Present an account of the Indus Water Treaty and examine its ecological, economic and political implications in the context of changing bilateral relations.
The Indus Waters Treaty is a treaty between India and Pakistan for the distribution of the water of the Indus river and its tributaries. The treaty was signed in 1960 by Jawaharlal Nehru and Ayub Khan. As per the treaty, India got the control of Beas, Ravi, and Sutlej and Pakistan got the control of Indus, Chenab, and Jhelum.
The treaty is significant from the aspect of ecological, economic, and political implications and the bilateral relation between India and Pakistan.
By the treaty, India was allocated about 16% of the total water of the Indus system and Pakistan got 84%. The storage capacity permitted by the treaty for setting up hydropower stations is much less than the total annual silt that could fulfill the total hydro potential. It became essential for Jammu and Kashmir to resort to costly de-silting of its reservoirs in order to keep them operational. Pakistan is on its way to construct several multi-purpose water reservoirs that could create a threat to downstream areas in Pakistan as well as the Kutch region in India during any accident like a dam break, earthquake.
Because of the ratification of the Indus Waters Treaty, the enhanced irrigation facility led to an increase in agricultural production for India as well as Pakistan. Many opportunities have emerged for development, irrigation, and economic expansion. The construction of dams will ensure the energy supply for both nations.
From a diplomatic point of view, the treaty plays a very significant role in India. Violation of the ceasefire agreement is a common incident from the Pakistan side. Apart from that Pakistan is directly or indirectly provokes terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. Blocking the water of the Indus river basin India could put diplomatic pressure on Pakistan with the demand for the eradication of terrorism.
The Indus Water treaty is significant for both nations. In the future, it could strengthen the bilateral relationship between India and Pakistan by ensuring peace and understanding.