Indus Water Treaty: Is India warming for the “One Cut” /Rashmi Talwar/ Daily Kashmir Images

snapshot-indus-water-treaty-kiIndus Water Treaty

Is India warming for the “One Cut”

Rashmi Talwar

Pak President Gen Zia-Ul-Haq’s declaration ‘to bleed India through a thousand cuts’ was the guideline Pakistan diligently followed. India, as a nation recipient of maximum impact of terror from the neighbour, latest being the Uri Attack, seems planning to inflict ‘one cut’ via the Indus Water Treaty (IWT). The lower riparian state of Pakistan is solely dependent on one –Indus Water Basin, whose key player is India.

The ‘cut’ may not come as impatiently as public tempers following the Uri attack, but by systematic evolution of river projects over the years that India could formulate within the parameters and stipulations of the IWT.

There could soon be a beginning, as Dr Medha Bisht, of South Asian University, informed during her address at the International River Symposium by International Water Management Institute, (IWMI) in Delhi recently,-“As many as 20 mini dams are in the pipeline for river Chenab, one of the three western river waters vested with Pakistan under IWT.” There are also proposals for harnessing water through mini dams on Jhelum.

Taking serious note of the possibilities, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was briefed about IWT’s Indian centric options. Following it, it was declared that India will be dramatically reconfiguring the usage of its share of the waters.

An inter-ministerial expert group has already been put on the job to figure out India’s non-consumptive use, apart from plans to commission flood reservoirs, dams and exploit the entitled water share.

Economically and domestically Pakistan is widely dependent on the Indus basin. If indeed India could unilaterally scrap the treaty and divert the waters flow to Pakistan it would mean an immediate tactical retaliation. Alas, by doing so, India may only succeed in large submersion of its own lands.

As Amitabh Sinha in his write up in Indian Express aptly pointed out “Turning off Indus tap, easier said than done”

Indus Waters Treaty and beyond 

After a decade of World Bank-brokered negotiations, six rivers of the Indus basin were notified as ‘eastern’ and ‘western’.  Sutlej, Beas and Ravi as eastern; Jhelum, Chenab and Indus designated western. Under the IWT signed on 19th September, 1960 in Karachi with signatories- Indian PM Jawaharlal Nehru and Pak President Ayub Khan, the control of the eastern rivers were vested with India and three western ones with Pakistan. Despite Pakistan’s apprehensions, since ‘source rivers’ flowed through India, and the potential to create droughts and famines in Pakistan at times of war,both countries managed their shared river waters amicably, irrespective of wars and chilly relations, to be hailed as global model of water sharing and cooperation.

So much so, “Two anti-aircraft guns stationed and in readiness at all times, at Bhakra Dam, have never had a chance to boom against air-space violation in the restricted area during any of the wars”, articulated Tarlochan Singh Chief Engineer, Bhakra Dam, during a field trip to the high security dam organized by IWMI.

Under IWT India is entitled for non-consumptive right to use 20% of the waters of western rivers. Which spells out – domestic purposes, irrigation and hydropower production, as specified in the Treaty.

Merely by making optimum use of the stipulated usage of 20% under IWT of western rivers, India could utilize its non-consumptive option for domestic use, irrigation, hydro-electricity, that could cause a dent in quantity of water flow to the partner country. Presently India has merely utilized 3% or 4% of its sanctioned entitlement.

It is indeed a testament to India’s diplomatic patience that Pakistan’s repeated attempts to internationalize the IWT by taking the matter to the International Court of Arbitration, Hague; has been met with stoic resilience on the Indian side.

Jammu & Kashmir and IWT

The “generosity” of the Indus Waters Treaty has been a source of grievance for state of Jammu and Kashmir, a power-starved state. In 2003, late Mufti Mohammad Syeed had passed a resolution in the J&K Assembly seeking a review of the treaty, but the resolution fell through.

However, another resolution in late June this year, with PDP-BJP coalition in the saddle, is of significance. The state assembly united on revision of the IWT, citing that the source state has been treated shabbily as a non-entity in the Treaty whereas its water resources meant rich dividends to bolster its ailing economy. It has demanded compensation in lieu of usage of its waters. This makes Jammu & Kashmir stand strongly behind a proposal for a revisit of the IWT.

