ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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India Turning Many Tables for Indus Waters Treaty

The Indus Waters Treaty, 1960 is the first and only existing model of conciliation between India and Pakistan since the partition in 1947. All the past and current attempts of the Government of India to annul the treaty under different justifications reveal the short-sightedness of the Indian leadership.

A detailed version of this article appeared in Regional Studies, autumn issue, 2016 published by the Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad.

A possible Indian withdrawal or unilateral termination of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) is easier said than done. Legally speaking, the treaty is a non-exit partnership with wide-ranging international commitments and customary bindings. Politically too, a breach of international commitments is tantamount to earning a worldwide disgrace. Economically and environmentally, it would be like turning many tables around the corner. And above all, the strategic fault lines would never sanction a placid Indian exit from the 57-year-old bilateral water pact.

Indian pressure tactics to scrap the IWT are not new. The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that “water and blood cannot flow together” (Jacob 2016) needs to be seen in the light of the past and current Indian attempts to revoke the treaty. Earlier calls to abrogate the treaty were mainly based on the allegations about its unfair division of waters and limitations in building storage reservoirs on the Chenab and Jhelum flowing through the Indian-administered Kashmir (IAK) to meet its growing power needs.

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Updated On : 27th Sep, 2017
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