According to the Indus Water Treaty the waters of the Western rivers belong to Pakistan (Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab)and the waters of the Eastern Rivers (Ravi Beas & Sutlej) belong to India–at least in theory. By illegally occupying Kashmir with a forged article of accession (which is ostensibly lost now–and was never shown to either Pakistan or the UN), India now controls all the rivers. Water wars are not part of some sci-fi movie–they are happening now.
In 1960, both countries agreed on the Indus Water Treaty, which effectively divided up the water in the region. Although the IWT has remained intact, recent developments have brought this water dispute back into the spotlight. Below, Zain ul-Arifeen, a science teacher in Mansehra, [a city in Pakistan's NWFP], discusses the history and current status of the Indus Water Treaty, and why it’s significant:
By using the TTP to distract Pakistani, India is now unleashing water damage, first by inundating Pakistan with too much water, and then by starving the farmer by withholding the water at a critical time.
ISLAMABAD: Punjab, the food basket of entire Pakistan, has sustained a huge monetary loss amounting to almost Rs37 billion in the wake of a blockade of Chenab River by India.
According to a senior official in the Punjab irrigation department, over 10 million acres of land in the province has been affected and the standing paddy crop in the area has suffered a lot, as it was the time of maturity and the province badly needed the last watering, which could not be completed just because of the blatant violations of Indus Waters Treaty 1960 by India and continuing to fill up the dead shortage of Baglihar HPP beyond August 31, 2008.
Under the treaty, India cannot reduce the flow in Chenab River below 55,000 cusecs between 21st June and August 31, 2008, whereas Pakistan had been receiving a discharge of as low as 20,000 cusecs during August-September 2008.
The official further said that the government had projected the rice production at 5.7 million tonnes, but the reduction in flows in Chenab River at this point of time will reduce the production by 15 to 20 per cent. This means that rice production will come down from the expected target of 5.7 million tonnes to 4.7 million tonnes.The News
India was currently spending around $200 billion on the construction of water tunnels to the Indus River, which could turn parts of Pakistan into a barren land. Wednesday, September 17, 2008 By Khalid Mustafa
Right wing politicians in Bharat have repeatedly threatened to stop water to Pakistan. The very same politicians have been in power. It does not go beyond imagination that Adhvani, Modi and company may actually go through with their threat.
In total violation of international law, and the Indus Water Treaty, Bharat has continued to take aggressive stances on the water to Pakistan. It has quietly built reservoirs on the Indus,and other rivers which are a lifeline to Pakistan.
The Pakistan Army and the ISI are well aware of the machinations of Delhi. They have a watchful eye on the developments.
Lt Gen (r) Hameed Gul has said that India has so far built 62 dams and hydro-electric units on Pakistani rivers to deprive Pakistan of water and render into a desert. He said Pakistan was being deprived of water under an international conspiracy to conquer it. At this stage, some insane people were opposing construction of Kalabagh Dam in Pakistan, he added. He said that Shaukat Aziz’s influx in Pakistan was also part of the conspiracy as he formulated such policies, which put the country into crisis. He said that Shaukat Aziz created food shortage.He said the mujahideeen damaged Baglihar Dam and it could not be reconstructed.
Hameed Gul, however, warned that the mujahideen would damage all dams. Sindh Water Council Chairman Hafiz Zahoor-ul-Hassan Dahr said that when the dispute on water would not be resolved, there would be conflict between the two countries. He said, “India is not building dams under the Indus Water Treaty but on the Pakistani rivers.” He said that the food shortage would be forty per cent next year that would increase starvation in the country. He warned, “Pakistan can become Somalia and Ethopia,” he added.
Crisis deepens as India blocks Chenab flow By Khaleeq Kiani
ISLAMABAD, Sept 14: India has closed Chenab water flow and as a result the shortage in Pakistan has become more severe.
Sources told Dawn on Sunday that the water blockade by India could adversely affect the Kharifcrops, particularly cotton and sugarcane which were in maturity stage and required final watering, and the sowing of Rabi crops early next month.