Pakistan is ill at ease with such a revisit, as it least expects 1960s generosity to continue, due to changed conditions and multiple reasons viz-a-viz climate change, ecological, geographical, economical and most of all  political  and diplomatic chill due to years of mistrust.

Prof Shakil A Romshoo HoD Earth Sciences, Kashmir University, contends – “Jammu &Kashmir is naturally endowed as water surplus state. Add to that, the state’s vision to encourage horticulture, weaning it from agriculture has paid huge dividends as the government sanctions 6% to7% higher support price. This, as horticulture is less water guzzling, than agricultural crops, has further made the state, water economical.” However, J&K’s demand for larger stake in share of power is considered a genuine demand.

India has yet to avail of its entitlement to build storage for up to 3.6 million acre feet on western rivers. India has built no storage facilities so far, apart from a small attempt in north Kashmir, the government has done precious little to store the permitted water under the treaty.

Out of the crop area of 13,43,477 acres that India is entitled to irrigate using water of western rivers, only 7,92,426 acres was being irrigated. Government needs to scale up the irrigation by another 5 lakh acres. At least 36 major tributaries flow into Jhelum River, which originates in south Kashmir.

India can up-the-ante, but cannot tame river courses at a press of a button or by turning off the tap. It has to systematically and thoughtfully traverse the course, keeping climate change and larger ecological parameters and perspectives in mind.  In the long term India can utilize the allotted use under the Treaty itself, without causing itself any blemish of unilaterally abrogating the Treaty and simultaneously can inflict the ‘one cut’ for the recalcitrant neighbour.

Water, after all, is haughty mistress; it follows its own ways and whims 

Loathe be one, who can rein its lithe flow!

A journalist based in Punjab, the author can be reached at



11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Nivedita Khandekar on October 5, 2016 at 8:09 PM

    Where Rashmi Talwar @rushrk1 mixes the political and environmental issues so well abt #IndusWaterTreaty



  2. Posted by Vijay Kaul on October 5, 2016 at 8:11 PM

    Thanks a lot for your insightful write up. it has really educated me and many responsibly.



  3. Posted by Indu Aurora on October 5, 2016 at 8:13 PM

    Great Write up !!!! Rashmi Talwar….Sharing & Cooperation of Waters should be amicably thought of by our ruling Govts. …As said…..
    Loathe be One.who can rein its flow. …& Water is the Right to every Human Being…..



  4. Posted by Neetu Sehgal Aneja on October 5, 2016 at 8:13 PM

    Beautiful write up! Congratulations Rashmi Talwar



  5. Posted by Sudhir Bhatia on October 5, 2016 at 8:15 PM

    @rushrk1 @EconomicTimes India as it is, cannot use most of the water, Stopping the flow will cause heavy flooding all over.



  6. Posted by Raminder J S Kala on October 5, 2016 at 8:16 PM

    Good One… (Y)



  7. Posted by Ashima Khanna on October 5, 2016 at 8:16 PM

    Very informative



  8. Posted by Shakil Ahmad Romshoo on October 5, 2016 at 8:33 PM

    Why abrogation of the Indus Water Treaty is not in India’s interest

    By Shakil Ahmad Romshoo

    In 1948, soon after Partition, India asserted for the first time its geographic advantage on controlling waters. This led to a series of water-sharing negotiations that ultimately culminated in the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) brokered by the World Bank.
    In spite of its positional advantage, India has in the past discounted water as a military tool, even in times of war.
    In fact, India lacks the kind of hydrological infrastructure on western rivers essential for any adventurous manoeuvring of waters in the eventuality of any hostility with Pakistan.

    India has always handled security and water issues with Pakistan separately.

    The present attempt to link security concerns with the sharing of waters would complicate the relations with Pakistan and might set off a spiral of discontent and mistrust between the two countries.
    Safeguard the Treaty
    A section of the Pakistan establishment already looks at water-sharing with India through the prism of Kashmir.

    India has to reject this type of dogma to safeguard its political and diplomatic interests with other co-riparian states like China, Bangladesh and Nepal.

    Chinese hydro plants on the Brahmaputra are already a cause for concern. Linking water to security might suit the interests of hawks in India and Pakistan but India, an emerging power aspiring for a seat in the UNSC, should safeguard rather than violate bilateral treaties.

    Notwithstanding PM Narendra Modi’s dismissal of any prospect of waging a “water war” with Pakistan, the sabre-rattling continues unabated in the media. Abrogation of the IWT is not in the interest of India as it is wary of the China factor.

