Marking a toughening of stance, Prime Minister Modi has warned Pakistan that he was determined to stop the flow of river water “on which India has its right” into Pakistan and supply it to farmers of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. In 1960 India signed Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan that allocated Pakistan most of the Indus river system waters. The treaty has been successful because India continues to uphold it even after numerous repeated aggressions by Pakistan. The Indus Water Treaty is a water-sharing agreement between the two countries, brokered by the World Bank. Under the accord, India can use water from the three eastern rivers Sutlej, Beas, and Ravi, while Pakistan has exclusive rights over the three western rivers Indus, Chenab and Jhelum. The Indus water treaty, Sutlej, Beas, Ravi – the water of all three rivers, over which our farmers have their right, is not available to them. The water of these rivers is the right of India and our farmers. Water is also one formidable weapon. According to experts Pakistan’s continued use of state sponsored terrorism against India constitutes reasonable grounds for India to unilaterally withdraw from the Indus Water Treaty. Though Pakistan puts brave face, the real issue is concerned with water. Closing the water tap, even partially, could result in famine and agrarian economic crisis for Pakistan that can lead to internal unrest.
Vinod C. Dixit
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)