Indus Water Treaty 1960
The Indus Water Treaty is the life lifeline of Pakistan because water is the lifeline of all living beings in the world. No water means no life. Tibet is a region which is called the “water tower of Asia.” Because ten big rivers which feed China, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Bhutan, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos originate from Tibet, the Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Irrawaddy, Salween, Sutlej, Arun, Bhote Kosi, Yellow and Mekong rivers originate from here. About 46 percent of the world’s population depends on this Tibet region. China has had complete control of the Tibet region since 1950. Tibet is also called the North pole, which is the 3rd largest reservoir of freshwater.
The Indus Basin river system is also dependent on Tibet, which originates from China, then passes through India, enters Pakistan, and ends at the Arabian sea. Pakistan is highly dependent on water because its economy, employment, and food are dependent on it. After the independence of India and Pakistan, a water crisis was created between the two countries. The Indo-Pakistan water war began in 1948. When India first cut off the river water supply to Pakistan, it threatened the country’s agricultural system.
In 1960, after nine years Indus Waters Treaty was signed between India and Pakistan with the support of the World Bank. Eugene Black, the previous World Bank president, was the one who helped in the negotiations. Over the past half-century, it helped in irrigation and hydropower development, making it one of the world’s most successful international agreements.
Water Flow in India and Pakistan
The state of Jammu and Kashmir is also home to the main Indus River, along with the Jhelum, Chenab. Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej. Although Pakistan’s agricultural sector is entirely dependent on the flow of these key water reservoirs. However, India has several other rivers and water sources to sustain its agricultural setup. Indian officials planned that Rivers flowing into Pakistan would be given to India from the first day of independence. As a result, dams should be constructed over the rivers that flow from India into Pakistan.
It wasn’t long after the division of East and West Punjab that the water distribution conflict turned into a crisis. Because of the division of Punjab, Pakistan became the lower riparian state and India the higher riparian state. The Indian administration has repeatedly promised not to interfere and go against Pakistan’s rights as a neighbor. However, they consistently returned to their words and repeatedly threatened to cut off the rivers’ flow. Six months after independence on April 1, 1948 India shut off water of river Ravi and Sutlej.
Pakistan and Water Issues
A severe water deficit and agricultural disaster frequently appeared in Pakistan due to the cutting of the Indus river, which is regarded as a vital source of income for Pakistan. However, a Pakistani delegation was sent to India to resolve the issue. India rejected the Pakistani delegation’s proposal to solve the problem through a world bank, but that was also unacceptable to Indian leaders because Pakistan was trying to solve the issue on the table.
Introduction of Indus Water Treaty September 1960
As early as September 1950, the Indian government decided to settle the dispute but required that there will be a committee consisting of two members from each side and a neutral chairperson. The idea was also accepted by the Pakistani government and implemented. Eugene Black, the World Bank’s director of construction and development, convened a joint committee of both sides to solve this dilemma. The search for a solution to this significant issue between the two arch adversaries dragged on for years, with each day passing like a year. The Indus Water Treaty was signed in Karachi on September 19, 1960.
Pakistan President Ayub Khan and Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru signed the indus river treaty in September 1960 in Karachi. It is also known as Indus basin treaty. The Indus basin treaty established the Permanent Indus Commission, which comprises a commissioner from both countries, as a vehicle for collaboration and information sharing between the two countries over their use of the rivers. The World Bank’s participation as a signatory to the Indus basin treaty is limited and procedural. Among the rivers given to India were the Beas, Ravi, and Sutlej, while Pakistan received the Chenab, Jhelum and Indus. The World Bank, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other friendly states of Pakistan agreed to contribute 200 million dollars of the program’s overall cost to help Pakistan build dams, barrages, and at least seven connecting canals for water storage.
“Since India’s independence, it’s been seeking to weaken Pakistan because Hindu officials wanted to repress the Muslim. To bring Pakistan’s agriculture under question, they tried multiple times to coerce Pakistan in the border regions and the valley of Jammu and Kashmir to establish a blockage in the route of Indus. For this reason, Pakistan was persuaded to choose the World Bank alternative to find a more suitable answer. A pact called the Indus Water Treaty was signed as a result, in which the water flow was divided equally between the two states based on lower and higher riparian’s.”
Now India is violating the Treaty and constructing two dams on the Indus river, Kishanganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts) (the World Bank is not financing either project). The two hydropower facilities violate the Treaty, both countries differ. However, concerned about the designs of these two hydroelectric power projects, Pakistan urged the World Bank to help establish a Court of Settlement. For the same objective, India requested the appointment of a neutral expert. As a result of a long-running discussion, these requests were made by the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC).
indus river treaty,Indus water treaty was signed between