This raising of Mangla dam project will first be benefiting Punjab, Sindh, NWFP, Balochistan and would then accrue benefits for Azad Kashmir.”

This clearly reflects Pakistan's policy towards Kashmir an intermediate for the development of its provinces, especially Punjab. Kashmir is needed for developing water and hydropower projects that will ensure reliable supply to the provinces in Pakistan. But at the same time, Kashmir's own development needs are being neglected.

This clearly reflects Pakistan's policy towards Kashmir an intermediate for the development of its provinces, especially Punjab. Kashmir is needed for developing water and hydropower projects that will ensure reliable supply to the provinces in Pakistan. But at the same time, Kashmir's own development needs are being neglected.

The Mangla dam project and the royalty earmarked encouraged the Kashmir (Pakistan) government to demand a share in the National Finance Commission allocations and also in the Public Sector Development Programme. Kashmir (Pakistan) has never been granted the status of being a province of Pakistan. Such demands reflect their assertion to not remaining a mere surrogate to Pakistan's interests, but also seek their share from the national exchequer.

At a seminar held by the Urdu daily Ausaf in early March 2003, the President of Pakistani Kashmir, Sardar Mohammad Anwar Khan, categorically demanded that the Kashmir in Pakistan be strengthened in every sense in comparison to the Kashmir in India, so as to entice the latter to join Pakistan. Similar statements are often heard from leaders in Pakistani Kashmir and these statements definitely mirror their sense of deprivation.

In support

Unfortunately, some Indian scholars without understanding the past history of negotiations with Pakistan have supported the idea. One of the senior analysts of India is said to have opined that “in negotiating an Indus Water Treaty 2, would be a huge Confidence Building Measure as it would engage both countries in a regional economic integration process.” A pious hope but an unrealistic one.

The Indus Water Treaty is unique in one respect. Unlike many of the international agreements which are based on the equitable distribution of waters of the rivers along with other conditions, the Indus Water Treaty is based on the distribution of the rivers and not the waters.

This unique division of rivers rather than the waters has eliminated the very hassles and conflict that would have followed had equitable distribution of water been based on current usage, historical use, past and potential use etc. People who advocate a revision of the treaty including some influential ones in India should realise the trap that India will be getting into.

The IWT is recognized to be a very successful treaty by experts all over the world. It has been upheld even after three wars between India and Pakistan. “Without a treaty, there would have been five or Six wars between them” Kishor Uprety, Senior World Bank Lawyer. Disputes have been settled amicably and, until recently in the case of the Baghlihar Dam, there was no need to invoke the

Clause in the IWT that called for the help of a neutral expert. It was negotiated with the help

And financial support from. The WB in about 10 years and it seems very difficult that a more satisfactory division of water can be arranged under the present circumstances.

Indus Water Treaty The benefits to the country to flow from the accord and efficient utilisation of the waters appears to be very impressive. It is estimated that about five million more acres of land can be irrigated, vastly increasing agricultural output, including a rise of two million tons of wheat. Thus a loss of Rs. 50 million suffered by Pakistan annually would be saved. Finance Minister Sartaj Aziz estimated a gain of Rs. 20 billion to the nation annually through bringing millions of acres of land under cultivation.

Final words

Indian efforts to buy peace from Pakistan by giving concessions through the Indus Waters Treaty failed miserably. Indus water dispute was and is sought to be used by Pakistan as a political tool in the Indo-Pak dual over Kashmir.

All along Pakistan's policy has been to avoid any direct bilateral settlement with India and to seek third party intervention. The manner in which the Treaty was negotiated and concluded, lends and impression of external pressure group network exerting their influence since huge investments were involved in the construction of big dams and canals. It is a reflection on the functioning of the World Bank which was influenced by the Cold War politics in the region and by the interested construction lobbies. It also reminds that outside mediation or arbitration in bilateral disputes between India and Pakistan, as was done by the World Bank in this case, would not lead to a lasting and positive solution based on principles of equitability and just distribution of resources. The Treaty which has been in force for more than 45 years, has added to the economic woes of the people of upstream Jammu and Kashmir State by depriving them of the legitimate right to full usage of Jhelum, Chenab and Indus waters for hydro-electric generation, irrigation, navigation and other purposes. As such there is sufficient ground for reviewing the Indus Treaty, so that it is turned into a resilient one after making necessary modifications and adjustments, which can take care of the substantial changes in the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

That Pakistan has secured third party intervention the World Bank to resolve its dispute with India over the Baglihar hydro project is part of its strategy to internationalize and politicize the issue. It marks a complete deviation from the path of the "Composite Dialogue" process agreed to by both India and Pakistan to resolve all outstanding issue including Kashmir. Pakistan's objections to the construction of Baglihar dam are more political than a technical one

However, we argue that the Treaty has yet to provide sustainable solutions for peace maintenance at state level, and more importantly, meaningful protection to the citizens of both countries.