    Safeguard the Treaty
    A section of the Pakistan establishment already looks at water-sharing with India through the prism of Kashmir.

    India has to reject this type of dogma to safeguard its political and diplomatic interests with other co-riparian states like China, Bangladesh and Nepal.

    Chinese hydro plants on the Brahmaputra are already a cause for concern. Linking water to security might suit the interests of hawks in India and Pakistan but India, an emerging power aspiring for a seat in the UNSC, should safeguard rather than violate bilateral treaties.

    Notwithstanding PM Narendra Modi’s dismissal of any prospect of waging a “water war” with Pakistan, the sabre-rattling continues unabated in the media. Abrogation of the IWT is not in the interest of India as it is wary of the China Factor

    Though not based on any international water law, the IWT — governed by political compromise with a focus on engineering solutions — is often widely and correctly cited as a success story for trans-boundary sharing of river waters.

    It has survived despite 56 years of hostility between India and Pakistan. The key aspect of the treaty was the setting up of a mechanism to adjudicate disputes through structured negotiations — this has worked very well.

    Recently, divergent views have emerged about different clauses of the treaty and a minority in both the countries wants to revisit the treaty because of political considerations and perceived injustice.

    However, majority of the experts in both countries acknowledge that there are good reasons to supplement and expand the treaty using scientific knowledge to address issues that have emerged post IWT like climate change, environmental flows and groundwater over-exploitation.

    There are people in both countries who believe that the division of waters under the treaty was unfair, but the unfairness alleged in one country is the exact opposite of that alleged in the other.

    These claims that the treaty is “very unfair” and demands for its reconsideration and compensation on account of the restrictions on water use in J&K lack sound arguments.

    However, there is no doubt that successive governments in J&K have failed to harness the huge hydropower potential of the Indus for its economic development primarily due to the lack of finances required for setting up hydropower projects.

    The Centre has been conservative in supporting the hydropower infrastructure in the state despite several mega economic packages for fringe development.

    People also complain that for every power project, a clearance from Pakistan .. needs to be sought and despite fulfilment of all the formalities, objections from the other side never end.

    Harnessing the hydropower potential of the western rivers, as provided under the treaty, is a legitimate strategy being planned and pursued by India without impacting Pakistan’s water use.

    By constructing strictly run-of-the-river projects on the western rivers, which it is permitted to do, India has been adhering to the provisions of the IWT.

    The disputes over the projects were manifestations of different interpretations by water experts in two countries.

    India is well under the storage capacities set aside by the IWT for agricultural, power, flood storage and incidental usage.

    There is insignificant potential for optimal utilisation of the allocated water by expanding irrigation to arable lands in the mountainous state of Jammu and Kashmir.

    The actual utilisation is less than the entitlement as per the treaty. The reason is the massive land system changes witnessed in Kashmir from water-intensive paddy cultivation to rain-fed horticulture driven by economic reasons.

    Water Power
    Harnessing of the western rivers shall give India much-needed energy security. It will also address the demands of the people of J&K for using Indus waters for their economic development.

    India is harnessing only about 12% of the identified 20,000 MW hydropower potential of the western rivers. If relations between India and Pakistan were normal, the two countries could invoke Article VII of the treaty on cooperation for harnessing the hydropower potential on the western rivers under joint venture. But in the context of the tense relations between the two, this would remain wishful thinking.

    In light of the fragile ecology and disaster vulnerability of J&K, India should strictly adhere to the environmental guidelines governing the setting up of power infrastructure in the Himalayas.

    India’s pursuit of contentious issues like the Wular barrage needs a fresh technical evaluation especially after the inundation of Srinagar city during the 2014 Kashmir floods.
    Radical elements in both India and Pakistan publicly demand the scrapping of the treaty, without realising the side effects or the rationality of their demand. In India, the hawks want to stop the release of water to Pakistan.

    In Pakistan, the mobilisation against India’s “manipulation” of the Indus waters can stoke anti-India sentiments among a wide spectrum of the society and could fuel discontent that leads to more extremism.

    Any discord over the sharing of the Indus waters has grave consequences for security and stability in South Asia.