They said that the Pakistan Indus Water Commission had taken up the matter with the federal government and convened a meeting on Tuesday to take stock of the situation and try to reach a diplomatic solution with New Delhi.
If the Chenab closure prolongs, the sowing of Rabi crops, particularly wheat, would be hit severely. The government had to import more than two million tons of wheat this year despite a record production of more than 23 million tons.
The water shortage could force Pakistan to import more wheat next year, adding to the foreign exchange pressure and worsening its balance of payments crisis. The authorities are already estimating more than 35 per cent shortage of irrigation water during the next Rabi season following a decline in the melting of snow in Northern Areas, higher withdrawals by provinces during Kharif and increased hydropower generation.
The sources said India’s unilateral decision to stop the Chenab flows had put additional pressure on the irrigation system of Pakistan, which used to receive more than 23,000 cusecs a day until last week, but it had now been brought down to almost zero.
Meanwhile, the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) has convened a meeting of its technical committee on Sept 20 to ascertain the overall water availability for the Rabi season, beginning on Oct 1.
Irsa’s advisory committee will meet on Sept 25 to finalise provincial shares for Kharif on the basis of estimates to be put forth by the technical committee, Irsa chairman Bashir Ahmed Dahar told Dawn.
Responding to a question, he said Irsa had powers and capacity to resolve the issues of water sharing and discharges in consultation with the provincial governments and it had never sought federal government’s intervention to prevail upon one province or the other to accept its decisions.
Exercising these powers, Irsa has increased releases from the Mangla reservoir for Punjab’s final watering by 10,000 cusecs to about 39,000 cusecs. On the other hand, Punjab continued to draw about 49,000 cusecs from Tarbela against its share of about 40,000 cusecs.
Once higher releases from Mangla reached the system, Punjab’s share from Tarbela would be reduced to 40,000 cusecs, the sources said. Irsa had asked Punjab last week to reduce withdrawal by 8,000 cusecs from Chashma-Jhelum canal, but it continued to draw about 18,000 cusecs till Sunday.
The sources said releases in CJ-Link would be reduced to 10,000 cusecs on Monday or Tuesday to preserve reasonable resources in the Indus System for Rabi crops.
To a question he said that 10 million acres land in areas of Sialkot, Gujranwala, Sheikhupura, Hafizabad, Faisalabad, Okara, Lahore, Pak Patan, Vehari and Bawalnaghar have been affected. Out of 10 million acres of land, 5.6 million acres of land has adversely been affected in the areas of Sialkot, Gujranwala, Jhang, Faisalabad and Sheikhupura.
When contacted, Pakistan Commissioner of Indus Water Syed JamaatAli Shah, who was on his way to Lahore after attending the meeting in Islamabad held on Tuesday with Minister for Water & Power, Raja Pervez Ashraf in the chair over the interference of flows of River Chenab at Marala head works in Pakistan, said that Pakistan has the option to move Neutral Expert or Court of Arbitration seeking for penalty against India for violation of the treaty.
“First the issue will be taken up at the level of Permanent Commission of Indus Waters (PCIW) for solution once and for all and incase of failure, Pakistan has the option to move Neutral Expert and Court of Arbitration.”
He said that Neutral Expert under the treaty can be moved for compensation of water loss and Arbitration Court for financial loss in case India refuses to pay the compensation.
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In the forthcoming meeting of PCIW, he said that Pakistan would come up with solid proof based on undeniable data about the blatant violation of the treaty committed by India.
To another query, Shah said that India has stored 0.2 million acre feet of water for Baglihar project to make it operational in the current month of September.
He vowed that he is to soon visit the site of the Bagluhar project as he has sought dates for the visit from Indian Commission of Indus Water to this effect. However, he said that the Indian Commission is still unmoved over the demand of Pakistan seeking the data of inflows in Chenab River. “My counterpart has so far shown inability in letting us know about the exact inflows of the Chenab River.”