The Treaty cannot be said to be success unless it can effectively improve the living conditions of locals, who afterall should be the focus in a Human Security context. We suggest international inspection and close monitoring to ensure the river resources are used in their full potential. More work has to be done in ensuring the Treaty is implemented within a Human Security framework.

The treaty has engendered a vicious cycle.

Lack of trust between India and Pakistan(Improper handling of relation with Pakistan)

forced the bifurcation of Indus River Basin.

Neglection towards the future requirement of Jammu and Kashmir

Lack of opportunities for the overall development of Jammu &Kashmir.

Widening the gap between Shrinager and New Delhi

As the gap between water availability and requirements widen in Pakistan,

its desire to intensify jihadi operations will grow.

Agricultural development will be affected,

which in turn will produce a stratum of unemployed youth willing to service terrorist groups.

This in turn would aggravate the mistrust and hostility between the two countries.

This vicious cycle of depleting resources spawning unemployment and fuelling terrorism is feared to intensify in the near future.

Abrogating the Indus Waters Treaty would provide greater benefits and open up several avenues for unrestrained development of the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

It can:

§ Improve hydro-electricity sector's potential as storage facilities could be developed

§ Pave the way for industrialization of the state

§ Improve irrigation facilities which in turn would boost agricultural growth

§ Give rise to employment opportunities, which will indirectly keep a check on external interference in state affairs

§ Help attract private investments, propelling the state's position on India's investment map.

The opportunity to tap the Jhelum and Chenab Rivers would provide windfall gains not only to Jammu & Kashmir, but also to the neighbouring states of Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana. The three states share the eastern rivers and are in conflict over the sharing of waters. The addition of Chenab and Jhelum would secure water availability for these states.

The Indus Waters Treaty casts unilateral responsibility on India for compliance. It is an obligation that necessarily falls on all upper riparians. Abrogation would not be defensible on any understanding of international water laws or international humanitarian laws. Further, abrogation will necessarily have to be followed by an engineering feat that would greatly strain the Indian economy.

In any case, legally speaking, it is virtually impossible for India to abrogate the treaty. Article XII (4) states that “provisions of this treaty shall continue in force until terminated by a duly ratified treaty concluded for that purpose between the two Governments.” The treaty does not provide an exit clause for India per se.

Abrogation is bound to incite reactions from the World Bank and the countries that were party to the treaty and have provided funds. The countries, including Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Britain and the US, are also India's major export destinations.

India is aware of the implications of abrogation of the treaty. Therefore, despite growing protests from the Kashmiri people, no policy maker in New Delhi is ever likely to even contemplate this move. The act of abrogation on the part of India could cause insecurity among the other countries that are lower riparian to India. India's relations with its

neighbours would also be affected, as India also has water treaties with Nepal and Bangladesh. SAARC would be diluted.

In April 2008, Pakistan’s Indus Water Commissioner, Jamaat Ali Shah in a frank interview conceded that the water projects undertaken by India do not contravene the provisions of the Indus water treaty of 1960. He said that “in compliance with IWT, India has not so far constructed any storage dam on the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum rivers ( rivers allotted to Pakistan for full use). The Hydro electric projects India is developing are the run of the river waters, projects which India is permitted to pursue according to the treaty.”

There is no doubt that Pakistan will be facing increasing water shortages in the days to come leading to prolonged drought in many of its regions. The reasons are many but some of these are Pakistan’s own doing. The availability of water even now has reached critical proportions.

1. Global warming over a period of time has depleted the flow of water in the Indus (the major supplier) which depends mostly on glacial runoffs.

2. As in other Himalayan regions like the Kosi in Nepal, the rivers carry very heavy sediments that result in silting the dams and barrages thus reducing the availability of water for cultivation. Proper and periodic maintenance have ben lacking.

3. The canals that feed the irrigated lands are not lined resulting in seepage and loss of water.

4. There is mismanagement in use of water by using antiquated techniques and heavy cropping of water intensive varieties of farm products. Optimum crop rotations have not been done extensively as it should have been done to save water.

5. No serious effort has been made to improve the storage for intensive seasons like Kharif.

6. Dwindling water flow has also been affecting power generation.

The discharge of fresh water into the Arabian sea has dwindled considerably ( less than 10 MAF) which has resulted in the sea water pushing further into the estuaries and beyond, making water in those areas unfit for cultivation.

There is a larger political dimension to the whole problem of the river water distribution between Pakistan and India. To Pakistan the Kashmir issue is irrevocably linked to the Indus water treaty as the headwaters of all the rivers of Pakistan and meant for Pakistan flow through Kashmir and India happens to be the upper riparian state. The fear exists that India could manipulate the waters to starve Pakistan is that real fear or the desire to take over Kashmir.


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