    Those who talk of diversion of the Indus waters do not realise that it would require storage dams and diversion canal network on a large scale and that it figures nowhere in the existing Indian water plans. Similarly, any attempt to stop waters to Pakistan would mean flooding areas in Kashmir — to disastrous consequences.
    Notwithstanding the reticence of the leaders in the two countries to work together, there is a need for informed diplomacy to deal with all the intricate issues facing the two countries through a sustained Track II dialogue.

    We need to rebuild cooperation and remove distrust and synergise common concerns on the sharing of Indus waters within the scope of the treaty and outside it through mutual agreement.
    The cooperation that builds on existing frameworks over the sharing of waters may also offer informed pathways to confidence- and peace-building between the two countries to amicably settle political and other issues.

    (The writer is head of department of earth sciences, University of Kashmir)



  9. Posted by Ravinder Kaul on October 5, 2016 at 8:35 PM

    This is a very balanced view on an issue that has become a bone of contention between the two neighboring nations. A voice of reason and sanity at a time when intolerant jingoism rules the airwaves. Congratulations….



  10. Posted by Nivedita Khandekar on October 5, 2016 at 8:37 PM

    Indus Waters Treaty must change for environment, not to choke Pakistan’s lifeline
    The pact must bring riparian nations China and Afghanistan on board amid changing climatic conditions.

    Nivedita Khandekar

    Ten days after the dastardly terrorist attack at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir, much water has flown down the Indus. The Indus Water Treaty 1960 (IWT) that governs the water-sharing arrangement between India and Pakistan has suddenly hogged all the limelight with scores of people demanding its abrogation to choke Pakistan thirsty.

    Under this treaty, India and Pakistan share the waters – Pakistan uses almost 80 per cent of the water from the basin – of six rivers that flow through India towards Pakistan. Of these, India has complete rights over Sutlej, Beas and Ravi, while Pakistan uses Chenab, Jhelum and Indus.

    On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was briefed about the options India can exercise vis-a-vis the IWT following which it was declared that India will be dramatically reconfiguring the usage of its share of the waters in an as-yet unexplored manner.

    Apart from steps to increase/expedite its water storage infrastructure and carrying out “non-consumptive” use for its as-yet grossly under-utilised, under-exploited share as per the treaty, an inter-ministerial group will look into India’s rights on its share.

    Without going into the technical details, grand as it may sound, and legally valid too, fact remains that the provisions for utilisation of our own water share are likely to take many years to materialise.The inter-ministerial group can do a better and faster job.

    Time for a relook

    To start with, the 1960 vintage treaty falls short on several counts. Shakil A Romshoo, professor and head of the department of Earth Sciences at Kashmir University,advocates a relook at the Indus Water Treaty from the climate change perspective and maintaining ecological flow – points which are not part of the original agreement. The treaty talks of distribution of water only between India and Pakistan, but nothing about maintaining environmental flows.

    India happens to be the middle riparian state for the transboundary Indus river system. The Indus drainage basin stretches over 1.1 million sqkm area across Afghanistan (9 per cent), China (8 per cent), India (38 per cent) and Pakistan (46 per cent).

    While India and Pakistan remain the largest stakeholders due to the size and volume of the waters and vis-à-vis their usage, Afghanistan (a small area due to Kabul river) and China – as Indus and Sutlej originate in Tibet – too are part of the basin. The river system in the basin includes: Ravi, Beas, Sutlej, Swat, Chitral, Gilgit, Hunza, Shigar, Shyok, Indus, Shingo, Astor, Jhelum, Chenab and Kabul.

    The Indus Basin Knowledge Platform correctly unfolds the Indus basin scenario,: “The Indus Basin epitomises a grand challenge due to its high poverty rates, high groundwater extraction, increased environmental degradation and risk of floods and droughts due to climate change.”

    Stating the direct impact of climate change on water, the intergovernmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has already warned in its report that changes in precipitation in a warming world will not be uniform. The intensified hydrological cycles will see fewer rainy days, but more intense rainfall on those days.

    This directly leads to floods, something similar to what Kashmir Valley witnessed in September 2014. Since 2010, Pakistan has had a number of alarming floods causing huge loss of life and damage to agriculture land/property.

    Beyond the India-Pakistan binary

    With such extreme climatic events predicted to occur in greater frequency, it makes more sense to take a holistic look at the entire basin. Going beyond the geo-political strategic conditions, it becomes imperative to look at the whole basin through changing climatic exigencies, which will mean the involvement of Afghanistan and China.

