The Indus Waters Treaty is a treaty of water distribution between India and Pakistan. The treaty is brokered by the World Bank. On September 19, 1960, the Indus Water treaty was signed in Karachi. The treaty was signed by the then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and the then President of Pakistan Ayub Khan. As per the treaty, the control over the rivers the Ravi, the Beas, and the Sutlej was granted to India. On the other hand, the control over the rivers the Indus, the Chenab, and the Jhelum was given to Pakistan. In addition to that, the provisions were made on how the waters will be shared. The rivers from Pakistan flow through India and India would use the water for transport, irrigation and generation of power. The treaty was a consequence of the fear of Pakistan that, since the sources of rivers of the Indus basin were in India, it could potentially generate famines and droughts in Pakistan, mainly at times of war. After the approval of the Indus Waters Treaty in the year 1960, Pakistan and India did not engage in any water wars. Many disputes that cropped up related to water was resolved through legal procedures. At present, the Indus Waters Treaty is considered as a successful water sharing accomplishments in the world. According to the provisions of the treaty, India can utilize its 20% share of the Indus river water.
Indus basin water begins in the Himalayan Mountains and Tibet and in some states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. The water flows from the hills through Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Sindh. It joins in Pakistan and empties in the Arabian Sea. Initially, there was a narrow stretch of irrigated lands alongside the rivers, later due to various developments; many canals and storage facilities were built in order to provide water for over 26 million acres (110,000 km2). A disagreement was created due to the partition of British India over the Indus basin waters. During the initial years of partition, Indus waters were shared out by the Inter-Dominion agreement of May 4, 1948. As per the treaty, India has to share sufficient amount of water to the regions of Pakistan. In return, annual payments were to be given from the Pakistan government. The agreement was done to meet the requirements and negotiations for a better solution. On the other hand, both Indian and Pakistan were unwilling to compromise their positions and negotiations reached an impasse.
From the Indian viewpoint, Pakistan cannot do anything to prevent India from any scheme to redirect the water flow in the rivers. The Pakistan nation wanted to take the concern to the International Court of Justice. However, India refused. They further argued that the conflict required a bilateral decree. The Indus water treaty hasn’t taken into consideration the Indian state of Gujarat as the part of Indus river basin. The Indus River enters the region of the Great Rann of Kutch and feeds in to Kori Creek at times of flood. During the Indus Waters Treaty in the year 1960, the region of Great Rann of Kutch was a disputed territory between the two nations. Later, it settled in the year 1968. The settlement was made by sharing the total disputed area in the ratio of 9:1 ratio between India and Pakistan.
Without India’s consent, Pakistan started the construction of Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) project which passed through the region of the Great Rann of Kutch with the assistance from the World Bank. The purpose of Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) is to sidestep the polluted and saline water which is not healthy for the use in agriculture to reach sea via the area of the Great Rann of Kutch without passing through its Indus delta. The Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) release water that enhances the flooding in India. It also contaminates the quality of water bodies which are the source of water to the salt farms. The Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) is intended to join the sea through disputed Sir Creek but the water of Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) is entering the territory of India due to many breaches. In the year 2016, due to the consequences of the Uri attack, India reviewed the Indus Waters treaty and its provisions. Several changes have been recommended. The treaty is declared invalid as it was signed by the Prime minister of India. The Prime Minister is not the head of the republic of India. The official head of the state is the President.
The Indus Waters agreement set up the Permanent Indus Commission to arbitrate any further disputes cropping up over the share of waters. The Permanent Indus Commission has survived 3 wars. It offers ongoing machinery for discussion and conflict resolution through inspection, visits and exchange of data. The Permanent Indus Commission is required to meet frequently in order to carry out discussions pertaining to potential disputes and cooperative arrangements for the basin’s development. Either India or Pakistan must inform the plans to build any engineering works which would influence the other party and to provide data about such works. At the time of disagreement, a neutral expert settles through arbitration and mediation. Neither India nor Pakistan has initiated projects that could cause the kind of disagreement that the Commission was created to decide, the exchange of data and annual inspections persist, tranquil by tensions on the subcontinent.