Pakistan has warned India that it will take appropriate action if India violates the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) unilaterally.
It also mentioned that it was closely monitoring the situation after India decided to suspend all talks with Pakistan on IWT in the wake of the Uri attack.
Why Indus River is important for Pakistan?
Around 65% of the Pakistan’s geographical area including entire Pakistan’s Punjab province is part of Indus basin. The water of Indus River is lifeline of Pakistan and is source of irrigation, hydro power and drinking water for millions of Pakistanis. If the water from rivers is stopped by India it can surely cut lifeline of Pakistan.
What is Indus Waters Treaty (IWT)?
- IWT is a water-distribution treaty between India and Pakistan which was brokered by the World Bank (then the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development).
- The treaty deals with sharing of water of Indus water system having six rivers — Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum between the two countries.
- It was signed by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and President of Pakistan Ayub Khan in Karachi on September 19, 1960.
- As per treaty, control over three eastern rivers Ravi, Beas and Sutlej was given to India. While control over three western rivers Indus, Jhelum and Chenab was given to Pakistan.
- It allows India to use only 20% of the water of Indus river, which flows through it first, for irrigation, power generation and transport.
- Most disagreements and disputes have been settled via legal procedures, provided for within the framework of the treaty.
- Under it Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) was set up as a bilateral commission to implement and manage the Treaty. The Commission solves disputes arising over water sharing. Besides, treaty also provides arbitration mechanism to solve disputes amicably.
- A Permanent Indus Commission was set up as a bilateral commission to implement and manage the Treaty. The Commission solves disputes arising over water sharing
- It is most successful water treaty in world. Even, it has survived India-Pakistan wars of 1965, 1971 and the 1999 Kargil standoff besides Kashmir insurgency since 1990.
For more information: Recent clamour about abrogation of Indus Water Treaty