    Glaciers in the Kashmir Himalayas and Karakoram ranges contribute to the majority of water flow in the basin while the contribution from China (Tibet) and Afghanistan is far less. But involving China becomes important also because of the gaping hole – a dark zone when it comes to knowledge about geographical and climatic conditions in the Tibet Autonomous Region from where both Indus and Sutlej originate, even though not many are aware about the exact developments taking place in the region.

    The many stakeholders of Indus River System.*
    China has managed to keep a lot of secrets there. In fact, there is lack of transparent mechanism on data sharing. Himanshu Thakkar of South Asia Network for Dams, River and People explains: “In June 2000, Siang area in Arunachal Pradesh experienced exponential rise in water level. Similarly, in August 2000, Sutlej river area in Himachal Pradesh experienced exponential rise in water level. In both cases, there was no record of heavy rainfall. So where did that water come from? China totally declined any hand in it.”

    He points us to a medium-scale dam on Indus, which China built without informing the downstream users, near Demchok in Ladakh. As per a report in the April 2010 issue of Journal of Defence Studies, the dam was located by Alice Alibinia, a British journalist and author of Empires of the Indus , while tracking the source of the Indus in Tibet.

    China has huge economic interests in the region due to the Northern Route of the proposed China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) falling in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.

    What the CPEC means for two riparian countries. Photo credit: The Express Tribune
    So, on one hand, the actual portion of Indus (both the river and the basin) is very less in Tibet, on the other, China indirectly gets a say in the much larger area – including the Ladakh ranges of Aksai Chin occupied by China and the PoK portion of Karakoram.

    Remember, the Indus – starting in Tibet – after passing through Ladakh travels through Gilgit and Baltistan in PoK, and then flows through the Pakistani plains before finally draining into the sea near Thattha in Pakistan. China also conducts a lot of military activity in the Ngari area of the Tibet Autonomous Region, where it has also been promoting large-scale tourism in the Kailash Mansarovar region, an area that lies directly northeast of Himachal Pradesh and where Sutlej too originates.

    Given the geo-political situation in the region, bringing China and Afghanistan on board sounds a far-fetched idea for many. The reasons are obvious. An expert at a recent dialogue on the Indus basin described the four countries of the river system as a “Matrix of Paired Opposites”. Hostile: Afghanistan-Pakistan, India-Pakistan; Friendly: China-Pakistan, India-Afghanistan; Neutral: Afghanistan-China. Of these, India and China are convergent on global issues, but divergent on regional issues.

    It may indeed seem a far-fetched idea at this juncture – and China has not shown any interest in any kind of data sharing, and refused as yet any bilateral treaty with India vis-à-vis the rivers shared by the two countries. But considering the fast-changing climatic conditions, a collective data set (including data about precipitation – snowfall/rainfall, melting of snow, soil erosion, dams and storages on rivers and other spatial and temporal weather aspects) for the much-needed water balance in the region is missing. Work is in progress at many levels, but the efforts are isolated and scattered.

    The Indus Water Treaty does not have an exit clause, but there are provisions for making changes that are mutually agreeable. While Pakistan may not agree to change the provisions as it gains a massive 80 per cent share of the water as per the treaty, Indus is the country’s lifeline – it will have to sooner or later take into consideration the changing climatic conditions and hence a need for a comprehensive arrangement.

    Perhaps, India – as a middle riparian country – can act as a bridge between the upper and lower riparian countries.



  11. Posted by Amitabh Sinha on October 5, 2016 at 8:40 PM

    Turning off Indus tap easier said than done
    It is an idea that keeps returning to the table — but India probably can’t consider it without risks, including those of flooding its own cities and provoking even bigger waves of terror.
    Amitabh Sinha