Meanwhile, a very crucial meeting on the reduction in flows of River Chenab at Marala head works was held in the Ministry of Water & Power under the Chairmanship of Minister for Water & Power, Raja Pervez Ashraf. The meeting was attended by senior officers of Ministry of Water & Power, Foreign Office PCIW, Law & Justice, WAPDA, Irrigation Department, Punjab and the related institutions.
The meeting was apprised that India had committed a blatant violation of the Indus Water Treaty by reducing Chenab flows to Pakistan and continuing to fill up the dead shortage of Baglihar HPP beyond August 31, 2008.
Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Water (PCIW) gave a detailed presentation on the issue and informed that he had already taken up the issue with his Indian counterpart. This was followed by a comprehensive discussion. The members were apprised that the initial filling of dead storage of Baglihar Plant in AJ&K on river Chenab resulted in to a substantial reduction of water at Marala.
This has caused a massive agricultural loss to vast areas of Marala command canals. It has also resulted in early depletion of Mangla dam reserves so as to mitigate some of the adverse affects on certain canals. The overall loss to the national economy (loss of water, damage to agricultural crops, overconsumption of energy for running tube wells, etc) had thus been colossal, which are being assessed by the Government of Punjab.
The purpose of Bharati intelligence agencies is to keep Pakistan occupied in FATA so that Delhi can continue to build bombs and push the real issues under the rug.
The Indus and its tributaries easily make up the most important river system in the world. The basin was converted into an extensively cultivated area during the British colonial period, with millions of acres irrigated by large canals. At the time of Pakistan and India’s Partition in 1947, boundaries were drawn without first considering the realities of the region. The part of the Punjab to the west of this boundary become a part of Pakistan, while the east was incorporated into India. The immediate effect of this partition was that the Indus Basin became divided and conflicts subsequently arose between the two countries over the sharing of water resources.
In 1948, after India obtained control of the headwaters and halted the water flow into Pakistan, the dispute drew international attention. In 1960, after years of negotiations, the World Bank brokered the Indus Water Treaty, [IWT] which regulated the use of the Indus Basin rivers. The agreement was signed on September 19, 1960 by Pakistan’s President Mohammad Ayub Khan, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the World Bank’s Mr. W. A.B Iliff.
The IWT consists of three parts: the preamble, twelve articles and annexure A to H. The principal subjects covered in the treaty’s annexure are: the exchange of notes between the governments of India and Pakistan, India’s agricultural use of certain tributaries of the Ravi, India’s agricultural use of the upper reaches of the western rivers, India’s generation of hydroelectric power and the storage of water from the western rivers, a procedure to solve disputes and differences through a commission, a neutral court of arbitration, and allocation to Pakistan of some waters from the eastern rivers during the period of transition.
The Treaty gave India exclusive use of the Ravi, Beas and Sutlej rivers. Pakistan was given access to the western rivers – the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab. Under the agreement, India has to allow these rivers to flow to Pakistan without any hindrance or interference, except as specifically allowed by the Treaty. This includes the use of water for domestic and other non-consumptive purposes, as well as the generation of hydroelectric power. However, the agreement precludes the building of any storage by India on the rivers allocated to Pakistan. For example, if India wanted to generate hydroelectric power it could only build run-of-the-river hydroelectric projects (unlike a dam or a reservoir), which does not create any storage [in the Treaty, Paragraph 2(c) (d) of Article III allows and Annexure C and D explains that how India can use the water of western rivers].
The Treaty established a Permanent Indus Commission, led by two high-ranking engineers, one from either country. The commission’s job is to monitor that neither country violates the treaty, and smooth out any differences that may arise. It can refer to either the World Bank [in the case of the Baghliar Dam dispute] or the Court of Arbitration for help in settling a conflict.
At the time the IWT was signed, Pakistani President Ayub Khan stated:
The sources of the rivers are in India…and India had made arrangements to divert the waters…every factor was against us, the only sensible thing to do was to try and get a settlement; though it might be the second best, but if we did not we stood to lose everything.
