Indus Water Treaty: How Much Fact And How Much Fiction In There?

The September 19, 1960 Indus water treaty between India and Pakistan has come into the limelight after the recent Uri attacks. We now stand at the point to explore the different ways to use its share of water of rivers flowing into Pakistan. And even though, everyone agrees that's this is the right thing to do, the question is how much can really be done. 

Let's take a look at the ground reality here and see where we really stand, once the fiction is pushed aside. 

Blood and water can't flow together says PM Modi

A strong message came from our Prime Minister as he chaired a review meeting of the 56 year old Indus Water Treaty in which it was decided that India will "exploit to the maximum" the water of Pakistan-controlled rivers, including Jhelum, as per the water-sharing pact.

But can this change the current situation in any way? Here are some myths surrounding the news.

Why is Pakistan asking for arbitration proceedings?

India is well within its right and using only 4% of the permitted 20% and this is mainly because of the lack of storage capacity. However, just the possibility of India tapping into the complete 20% is making Pakistan nervous. 

Can India really abrogate the treaty?

The fact is that the treaty has no provision for any of the two countries to unilaterally walk out of the pact. Further, a unilateral abrogation would also attract criticism from the world powers, as this is one arrangement which has stood the test of time.

Can India stop the flow of water from the western rivers?

There is really no storage system in place and hence the stopping of the water just can't happen. However, there are some planned projects in the pipeline like Pakal Dul Dam on Marusadar, Sawalkot on Jhelum in Udhampur, Bursar dam in Kishtwar district. But as we said, in the pipeline...

With all the buzz that's going around the Indus Water Treaty, what India simply plans to do is use its given share to its full capacity. Well, we can't call that wrong in any given way. 

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