Home Contact Us  
   

Indo-Pak - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#2891, 10 June 2009
 
Indus Waters Treaty-II: For Better Indus Waters Governance
D Suba Chandran
Deputy Director, IPCS
e-mail: subachandran@gmail.com
 

The recent annual meeting between the Indus Waters Commissioners of India and Pakistan ended with same complaints from Islamabad and the almost regular defence from New Delhi. Though Baglihar and Kishenganga appear to be the main reason for the complaints, there are other fault lines, internal, bilateral and multilateral, which are straining the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT). The IWT is likely to come under larger stress in the near future and it is imperative, that people living along the Indus River understand the gravity of issues, and look beyond their national and regional prisms.

From New Delhi’s perspective, it is important to realise that internal political and emotional situation regarding the sharing of waters in Pakistan and in J&K is likely to have a negative impact on the IWT as a whole. Experts like BG Verghese have already pitched for an Indus Water Treaty-II, which is important from New Delhi’s perspective to look into and prepare for. The objective should be to prevent any water wars – internal and bilateral, and also to improve water governance.

The following issues in particular have the potential to become a crisis, straining the IWT further. First, there is a clear divide between Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) on the one hand and the central government on the other, on the nature and use of IWT. The people and government of J&K, where the Indus and most of its important tributaries flow through, are against the IWT, as they feel it is against their interests. A resolution was passed in J&K Legislative Assembly in 2002, calling for annulling the IWT. A section inside J&K even considers the IWT as an Indo-Pak conspiracy against the Kashmiris. Kashmiri grievances are based on emotional and economic issues; for Kashmiris, water and land have always been an emotional issue. Second, J&K also considers the IWT as an economic liability. The majority in J&K consider that the IWT discriminates against Kashmiris by not letting them tap the potential of the Indus and its tributaries in terms of using the waters for agriculture, transport and energy. It is believed that the losses that the IWT cause to J&K are around Rs.80 billion annually.

Third, the people of Northern Areas in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) also consider the IWT against their interests. The controversy over the construction of Diamer-Basha dam highlights the tensions between Northern Areas and Islamabad on sharing the Indus waters. Many in Northern Areas feel that Islamabad has not provided any political status to the region, precisely to exploit them over the Indus waters. They argue that had Northern Areas been a political entity, Pakistan then would have to share the waters and royalty. Worse, a section also believes, that while the Basha dam will submerge parts of its land and result in displacement, the royalties will go to the NWFP.

Fourth, PoK has a serious problem with the rest of Pakistan on the Mangala dam. Muzaffarabad feels exploited by the rest of Islamabad over the dam and the construction in Mirpur has dislocated the entire city, with the benefit going to the rest of Pakistan. Islamabad is too sensitive about any water-related issues involving PoK and the Northern Areas. A government official was suspended for writing a book on the Mangala dam; subsequently all his books were banned during 2002-04 and he was accused of “an attempt to promote nationalist feelings amongst Kashmiris.”

Fifth, the four provinces of Pakistan are deeply divided within, in terms of sharing the Indus waters. The controversy over the construction of Kalabagh alone will amplify internal problems relating to the water conflict. While Punjab wants to build the dam at any cost, leaders of Sindh have warned Islamabad to choose between Kalabagh and the federation, meaning that construction of the dam will result in Sindh walking out of the federal structure.

Sixth, South Asia as a whole has a serious deficit relating to water governance. None of the countries in SAARC use water judiciously; as a result, there is huge water wastage. Besides, despite knowing that water is precious commodity, South Asia has failed to evolve alternate modes of irrigation; canal and river irrigations are the most preferred in South Asia. Methods like drip irrigation and crop rotation to better use the available water, are yet to be effectively evolved. South Asia as a whole, wastes water.

Finally, studies on the Himalayan glaciers highlight the possibility of a decline in water flow in the Indus and its tributaries. With expanding populations and growing energy and economic needs in the region, any decline in water flow will only increase the stress on the IWT. Given the inter-state and intra-state political and emotional issues along the Indus river basin, the possibility of water scarcity resulting in water wars between the states and within them, cannot be completely ruled out.

It is imperative, that India, Pakistan and their sub-regions work together to address the growing concerns and avoid any future conflict over the sharing of waters. IWT has an inbuilt provision to rework its sections. India, Pakistan and their local governments should work together towards creating Indus Water Treaty-II, addressing the issues mentioned above. IWT-II could very well be a conflict prevention measure relating to water issues along the Indus river basin.

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan?s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Moving Towards a Higher Collective Outcome
The Importance of Electing the Best to our Nation's Parliament
Sri Lanka: Toward a Diaspora Re-Engagement Plan
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
Pakistan's Hurt Locker: What Next?
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
 
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
IPCS Forecast: Bangladesh in 2015
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism?s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
India-Japan-US Trilateral: India?s Policy for the Indo-Pacific
China-South Korea Ties: Implications for the US Pivot to Asia
Many ?Pivots to Asia?: What Does It Mean For Regional Stability?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
Nepal?s New Constitution: Instrument towards Peace or Catalyst to Conflict?
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?

Indo-Pacific
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ?Look East? to ?Act East?
Indus-tan
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
Myanmar in New Delhi's Naga Riddle
China: ?Peaceful? Display of Military Might
Naga Peace Accord: Need to Reserve Euphoria
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
Indian Ocean: Modi on a Maritime Pilgrimage
Indian Ocean: Exploring Maritime Domain Awareness
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
Countering Left Wing Extremism: Failures within Successes
Return of the Native: CPI-Maoist in Kerala
The Rising Civilian Costs of the State-Vs-Extremists Conflict

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
India and the APEC
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Resuming the Indo-Pak Dialogue: Evolving a New Focus
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
Prime Minister Modi Finally Begins His Interaction with West Asia*
A Potential Indian Role in West Asia?
US-GCC Summit: More Hype than Substance
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
Jihadi Aggression and Nuclear Deterrence
The Blight of Ambiguity
Falun Gong: The Fear Within


OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
Will the Genie Want to Go Back?

The Fall of Rajapaksa: Why Democracies Fail Strongmen

Pakistan: The Military Courts

From Kashmir to Kabul

A Fractured Mandate: The Big Picture

And Now, They Are Coming For Our Children

Pak-Afghan Reset: Will the Taliban and al Qaeda follow?

Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues

Rise India, avoid regional pitfalls

Foreign Fighters of Pakistan: Why Pashtuns and Punjabis?

Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?

The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani

Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping: Strong Leaders, Hard Issues

Pakistan: The Coup that didn’t take

Pakistan: Crouching Democrats, Hidden Khakis

Processes at the cost of peace?

Cost of Peace

Rise of Democratic Anarchists

Don’t steal the election now

Mullah Fazlullah: Challenges to the “Eliminate or Extradite” Approach

The Tahirul Qadri Affair

Dhaka as the Gateway to India’s Look East Policy

Modi, Sharif and the Cross-LoC Interactions

Region by Sub-regions

Civil-Military Equations in Pakistan: Que Sera Sera

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2017
 January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October
 2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009
 2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001
 2000  1999  1998  1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map
18, Link Road, Jungpura Extension, New Delhi 110014, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1902    Email: officemail@ipcs.org

© Copyright 2017, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.