Although the Indus Water Treaty has survived hostilities between India and Pakistan over the years, recent developments threaten to undermine this agreement. On October 10, 2008, India inaugurated the controversial Baglihar hydro-electric dam project in Indian-administered Kashmir. Although India says the dam would be crucial for meeting the country’s power needs, it is located on the Chenab River [one of the western rivers given to Pakistan in the IWT], and is a clear violation of the 1960 agreement.
Islamabad has claimed the dam would reduce the flow of water to Pakistan, depriving its agricultural regions of irrigation. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari recently toldthe Associated Press of Pakistan, “Pakistan would be paying a very high price for India’s move to block Pakistan’s water supply from the Chenab river,” adding that any violation of the Indus Water Treaty “would damage the bilateral ties the two countries had built over the years.” The question over the future of the IWT is a very serious issue and is only marginally addressed in the media. The sharing of the Indus River system is significant for Indian-Pakistani relations and disputes over this issue could further complicate tensions between the two countries.
If you would like to become a contributor for CHUP, email your article [no more than 700 words please] on a pertinent issue facing Pakistan to Kalsoom at firstname.lastname@example.org.The Indus Water Dispute – Syed Zain ul-Arifeen Shah
October 22, 2008 by Kalsoom
Nehru’s commitment to the people of Kashmir
Pakistani territories occupied by Bharat (aka India) Northern Areas are part of Pakistan and were never part of Kashmir
For Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Kashmir “Azadi” means “freedom” from India and “independence” means becoming part of Pakistan
The Indus Water Treaty is a water-sharing treaty between India and Pakistan, by which it was agreed that the use of water from the Indus River and its tributaries would be divided between the two countries. It is widely agreed by the World Bank and various expertsthat this Treaty is a success. Firstly, it has proved the effectiveness of involving a third party in negotiation. Secondly, it has shown that cooperation and coordination are possible in resolving transnational river conflicts. However, we argue that the Treaty has yet to provide sustainable solutions for peace maintenance at state level, and more importantly, meaningful protection to the citizens of both countries.
At the same time, from a human security perspective, we doubt whether the Treaty is effective in protecting the citizens of the two countries. In fact, while the Indus River remains a valuable resource for both states, the Treaty has limited the use of the river to the locals. The case of Kashimir is especially revealing. According to the IPS News Agency, economic development in Kashmir was hindered because only 40% of the cultivable land can be irrigated. Moreover, there is still 25% of Kashmiris living without electricity and 55% living without safe drinking. Quoted from S. Chakarapani, a freelance journalist in India, “around 65% of primary schools in India still lack basic drinking water facilities.” While the World Bank insists that the Treaty is beneficial, it seems that it only brings benefits to the big players, and has no use in solving distribution conflicts at domestic level.
The Treaty cannot be said to be success unless it can effectively improve the living conditions of locals, who afterall should be the focus in a Human Security context. We suggest international inspection and close monitoring to ensure the river resources are used in their full potential. More work has to be done in ensuring the Treaty is implemented within a Human Security framework.
The treaty is just an initial stage in fostering cooperation between India and Pakistan, and more than just rivers should be laid on the discussion table. But more importantly, cooperation between these states and their own citizens has to be enhanced, and subsequent treaties should pay more attention to this basic principle of Human Security.– By Eric Kong and Fiona Wu
The total area of the Indus Basin, the area draining the , Himalayan water into the Arabian Sea, is about 365,000 square miles (934,000 sq.km), larger than the Pakistan’s total area of 310,000 square miles (794,000 sq. km). Pakistan covers the major part of the Indus Basin (about 217,000 squares miles out of 365,000 square miles). The Indus River system consists mainly of the Indus River and its major eastern tributaries, the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej Rivers. A number of relatively small rivers join the Indus on its west side. The largest is Kabul with its main tributary, the Swat River.The Indus Water Dispute – Syed Zain ul-Arifeen Shah, October 22, 2008 by Kalsoom