17 March, 2023 |


What are the tensions evolving b/w IND & PAK Over Indus Water Treaty?

The Allocation & Administration of the Indus River is governed by the IWT, which India & Pakistan had adopted. What are the effects of climate change on the river & how is water a strategic weapon here? Also is there a need to revisit the Indus Water Treaty? So, without any further ado, let's check out the blog :)


The Indus Water Treaty, or simply IWT has been a pillar of peace for more than 60 years ever since the British left the Indian sub-continent. However, issues with its applicability and effectiveness in the modern world have been highlighted by climate change and shifting water requirements in India. Pakistan has been informed by India that the IWT will be reviewed. This treaty was been mediated by the World Bank and can be attributed to being one of the greatest water diplomacies. It also came to be seen as a representation of bilateral cooperation. India seems to be inclined to take steps toward terminating the World Bank's function as an arbiter and mediator in the accord, as seen by the most recent Indian step urging Pakistan to renegotiate the treaty.

India-Pakistan Relation

A number of past and present political incidents, mainly the division of Colonial India in August 1947, have contributed to the two nations' complicated and generally antagonistic connection. The India-Pakistan boundary is among the most heavily fortified international borders in the whole world. The Kashmir issue is a land dispute over the Kashmiri area, principally involving India and Pakistan. Before 2016 it was like an intensive involvement, involving terrorist attacks, Indian replies, a hiatus in negotiations, and eventually a restart of negotiations. There is a condition of peaceful coexistence involving two nations marked by suspicion and antagonistic domestic policies between the respective nations and their residents called cold peace.

Understanding IWT

As stated above, the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) is a bilateral agreement shared between India and Pakistan over the sharing of the water resources that flows through the Indus River and was signed in 1960. It controls how the Indus River as well as its tributary, considered an essential water resource for both nations, have to be used. Under this treaty, we can see that there are three rivers namely the Ravi, Beas and Sutlej which are dedicated to India only and along with that the three rivers which are categorised under western rivers namely the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab are dedicated to the use of Pakistan, provided with some sort of restrictions. According to the agreement, Pakistan receives 80% of the water from the Indus River System while India gets 20%. Nonetheless, the execution of the pact has caused a rift between India and Pakistan in latest years. In view of shifting consumption requirements as well as the effects of climate change, specialists have requested the reconsideration of the treaty.

Impact Upon Indus River Due To Climate Change

Changes in warmth, rainfall pattern as well as the intensity and recurrence of both floods and droughts are all being brought on due to climatic changes, and these changes have an effect on the water's standard and quantity in the river of Indus. For instance, if we talk about the main source of water for the Indus river, is the Himalayas. But for several years the glaciers are melting there which is slowing down the flow of water that can result in water shortages in some regions of India and Pakistan. Also, the changing rainfall pattern affects the timing of the availability of water in the Indus river. This will directly affect agriculture and several other occupations whose primary energy is water. All these things have resulted in water shortage in the Indus River Basin.

The need to revisit the IWT

With a few restrictions, the IWT gives India the authority to launch hydropower projects. India honours its signatories and views trans-border bodies of water as a crucial connection in the country for both diplomatic and economic growth, which is why the agreement has stayed "uninterrupted". Pakistan's refusal to talk and find a solution to the dispute over India's Kishenganga and Ratle Hydropower Initiatives for the past five years made the move necessary. It is an appropriate moment to consider reviewing the IWT to ensure it is still useful and efficient in light of shifting geopolitical and ecological circumstances. This might entail revising the agreement to represent the most current technical knowledge of how changing climate is affecting water supplies, conveying water problems planning, and responding to new requirements brought on by the expanding Indian economy, which could have an adverse effect on water usage.


In hopes of ensuring that IWT continues to be a catalyst for peace and collaboration in the neighbourhood instead of dispute and strain, it may be helpful to examine the pact in regard to climatic changes. We hope you liked this blog and must be in support of the reassessment of the treaty. Do share this blog with your loved ones too. Best Regards. Article by Ayush Maurya and Image Source: Unsplash.

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