    The Treaty has survived wars and innumerable phases of frosty relations. It is held up as an example of a global model of cooperation between countries.
    Amid the clamour for avenging the Uri attack, a non-military option being suggested — including by Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha (The Indian Express, September 22) — is the abrogation of the 56-year-old Indus Waters Treaty that defines the water-sharing arrangement for six rivers of the Indus basin that flow through both India and Pakistan. The argument is that India, being upstream, can stop the flow of waters to Pakistan and bring it to its knees.
    Pakistan’s dependence on the Indus system cannot be overstated. About 65% of its geographical area, including the entire Punjab province, is part of the Indus basin. The country has the world’s largest canal irrigation system, thanks to its development of the basin, which accounts for more than 90% of its irrigated area. Its three biggest dams, and several smaller ones, are located here. These are sources for hydroelectricity, irrigation and drinking water for millions of Pakistanis. If the tap could indeed be turned off from the Indian side, Pakistan’s capitulation is expected to be swift.
    Indus Waters Treaty
    In stark contrast to their dealings in other matters, India and Pakistan have managed their shared river waters quite amicably, thanks to the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960. The Treaty has survived wars and innumerable phases of frosty relations. So much so, it is cited as the global model for cooperation on the use of trans-boundary river waters. The success of the Treaty also lends weight to the theory that when it comes to water, nations tend to cooperate rather than get into a conflict.
    The Treaty, which came after a decade of World Bank-brokered negotiations, classified the six rivers of the Indus system into ‘eastern’ and ‘western’ rivers. Sutlej, Beas and Ravi were eastern; Jhelum, Chenab and Indus itself were western. The categorisation was relative — the western rivers flow almost parallely to the west of the eastern ones. Indus, the largest river, originates in China, so does the Sutlej. The other four rise in India; all enter Pakistan from India.
    The Treaty gave India full rights over the waters of the eastern rivers, while it had to let the western rivers flow “unrestricted” to Pakistan. India could use the waters of western rivers as well, but only in a “non-consumptive” manner. It could use it for domestic purposes, and even for irrigation and hydropower production, but only in the manner specified in the Treaty. With the eastern rivers, India could do as it pleased.
    WATCH VIDEO: Sushma Swaraj Hits Out At Pakistan In Her UNGA Address: Analysing Her Speech

    A Permanent Indus Commission was established to implement the Treaty. Each country has an Indus Commissioner, and they meet regularly — every six months these days — to exchange information and data, and to settle minor disputes. Meetings of the Indus Commissioners have never been suspended — more than 110 rounds of meetings, held alternately in India and Pakistan, have taken place so far.
    Armtwisting through Indus
    The idea that India can armtwist Pakistan through the Indus Waters Treaty is not new. It has been floated every time relations have soured between the two countries. It is seen as the easiest and most effective option, and the one with practically no collateral damage. But there is no evidence to suggest it has been given any serious thought, even during the Kargil war or Operation Parakram, the two most serious standoffs in the last couple of decades.
    That is because not everyone believes it would help India in achieving its desired objective — that of forcing Islamabad to act on cross-border terrorism.
    “It would be detrimental to India’s interests in the long run. There is already strong discomfort in Pakistan with the fact that India controls its rivers. This despite the fact that India has always complied with the provisions of the Treaty. In fact, the eagerness in a section of Pakistani society to wrest Kashmir originates in the desire to take control of its rivers. Any tinkering with the Treaty is likely to see an intensification of Pak-backed activities in J&K,” said Shakil Ahmad Romshoo, head of the Earth Sciences Department at Kashmir University in Srinagar.
    Romshoo pointed out that river waters cannot be stopped or released at the turn of a switch. “Waters cannot be immediately stopped from flowing to Pakistan unless we are ready to inundate our own cities. Srinagar, Jammu and every other city in the state and in Punjab would get flooded if we somehow were able to prevent the waters from flowing into Pakistan,” he said.
    Uttam Sinha of the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses said Pakistan could be pressured even without stopping the waters or violating any other provisions of the Indus Treaty.
    “We have never used our rights on the western rivers. Under the Treaty, we can make use of the waters of the western rivers for irrigation, storage, and even for producing electricity, in the manner specified. If we just do what we are entitled to under the Treaty, it would be enough to send jitters through Pakistan. It would be a strong signal without doing anything drastic,” Sinha said.
    Indeed, the Treaty allows India to construct storage up to 3.6 million acre feet on the western rivers. But India has developed no storage capacities; nor has it utilised the water it is entitled to for irrigation.
    Sinha also argued for India’s greater engagement with Afghanistan on the development of the Kabul river that flows into Pakistan through the Indus basin. “This again can make Pakistan extremely nervous. It is in our strategic interest in any case to enhance our engagement on developmental issues with Afghanistan,” he said.
    Stopping the waters of the Indus rivers, on the other hand, can be counterproductive, Sinha said. “We have water-sharing arrangements with other neighbours as well. Not honouring the Indus Treaty would make them uneasy and distrustful. And we would lose our voice if China, decides to do something similar.”



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: