Pakistan misleading people on Indus Water Treaty

ajtr

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Jhonee is right when he says this in Afghan reality: India may talk to ISI, Taliban thread :

Jhonee said:
Yep, Pakistan has four provinces. These four provinces are broadly occupied by four ethinic groups, namely: Pakjab, Sindh, Baloch, Pashtun.
But(and this is important), the power has been grabbed by Pakjabis through PA. PA is predominantly an organisation that is in control of Pakjabis. Most officers, Brigs, Generals are Pakjabis. Through this organisation Pakjabis have grabbed power which gives them a greater share in all resources. Pakjabi is alloted a greater percentage of resources and funds. Even indus water is used mostly by Pakjabis leaving the Sindhis parched.
to which EmO GiRl replied this putting indus water stealing blame in india.:

EmO GiRl said:
hahahhha man fuuny, I like that
Indus water problem is our own, Don't know why is so much interested in it, When India itself is literally stealing water form every neighbor, you dream of creating this rift by using this Pakjab term & all that ethnic stuff will remain a wet dream
Punjab is a bigger province & it will have natural dominance, Don't know why Indians are having wet dreams after seeing this 'made up' rift between different ethic groups, I hope there were more Pakistanis here

l
This thread is about how misplaced are EmO GiRl's and other pakistani propaganda is:



Pakistan PM,politicians, Army cheif,jehadi,media,and its posters continuously beating war drums blaming india about stealing indus water and they are beating war drums.so lets have some reality chechk for these guys.As under indus water treaty.
now lets see what DAWN news pakistani channel has to say:

Right from horse mouth dawn news.Pakistan's Indus Water Commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah says india is not stealing water but its the mis management of pakistan that they r feeling the pinch now.there is no scarcity of water in pak just the mismanagement.pak politician are blaming india for their own mismanagement.



 
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ajtr

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read the following blog of tariq tufail from karachi in which he proves that india is not stealing water but its the pakistani politician/jihadi/army's rehtoric and they are feeding pak public with lies


Indo-Pak Water Issues 101 – Tariq Tufail

http://www.globalpost.com/webblog/pakistan/indo-pak-water-issues-101-%E2%80%93-tariq-tufail





Last week, the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan met in New Delhi to end a “diplomatic freeze” between the two countries since the 2008 Mumbai attacks. According to Reuters’ Myra MacDonald, they did “what they were expected to do — laid out all the issues which divide the two countries and agreed to ‘keep in touch.’” However, the issue of water-sharing has been cause for contention between India and Pakistan over the years [it is also an internal issue in Pakistan among the provinces]. Below, Tariq Tufail, from Karachi, delves into the issues that stem from the 1960 Indus Water Treaty:

The Pakistan-India foreign secretary-level talks took place as scheduled. But curiously, apart from the usual rhetoric of “terrorism” from the Indian side and “Kashmir” from the Pakistani side in the run-up to the talks, water became the more prominent issue.

Though the water issue has been raised in the past, and is one of the sustaining factors behind Pakistan’s continued interest in Kashmir, the articulation of water as a core India-Pakistan dispute in such a distinct and clear manner is unprecedented. Within the space of two weeks, water was mentioned as one of the principal disputes between India and Pakistan by our Prime Minister, our foreign minister, our Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and curiously, even Hafeez Sayeed of LeT/JuD. In order to understand the issue better, it is important to first provide a background of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT).Broadly speaking, the IWT grants exclusive use of the three eastern tributaries of the Indus River – the Sutlej, Ravi and Beas Rivers - to India and the three western tributaries – Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab Rivers to Pakistan. India is entitled to use all of the 33 million acre feet (MAF) of water from the eastern tributaries, of which it currently uses 30 MAF. Of the three western tributaries, the Jhelum, Chenab and Indus itself, which carries a flow of 143 MAF, India is entitled to store 3.6 MAF and is allowed to irrigate 13,43,477 acres of land. India does not store any water as of now and irrigates 7,92,426 acres. In addition, India is entitled to build “run of the river” hydroelectric projects, which do not store water on the western tributaries. The rise in the country’s usage of the water allocated to India (which used to flow to Pakistan earlier) is stressing the water availability in Pakistan. In addition, reduced snowfall and shifting weather patterns is reducing the water inflow.

Cutting through the usual rhetoric of India “stealing” water, several possibilities have to be analyzed:

Pakistan is heightening the water issue to moderate the Indian negotiating tactic of focusing on terrorism
India is really stealing water and violating the treaty
India is not violating the “letter” of the treaty but the “spirit” of the treaty
India is neither violating the letter or the spirit of the treaty, but due to increased water requirements, Pakistan is laying the ground to re-negotiate the Indus Water Treaty
It will be fruitless to speculate on (1), so let us concentrate on (2), (3) and (4).

At this point in time, the Pakistani government has not proven that India has stolen water. The allegation of Indian water theft has not been substantiated by either telemetry readings submitted by India or by water monitoring by Pakistan and has not been raised during the meetings of water commissioners of India and Pakistan. Moreover, because water sharing between Pakistan’s provinces is a contentious issue, water monitoring in Pakistan is a murky issue. To prevent discord among the provinces, monitoring sensors installed by Siemens are frequently tampered with and some monitoring sensors are regularly lost due to theft and sabotage. Even our Indus water commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah and ex-finance minister, Dr. Mubashar Hasan agree that no provable water theft is being committed by India.

Therefore, the inescapable conclusion is that India is not violating the “letter” of the treaty, even if it may be maximizing its usage as accorded to India by the treaty. This is not enforceable in any court of law, and stirring domestic sentiment over such perceived “violations” reduces our policy options and creates disastrous consequences as the Baglihar episode showed, (for background on the Baglihar dam conflict, see this piece).

So what are the disadvantages of the massive construction spree by India?

The national security elements in Pakistan are concerned that even as India is not reducing the flow of water to Pakistan, it is rapidly acquiring the capability to do so by building dams. This is certainly an area of concern, but the IWT does not prevent India from being able to stop water flow into Pakistan at a future date. It only prevents India from stopping water flow. A positive aspect is that the IWT has stood the test of time, with no violations reported during the 1965, 1971, 1989, Kargil, Parakram and Mumbai standoffs.
Increasing India’s usage of the Indus is affecting Pakistan’s water supply and power projects. That is, the water that was allocated to India, which was previously un-utilized and subsequently flowed to Pakistan and was utilized by our farmers, is becoming increasingly scarce as India builds projects to exploit its share. Even though it causes massive problems in Pakistan, this point cannot be protested, since India is not in violation of the IWT. (For example, complaints about the Sutlej and the Ravi running dry are superfluous since India has exclusive rights to use the water of those rivers.)
So what can be done?

As pointed out beautifully by lawyer Ahmer Bilal Soofi, India cannot be compelled to give “concessions” to Pakistan as long as it complies with the letter of the IWT. Furthermore, any extraneous discussions about water sharing can be stymied by India, since water sharing according to the Indian stance is already settled by IWT. From their perspective, as long as India is not in violation of the treaty, there is nothing to discuss.

Of the remaining courses of action open to Pakistan, re-negotiation of the IWT has a very small chance of success (since both sides will try to get better terms than the current treaty even if India agrees to renegotiate). The right course of action is to massively modernize our irrigation infrastructure (it is estimated that up to 40% of water drawn from our head-works are lost due to seepage in unlined canals, theft and evaporation), stringently follow the inter-provincial water sharing accord of 1991, and gain the trust of the provinces so that new water projects such as Kalabagh can proceed without their objection while seeking unofficial concessions from India to tide over the interim 5-10 year period. However, seeking unofficial concessions might be a hard task, since it has to overcome the prevailing climate of suspicion between the two neighbors, as well as India’s own domestic interests like its own water requirements as well as the impact on public opinion and Indian farmers.

At the end of the day, the wrong course of action would be to stir public sentiment through half truths and lies and to involve non-state and Jihadi actors, which reduces the space for policy flexibility in Pakistan, and further hardens the Indian position.
 
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Water Pakistan's diversionary tactic?

NEW DELHI: Pakistan's zeal to insert the "water issue" in the bilateral talks is being seen here as an attempt to divert popular attention back home from the mismanagement of its water resources and the growing discontent in Sindh and Balochistan over the denial of their share of Indus waters.

Analysts here have been struck by the way Pakistan's political class and the jehadi establishment have teamed up to unleash a propaganda offensive against India's "machinations" to rob the neighbouring country of its legitimate share of Indus waters.

With leading jehadis Hafiz Saeed and his deputy Abdur Rahman Makki of Lashkar warning of serious repercussions, holding out the grim warning of "Muslims dying of thirst would drink blood of India", the official establishment has scarcely been subtle in upping the ante on the emotionally fraught issue where agriculture remains the mainstay of economy. A full spectrum of devices -- from statements from the PM downwards to official briefings and remarks of official spokespersons endorsing fears of theft of Pakistan's water by India -- have been used to elevate water to the level of "core issue" -- a description so far reserved for the dispute ove J&K.

The government-jehadi concert has raised suspicions here whether Pakistan is raising a bogey to thwart the construction of storage dams on western rivers at Bursar (J&K) and Gyspa (HP) by India in keeping with its entitlement under Indus Water Treaty. It is also suspected that the larger gameplan could be to seek arbitration outside the Permanent Indus Water Commission the two countries have.

The grievance narrative, however, suffers from serious infirmities. Analysts point out that Indus Water Treaty of 1960 -- an agreement which has so far endured despite conflicts -- allocated the three eastern rivers (Sutlej, Beas and Ravi) of Indus system to India, whereas the western rivers (Indus, Jhelum and Chenab) were assigned to Pakistan. Importantly, western rivers are far more bountiful than eastern rivers -- mean flow of 136 million acre feet (MAF) against a mere 33 MAF in that order.

India, however, did not let the huge gap come in the way as it decided to pay Pakistan a compensation of 62 million pound sterling for construction of `replacement' canals as compensation for waters of eastern rivers. While this was a rare instance of upper riparian state (India) giving disproportionately, India also accepted severe restrictions on the use of waters of western rivers.

As it escalates its campaign against India over water issue, Islamabad, those familiar with the matter said, was concealing from its people such crucial facts that India is yet to avail of its entitlement to build storage for up to 3.6 MAF on western rivers. Or, for that matter, that of the crop area of 13,43,477 acres that India is allowed to irrigate using waters of western rivers, India has so far been irrigating only 7,92,426 acres.

At the root of the `misinformation campaign' lies a complex web of issues, including the "water greed" of northern part of Pakistan's Punjab which has seen not just Sindh and Balochistan but also, increasingly, southern Punjab in that country going without their legitimate share of Indus waters.

The mismanagement by Pakistan coupled with the fact that Indus waters carry more silt -- giving rise to real and ever-worsening problem of siltation -- has resulted in Indus waters not reaching the whole length of the canals in Pakistan. To compound matters, deforestation and rising temperatures mean a huge depletion in flow of water to Pakistan.

Islamabad recognises the problem is going to deepen with analysts projecting a water deficit of 30% by 2025. Like in the case of many of its other problems, it has decided to deflect the attention towards India.
 

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Not Kashmir but Kashmir’s water is the core issue for Pakistan

Soon after the promulgation of Martial Law in Pakistan in October 1958, Gen.Ayub Khan turned his attention to the rivers of Jammu and Kashmir which, he said, were indispensable for the economic survival of his country. He made a failed attempt in 1965 to capture this State.
After Ayub, Gen.Pervez Musharraf is the second military ruler for whom Kashmir is the core issue not because of any ideology but because of Pakistan’s water needs. While for Ayub Kashmir was indispensable for Pakistan’s economic survival, for Gen.Musharraf it is indispensable for both the country’s economic survival and for its national integrity. He has discarded Pakistan’s five decade-old stand on the United Nations resolutions on Kashmir and does not talk of accession as his country’s ideology. Both Ayub and Gen.Musharraf made water from Kashmir as a condition for peace with India. Like Ayub, Gen.Musharraf made an unsuccessful attempt to grab Kashmir in May 1999 by invading Kargil.

As a Brigadier at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London in 1990, he had presented a paper with an unusually long title: “The Arms Race in the Indo-Pakistan Subcontinent. Conflicts with the Pressing Requirements of Socio-economic Development. What are its Causes and Implications? Is there a Remedy?” The gist of this paper is a suggestion that the rivers of Kashmir hold the key to the future conflict between India and Pakistan. This month International Centre for Peace Initiatives published a book by name “The Final Settlement: Restructuring India-Pakistan Relations”. The book suggests that the search for a final settlement between the two countries must be predicted on the analysis of the three essential elements in the bilateral relationship - Fire (use of terrorism as state policy), Water (rivers of Kashmir) and Land (an agreed future status of Kashmir).

As the summer has arrived and annual water agitations have started in Sindh, the part of this book dealing with water is very timely. Shortage of water and its gross mismanagement in Pakistan have the potential of sabotaging the new-found bonhomie between the peoples of that country and India. The facts about the water situation in Pakistan, as mentioned in this book, are alarming. Still more alarming for the national integration of Pakistan is the fact that Generals want their land in Punjab to get uninterrupted water supply at the cost of Sindh by upstream division of water from Indus. During summer, Indus is almost dry on entering Sindh. As a result, there is massive sea intrusion destroying farm lands. On top of it, the Government plans to build the Kalabagh dam and Thal canal which, the Sindhis say, will further reduce the water flow to their province. The Kalabagh dam is opposed both by Sindhis and Pushtuns of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). Sindhis have threatened to start a cessationist movement if the Government goes ahead with the construction of this dam. Baluchistan, too, opposes this dam. This province faces water draught in summer and devastating floods during monsoons. The Government's concern for this poor province was exposed this January when five small dams of inferior quality were washed away in rain and snow destroying human lives and property. The Thal canal is opposed because it is designed to supply additional water to areas in Punjab where Generals have their farms. Again at the cost of Sindh.

In order to avoid a conflict with Sindh, according to the book, Pakistan may feel it needs physical control over the Chenab catchment region in Jammu and Kashmir. “It needs sites to build dams, to store, divert and regulate water flows,” it says. Then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had opened a two-track channel with the Government of India soon after Gen.Musharraf became the Army Chief. Apparently this new diplomacy was started at Gen.Musharraf's instance. During this time a suggestion was floated that the Chenab river should become the border between the two countries. Pakistan wanted water security beyond the 1960 Indus Water Treaty. Gen.Musharraf's Dixon plan-like proposals in October last year suggested division of Jammu into sub-regions roughly along the Chenab river.

To meet Punjab's water needs, Pakistan has been exploiting Kashmir in two ways. One, the Mangla dam constructed on Jhelum in occupied Kashmir has revolutionised Punjab's agriculture at the cost of PoK. The construction of this dam in 1960 had rendered lakhs of Mirpuris homeless. They hardly got any compensation. PoK does not receive royalty for the power it supplies to Pakistan. Now to meet Punjab's increased water needs, Pakistan has decided to raise the height of the Mangla dam by 30 feet. This will make more than 40,000 people homeless in Mirpur. Hence bitter protests.

Pakistan is also toying with the idea of constructing a dam in Skardu in the Northern Areas. If this dam is constructed, Baltistan will ultimately disappear. Here too, there are protests.

Two, Pakistan has been using Kashmiri youths to secure its water interests. Syed Salahuddin, chairman of the Pok-based United Jehad Council has often said the Kashmiri youths are actually fighting for Pakistan to gain control over Kashmir's rivers. PoK President Mohammad Anwar Khan told Urdu newspapers in October 2002, “Kashmiris are fighting for the security, strength and prosperity of Pakistan ...Even peace between Punjab and Sindh depends on water, and, therefore, on Kashmir”. PoK Prime Minister Sikandar Hayat told a seminar on March 6, 2003 “The freedom fighters of Kashmir are in reality fighting for Pakistan's water security and have prevented India from constructing a dam on the Wular Barrage.

It is certain that Kashmiri youths will not keep on shedding their blood for Pakistan's water needs. On the contrary, there can be confrontations between Pakistan and Kashmris over water.
 

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Friday Times – Latest issue

Getting ready for a 'water war'?

Getting ready for a 'water war'?

Khaled Ahmed

For once Commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah is right. He sees no violation of the Treaty. And he has no jurisdiction over the new issue of scarcity of water because the Treaty doesn't deal with it

Pakistan may be getting ready to go to war with India, not over Kashmir, which it finds futile, but over the river water India is supposed to insist on stealing from it despite the Indus Water Treaty of 1960. Pakistan's army chief has mentioned 'water' in his last challenging statement, followed by the Prime Minister, and there is a one-sided media war going on as the Indian side, still angry over the Mumbai attack, is poised to jump in, all guns blazing. One chief editor in Pakistan says Pakistan should nuke the Indian dams stealing Pakistani water – with him as human payload tied to a nuclear missile!

The world is waiting for this to happen. Water wars have been predicted by the UN, but statistics show that states continue to be sane over shared waters. The Economist wrote on May 1, 2008, 'Researchers at Oregon State University say they have found that the world's 263 trans-boundary rivers generate more co-operation than conflict. Over the past half-century, 400 treaties had been concluded over the use of rivers. Of the 37 incidents that involved violence, 30 occurred in the dry and bitterly contested region formed by Israel and its neighbours, where the upper end of the Jordan river was hotly disputed, and skirmished over, before Israel took control in the 1967 war'.

Alarmism of the Lower Riparian : The Economist ends by stating : 'And some inter-state water treaties are very robust. The Indus river pact between India and Pakistan survived two wars and the deep crisis of 2002'. We may be about to prove the observation wrong. As we go for the next round of Indo-Pak talks – with the Indian army chief alleging cross-border infiltration in Kashmir – Pakistan's lawyer Ahmer Bilal Soofi, writing in Dawn on February 20, 2010 focuses on the real issue : scarcity rather than theft of water, and recommends fresh talks to consider supplementing the 1960 Indus Water Treaty with a water regime during scarcity of water. The Treaty did not take into account the ecological change that would occur half a century later, depriving the subcontinent of rains and run-off from its mountain glaciers.

Today, water management is akin to conflict management. But India and Pakistan are busy conflict-creating: they started with Kashmir and have ended up with half a dozen more casus belli issues even as they talk peace. Water is the latest such issue. Before we as a lower riparian state raise the ante, let us consider some aspects of the developing confrontation. As a lower riparian, Pakistan is naturally alarmist. This is true of lower riparians anywhere in the world including lower riparian provinces in India and Pakistan. We don't want water storage on our rivers in Kashmir; Sindh doesn't want water storage on its rivers in Punjab. And Sindh is as alarmist and non-trusting vis-�-vis Punjab as Pakistan is vis-�-vis India.

Treaty good despite universal hatred of Treaty : In India everyone thinks signing the Indus Water Treaty was wrong. They know that not having a waters treaty is advantageous to the upper riparian if it is militarily strong. In Pakistan, even as Punjab and Sindh fight over waters, both sides denounce the 1960 Treaty. No one says how it would have benefited Pakistan if there was no treaty reserving certain rivers for Pakistan. In India those who hate the Treaty have a good reason for doing so : take all the water and make Pakistan suffer. One is astounded by the intensity of the warmongering in Pakistan over the waters, especially as one looks at the record of Pakistan's past behaviour under the Treaty.

The Indus Treaty envisages three kinds of complications over waters. The first type is 'questions' which are resolved by the two sides through their water commissioners at the Indus Water Commission. The second is 'differences' for which the two sides approach the World Bank which appoints a neutral expert. The third type is 'disputes' which goes to a Court of Arbitration assembled by the World Bank for the purpose. Both sides fund the process; and the Court can also award costs. So far 'questions' have been many, but only one difference, over Baglihar Dam, which turned out to be not as grave as Pakistan had thought, which must have been chastening for our watchdog water commissioner, Jamaat Ali Shah. There has never been a 'dispute'. It is on the basis of this record that the world thinks the Indus Treaty such a good bilateral arrangement. Have we learned anything from this record?

India allowed storage and some use of Western Rivers : Our bearded Water Commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah once symbolised our lower riparian alarmism, returning from his meetings in India with his dire warnings about the male fides of Indian intent. Today he is being castigated and even insulted on TV programmes because his accumulated knowledge prevents him from crossing the line on the jurisprudence of the 1960 Treaty. Discussants fall into red-faced paroxysms when he says India is not in violation even though it is in the process of building dozens of dams over our rivers – Indus, Chenab, Jhelum – and diverting water from Kishenganga.

As stated above, an upper riparian will not enter into a water treaty unless it sees advantage in it – an advantage over the lower riparian.Although Nehru is cursed in India for having signed the Indus Treaty, the truth is that he did extract from it the advantage of using some water from our three Western Rivers for consumptive use, that is, agriculture. Annexure C of the Treaty is about India diverting certain amount of water in certain months from the Western Rivers. Then, there is no bar on the building of water storage for electricity production or any other non-consumptive use on Western Rivers (Annexure E). If anyone complains in Pakistan about India building dams and taking some water out of our rivers, he speaks out of ignorance.

Water-management is conflict-management : For once Commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah is right. He sees no violation of the Treaty. And he has no jurisdiction over the new issue of scarcity of water because the Treaty doesn't deal with it. He can only say he doesn't believe what the Indians are saying; and he is saying that. India and Pakistan are facing a calamity they can't quantify and that pertains to climatic change as never seen in human memory. This calamity is the 'third party' against which both should unite, taking along also the other states of South Asia. But this can only happen if India and Pakistan normalise their relations and become 'sympathetic' rather than 'punitive' in their view of each other. It has been observed in the context of riparian relations that water disputes can be resolved if relations are normal, that is, allowing interpenetration of interests through free bilateral trade and investment.

As a lower riparian Pakistan has no aggressive advantage, nuclear weapons or no nuclear weapons. All advantages lie in its median status and the potential it has as a trading corridor with regional states dependent on it for the movement of their goods and for the transit of their oil and gas pipelines. As stated above, 263 trans-boundary rivers in the world have caused the riparian states to cooperate rather than go to war. Many Pakistanis believe they have the advantage of leverage over America and can go on benefiting from America despite being anti-American. One has to look at Pakistan's record with India to see how much leverage Pakistan has seen seep away as it follows its aggressive approach. Those who denounce the Indus Treaty in India want Pakistan to go on acting like this. We must remember that the Treaty can be set aside in the case of a hostile escalation; and the world will find itself siding with India if it thinks Pakistan is in the wrong.

Shahid Javed Burki's advice for normalisation : Pakistan's former finance minister and ex-vice president of the World Bank, Shahid Javed Burki, anticipating the Indo-Pak ministerial talks in late February 2010, wrote in Dawn (16 Feb 2010): 'If thinking outside the box is to be encouraged, my suggestion would be that Islamabad base the dialogue on an entirely new consideration : how to bring about greater economic integration between the two countries.

'The objective should be to develop a stake for India in the Pakistani economy and also in its stability. This would entail a number of things including unhindered flow of trade between the two countries, encouraging the private sectors on either side of the border to invest in each other's economy, the opening up of the border that separates the two parts of Kashmir to trade and movement of people, and grant of transit rights to each other for trade with third countries. As the experience of Europe shows, economic integration among states with a history of hostility towards one another is a good way of easing tensions. Taking that approach would constitute real thinking outside the box'.
 
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There is a need to review the spirit of the Treaty"

Syed Jamaat Ali Shah, Indus Waters Commissioner
The News on Sunday: A lot is being written about in the press about the water controversy between India and Pakistan. What exactly is the dispute?

Syed Jamaat Ali Shah: It is quite unfortunate that the people of Pakistan, including the press, have woken up to the issue after the passage of half a century. We want the Indus Waters Treaty implemented, in letter as well as in spirit. We want the fulfillment of the rights of both sides, as acknowledged in the Treaty.

Secondly, if I say there is no hurdle from the Indian side, that wouldn't be true either. There are certain mechanisms and design parameters that have been defined in the 1960 Treaty, between the two countries. If the conditions are not met, ultimately the required flow of water to Pakistan will be affected.

Let me also say that India has not reduced the due share of water to Pakistan. For example, when India set up Baglihar Dam, in 2008, the cusecs of water from India to Marala was reduced from 55,000 to 38,000. It was then that the issue was raised. We want that India should provide all information to us according to the Treaty, before it starts any project on the said rivers. For example, India didn't provide us information at least six month prior to starting a project on Indus. This is against the rules in the Treaty.


TNS: Is it true that the Kishenganga hydropower project of India is in violation of the Treaty? Also, it is said that New Delhi has started preparations for building another big dam on Chenab river?

SJAS: We have repeatedly asked India to give us details of the proposed water storage and hydropower projects, including Bursar Dam. However, India's stance remains that it is aware of its legal obligations and will let Pakistan know of the project details six months ahead of the construction work.

We have also requested the government to quickly move the International Court of Arbitration in order to stop the construction of the controversial Kishenganga project. Pakistan has already nominated two members for the court. The procedure laid down in the Treaty requires the two nations to nominate two adjudicators, each of their choice, and then to jointly nominate three members to complete the composition of a seven-member court of arbitration.
 

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Punjab walks out of Irsa meeting

ISLAMABAD: A dispute among provinces over water share intensified on Thursday when a meeting of the advisory committee of the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) ended in deadlock and Punjab walked out in protest against opposition from Sindh, Balochistan and federal members to a proposal to allow it to draw more water during the remaining period of the current crop season.

This was perhaps the worst crisis of its kind faced by Irsa in its 18-year history, despite some improvement in water situation and an estimated decline in shortage from 34 per cent to 30 per cent after the recent rainy spell.

The meeting presided over by Irsa Chairman Aman Gul Khattak was presented with the revised water probability of 7.42 million acre feet (MAF), which Sindh claimed was a shift from all past traditions when water probabilities were worked out at the start and not in the middle of cropping seasons. The meeting was attended by all Irsa members, provincial irrigation and agriculture secretaries and representatives of the agencies concerned.

“The meeting was hit by the differences and now the authority will take a decision” about water probabilities and provincial shares, Irsa spokesman Khalid Rana told reporters.

The provinces were not only divided over the probable water availability calculated by Irsa for the next six weeks, but also took extreme positions on how to share whatever quantities were expected to be available from Feb 11 to March 31.

While the members from Sindh and Balochistan and the federal member (belonging to Sindh) opposed allowing Punjab to open the Chashma-Jhelum link canal to draw more water from the Indus zone, Punjab insisted on drawing more water from that as well as the Taunsa-Punjnad canal.

According to sources, Irsa’s revised estimates suggested 1.48MAF of additional water share for Punjab from the Indus zone, but the three members refused to accept the estimates. They claimed that Punjab had already consumed more than its share from the Indus and should now compensate Sindh and Balochistan for 400,000 acre feet of water it had drawn, under a Dec 15 decision of Irsa.

According to the revised estimates for Feb 11 to March 31, Irsa calculated Punjab’s total remaining share for the current season at 4.09MAF — 2.6MAF from Jhelum-Chenab and 1.48MAF from the Indus zone. Sindh’s share was estimated at 2.6MAF, NWFP’s at 270,000 acre feet and Balochistan’s 450,000 acre feet.

Irsa member for Punjab Shafqat Masud told reporters that Sindh and Balochistan were not ready to agree to the remaining water share from Indus that Punjab was entitled to draw from Chashma-Jhelum and the authority could not reach a decision. “We decided to walk out in protest.”

He said the water share of Punjab stood at 4.9MAF, part of which it had the right to draw from the Chashma-Jhelum canal.

But Sindh and Balochistan had a different view. “By working out water probabilities in the middle of the season, Irsa has set a new example in violation of traditions and, therefore, we don’t accept it,” Sindh’s representative Shuja Ahmed Juneju said.

He said Irsa had tried to establish Punjab’s additional share from the Indus zone “that we have contested and proved with facts that revised probabilities were not acceptable”.

He said Irsa had tried to confuse different issues that would add to the problems instead of solving them. He said Sindh had demanded closure of the Taunsa-Punjnad and Chashma-Jhelum canals because Punjab had already utilised its share from the Indus zone.

He claimed that Irsa’s federal and Sindh members had neither been consulted in preparation of the revised probabilities nor before their presentation to the committee.

An irrigation official from Balochistan said his province supported Sindh’s stand of not allowing more water for Punjab from the Indus and demanded that the two lower provinces should be compensated by Punjab for the 400,000 acre feet of water it had been allowed to draw in December. He said the Taunsa-Punjnad canal should also be closed.

When asked if Balochistan had taken up its complaint against Sindh for allegedly not providing its share, he said the matter had been taken up, but Sindh’s representatives said they themselves could not get their full share and hence Balochistan also had to suffer. He said the issue would be taken up again at an appropriate forum.
 

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1991 Water Accord must be followed: Taj Haider


KARACHI: Punjab government will not let go of "a single drop" of water, said Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah on Friday. Responding with Sindh's perspective on the water dispute, senior PPP leader Taj Haider told DawnNews that the 1991 Water accord must be followed to resolve the current crisis.

Taj Haider said that the construction of a power plant on Chashma canal is an unnecessary hindrance and should be removed immediately. He said there are 360 other canals in Punjab where such a power plant could be constructed.

He said that 8,000 cusecs of water that should be received by Sindh is stolen from Kotri barrage every year, adding that this transfer should be made through Guddu barrage instead.

He said that the lack of fresh water is harming agricultural land in Thatta and Badin districts.
 
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Militants try to cash in on Pakistani farmers’ water woes

CHISHTIAN SHARIF // A deteriorating supply of water to farms in the southern districts of Pakistan’s central Punjab province is causing concern among farmers and is being seized upon by militant groups looking to capitalise on discontent, locals say.

The decrease in irrigation water to the Roohi desert region – a place that since 1988 has been a recruiting ground for militant groups fighting Indian rule in Kashmir – was first noticed by residents five years ago.

“There was ample water until 2005 – more than enough to grow our crops. Then, suddenly, the number of days that water was available to each village started to drop off and has now reached the point where it has become a serious concern,” said Ansar Rasheed Sindhu, a farmer from the village of Chak 205, located on the Murad Canal near the market town of Chishtian Sharif, which is 700km south-east of the capital, Islamabad.

The effect of the water shortfall has been particularly severe on subsistence farmers, whose families depend on the harvests of wheat and sugarcane for much of their food and on the sale of cotton for cash income.

Mohammed Anwar, a father of three who lives off 1.2 hectares in Chak 205, said yields from the area’s three major cash crops had improved by 50 per cent over the past 20 years because of superior seed, fertilisers and pesticides, but were still 25 per cent lower than districts further north that were closer to the Chenab river, which feeds the canals of Punjab.


“You can see that the virgin soil on the periphery of our village, which was first farmed about 15 years back, is losing its fertility because we can’t irrigate it as regularly as it should be,” he said.

Mr Anwar said the effect was most keenly felt in villages at the tail of the canal chain, further east of Chak 205 and close to the nearby border with the Indian state of Rajasthan.

“They barely get any water, if at all. The fields are barren and being reclaimed by the desert. I’ve seen villagers filling pots with water from ponds used by livestock. Their situation is awful and scares me because it shows what could happen to this village,” he said in an interview at his farm, surrounded by young wheat stalks that were ringed by yellow sand dunes.

The growing alarm among farmers has not escaped the attention of militant groups still active in the area. They include the Jaish-i-Mohammed and Lashkar-i-Taiba (LiT), both of which are responsible for attacks in India over the past decade.

In the nearby village of Chak 206, Jamal Din “Afghani”, the local head of the Jama’at-ud-Dawah, the charitable front of the LiT, blamed the water shortages on India’s construction of the Baglihar dam upstream on the Chenab River.

The filling of the Baglihar dam, a process that would take several years, has substantially reduced water flows into Pakistan, the government has said. “India wants to destroy Pakistan by cutting off our water. Now it wants to build another dam on the Jhelum river [another Indus tributary] to turn Pakistan into a desert and starve us all to death,” said Mr Din, who is better know as “Afghani” because he fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan in the 1990s.

India contends the dam does not violate its accord with Pakistan in 1962 over the use of water from the Indus River and its tributaries, which flow through both countries from the Himalayas.

Under the accord, Pakistan had first right of dam construction on the Chenab, but failed to act within a stipulated time because of political indecision and a lack of funding.

After three years of unproductive talks, Pakistan decided last year to take the dispute to the World Bank, the guarantor of the 1962 accord, for arbitration.

However, farmers in the Roohi region, also known as the Cholistan Desert, dismissed the contention that the water shortages are a consequence of the Baglihar dam.

“The shortages started before India built the dam, shortly after the last local government elections [in 2005]. After big landlords won and gained control, they started stealing water to fill reservoirs on their farms,” said Mr Sindhu, from Chak 205. “Corruption within the irrigation department is now the issue that needs to be dealt with, but I can see how the poverty that it has caused could be twisted by the militants to meet their own agenda.”

The Roohi region was first irrigated in 1934, when British engineers completed the construction of Pakistan’s canal system, still the largest in the world.

Before that, the region had undergone a massive upheaval when, about a century ago, the Hakra river dried up, local historians said.

Mohammed Yasin Wattoo, a guide at the crumbling ruins of Manjgarh, a ghost town near Hasilpur, said that before the drying of the Hakra, it had been a bustling trade hub with daily trains of vegetable-laden bullock carts from fertile areas to the east in what is now India.

Pointing to the broken ramparts of the town’s still imposing fort, he said: “My elders told me that when the moisture left the soil, the mud-brick foundations lost their cohesion and collapsed. The same is happening again.”
 

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Fantastic thread. An Eye opener. A printed copy of this thread should be distributed in every home of Pakistan.
 

ajtr

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Pakistan's water problem is not only with india but also with Afghanistan.Or is it just that india is buildinding dam on kabul river for Afghanistan government so that afghan people reap its benifit in form of irrigation and electricity production,pakistan is getting paranoid??

Pakistan concerned over dam on Kabul River

Saturday, February 13, 2010
ISLAMABAD: A trilateral US-Pakistan-Afghanistan forum on agriculture has made a robust start in its first meeting held in Qatar with the United States making initial commitment of $100 million as first tranche out of a hefty fund it promised to bolster agriculture in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“More money will flow as concrete projects get under way,” US deputy under-secretary agriculture Burnham Philbrook observed in the plenary session. According to a message received here on Friday, the meeting was organised in Doha by the US Embassy in Pakistan for security reasons and to avoid visa and other complications envisaged in holding it in the United States.

Working groups comprising experts from the three countries in their deliberations focused on areas of food security, trade corridors and water management. Malik announced that the next meeting of the forum will be held in Pakistan in April. Pakistan voiced its concerns on the dam being built on River Kabul with India’s assistance and suggested a profound engagement between Pakistan and Afghanistan to address these concerns.
following is the paper on kabul rive potential:
Water Resources Potential in Kabul River Basin:Case Study: Gambiri Irrigation Project

Introduction:
Limitations in available water resources are accounted as one of the main obstacles of
social development and growth. Whereas the main income of the inhabitants of Kabul
River basin is through agriculture and animal husbandry, development of resources
and proper management in water sector should be planned in a way to meet water
demands in present and future in a sustainable and appropriate manner.
Water resources development and power generation are two main key
development strategies in Afghanistan.
Provision of energy and safe and enough water for municipal, industrial and
agricultural use was felt during rehabilitation of Afghanistan. Demand growth water
and power is due to population growth, return of immigrants, thinking about
construction of large number of workshops and trade centers around the cities.
The present paper is demonstrates the pattern of water demands for social and
economical development and recognizes opportunities for water resources
development and hydro-energy potentialities within Kabul River basin.
Gambiri Irrigation network project is described as a typical of recommended projects
in Kabul river basin.
In this regard the basic challenges and obstacles faced will be discussed.
General characteristics of Afghanistan and Kabul River basin:
Afghanistan has an area of about 650,000 km2 and based on the latest
information
has 28 million population, out of which 20% are settled in the cities and 80% in the
rural areas.As the Kabul River basin area is more than 53000 km2, it occupies only 8% of the
total
Country’s area, more than 8 million people or 30% of the country’s population are
settled in the basin, especially in Kabul city and its perimeters. The ratio between
citizens and
Villagers differ in the basin with that of the whole country and 40% of the population
of the basin is settled in cities and 60% in rural areas. Mean population growth in the
cities of the Kabul basin during 1979 to 2003 was more than 4.5% per year, which
indicates ever increasing potable and safe water and energy demands especially in the
Kabul River basin.
The areas under irrigation and rain fed agriculture in the country are 2.8 and 1.1
million hectares respectively.
Whole they are 230,000 and 80,000 hectares in Kabul river basin respectively.
The potential irrigable lands for development lands in Afghanistan are estimated to be
about 4 million hectares, out of which only 90,000 hectares ( about 2% )of these
lands are located inside the basin area. This indicates the smaller shares of Kabul
River basin in future agricultural development.
Studies in industrial and mining sectors show that the basin has a very high potential
development in this sector due to the location of Kabul, the capital, concentration of
man power and availability of financial resources and also rich mines.Investments in
this sector are an indication of the fact.
Water resources of Afghanistan and Kabul River basin:
annual renewable waters resources in the country is 65 billion cubic meters.
Therefore, available water per capita at the present is estimated 2200 m3/year.This
figures shows that Afghanistan is in a good condition in respect of available per
capita water resources potential. However, investigations indicate that at the present
the water withdrawal in the country is about 27 billion cubic meters per year, out of
which 99% is allocated to the agriculture and only 1% is consumed in municipal and
other uses.
The major river basins in Afghanistan are as below;
• Northern basin includes AmuDarya River basin covering 24% of the
country’s area (about 156,000 km2).
• Morghab-Harirood basin, this basin covers about 12% of the country’s area
( about 78,000 km2 ). Its water flow is finally discharged into Qaraqum
desert in Turkmenistan through Harirood and Morghab rivers.
• South-East basin ( Farah-Helmand ), this basin covers 52% of the country’s
area ( about 338,000 km2 ). Its water flow is discharged into Sistan swamp
through Farah and Helmand rivers.
• Indus-Kabul basin, The basin totally covers 12% of the country’s area
( about 78,000 km2 ). Kabul River basin having 53,000 km2 of area is
discharged into Indus river in Pakistan
Kabul river basin has only 53,000 km2 of area ,this basin with only 8% of the whole
country area yields, the potential of surface water runoff more than 20 billion cubic
meters per year which is 30% of the total surface water potential of the country .
 

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Daily times editorial

One good signal came when our Indus Waters Commissioner Mr Jamaat Ali Shah left for India last week for talks with his counterpart. Reported in Nawa-e-Waqt (May 31, 2009), Indus Waters Treaty Commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah, while leaving for New Delhi to talk about waters shared by India and Pakistan, said that Pakistan was getting its share of waters under the Indus Treaty and that building a dam was the right of India. He said less water in Pakistani rivers was because of lack of rain, not because India had blocked it.
 

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Movement against Indian water aggression

HAFIZ Muhammad Saeed, the leader of the charity group Jamaatud Dawah Pakistan (JDP), has launched a movement against what he called ‘Indian designs to obstruct flow of rivers towards Pakistan’.

A new body “Movement for Saving Water Resources of Pakistan” has been established by JDP with the sole aim of lodging protest against “Indian water aggression”.

“India is in the process of constructing several dams on Chenab, Jehlum and Indus rivers in a bid to completely stop flow of water towards Pakistan,” Hafiz Muhammad Saeed told The News here on Sunday. He said this act has catastrophic outcome for an agrarian country like Pakistan.

To a question, Saeed said, Kashmiri Muslims were also being denied their basic rights. He added that electricity being generated from hydro plants in Indian Held Kashmir was not supplied to people of Kashmir. Instead, he lamented, other Indian states were being illuminated at the cost of helpless Kashmiris.

Vowing to muster support on this vital issue, he said his organisation would contact all political and religious parties in order to create one voice against Indian aggression. He also announced to stage such programmes in the rest of provinces and Azad Kashmir in near future.

Earlier, at first show of strength, hundreds of JDP activists including members of Farmers Wing on Sunday held ‘Water Rally’ in provincial capital to protest against construction of dams in Indian Held Kashmir on western rivers. Farmers from different parts of the country participated in the unique protest demonstration with hundreds of tractors in front of Punjab Assembly.

Farmers riding on tractors gathered at Nasir Bagh area by noon and then marched on The Mall towards Punjab Assembly. Participants were carrying banners and placards chanting slogans ‘Water or War’, ‘Diversion of Pakistani Rivers-Indian Water Bomb’, ‘Water Flows or Blood’, ‘Liberate Kashmir to Secure Water’, ‘No Peace if Indian Water Aggression Continues’.

Speaking on the occasion, Saeed said that by constructing illegal dams and diverting water of Pakistani rivers, India has virtually imposed war on Pakistan. He demanded of the government to prepare the nation to counter this aggression. “The government must take practical steps to secure Pakistani water,” he stressed. He said that due to water shortage, not only cultivation of crops would be impossible but drinking water would not be available to Pakistanis. “It is a matter of life and death for Pakistan”, he said.

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed once again reiterated his pledge for peace in the region, saying India had been imposing war on Pakistan. “My crime is that I speak for the oppressed people of occupied Kashmir and India,” he said adding my religion demands that I should speak for Indian Muslims and other minorities subjugated by ruling elite of India.

He was of the view that UN Security Council was in haste while imposing sanctions against Jamaatud Dawah but it was totally silent on controversial Indian projects in a disputed territory. Hafiz Saeed warned that by launching water aggression, India wanted to disintegrate Pakistan.

Head of farmer wing of Jamaatud Dawah, Ashfaq Jutt said farmers cried in front of everybody that there was no water for cultivation but no one took notice of it. He thanked Hafiz Saeed who helped in raising this key issue of national importance. He was of the opinion that farmers of Pakistan were suffering due to Indian Water aggression and world bodies should take notice of this violation.

Jamaatud Dawah’s head of Political Affairs, Hafiz Abdur Rehman Makki, convener Tehreek Hurmat-e-Rasool, Maulana Ameer Hamza, Maulana Hasnain Siddiqi, Inamullah, Abdul Qadir Subhani, Abul Aziz Alvi and Asfhfaq Jutt said that if the blockage of water by India continued, Punjab and Sindh might become deserts, which would be a huge blow to Pakistan’s economy, security and stability.

Later, , participants of rally unanimously adopting a resolution said India virtually declared war on Pakistan by unlawfully constructing dams and diverting water of western rivers. India is trying to hatch deep conspiracy of making Pakistan’s agricultural lands barren and economically annihilating us.

So far, actions taken by the government of Pakistan in this regard are terribly insufficient and disappointing. Meeting between Indus water commissioners are by no means sufficient to stop India from violating Indus Water Treaty. Some

‘Practical’ steps have to be taken earnestly in this regard. Time should not be wasted in pointless India-Pakistan dialogue if former is not willing to recognize Kashmir and water related issue as core dispute.

Kashmir is a disputed territory as per UN resolutions. We call upon UN and international community to take immediate notice of controversial Indian projects in a disputed territory and force India to stop this aggression that may trigger war between two nuclear armed neighbours.

Participants of rally vowed that Pakistan must keep open the option of using force if India continues with water terrorism.

Besides water aggression, India has deployed ‘military mission’ and RAW camps along Afghanistan Pakistan border to train, finance and equip terrorists for carrying out attacks in Pakistan. India pioneered cross border terrorism in South Asia by doing the same in East Pakistan not too long ago. We call upon UN to impose sanctions on RAW and close disruptive Indian missions to ensure regional peace.

We also call upon our government to build unity among various religious, political and civil society groups so that we stand solid behind Pakistan army as India is, in fact, preparing to impose war on Pakistan,” they stated.

We call upon Pakistan government to put an end to so called war on terror which is in fact not our war. We stand united to defend and protect our rivers, land and dignity, participants concluded.
 

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Mangla Dam runs 3 feet above dead level

LAHORE: The water level at Mangla Dam collapsed with dead level three inches down, Geo News reported Monday.

According to Met Department, the inflow at the Dam was recorded at 20,548 cusecs and outflow at 27,476 cusecs.

Meantime, Tarbela Dam is running at 1389.82 feet—11 feet over the dead level.

According to the concerned sources, Tarbela Dam is receiving 26,000 cusecs and outflow here was recorded at 35,000 cusecs.
 

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With thanks to Subramanyam (Sri) Sridharan of BR i would like to share his research paper on Indus water treaty.All copyrights are held by www.bharat-rakshak.com. So please contact Admins at BR for reproduction of the same at some other site/forum.

The Indus Water Treaty

Subrahmanyam Sridhar

Executive Summary

Recent stresses and strains in the observance of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) [1] have had many analysts including this author believe that water sharing will take a politically charged dynamic and may even replace Kashmir as the primary source of conflict between India and Pakistan. Therefore it is important to have comprehensive understanding of the overall issues of the Indus system of rivers and the IWT as this article attempts to provide. It is formatted introduce the Indus river system, a brief overview of the principles of water sharing, the historical background leading up to the water crisis between India and Pakistan and the mediation by the World Bank, various provisions of the IWT, current disputes in water projects on the Indus River System bilaterally between India and Pakistan, and a look into the state of affairs of the Indus River System within Pakistan today.

Introduction

The 3rd World Water Forum held at Kyoto , Japan in March 2003 sent simultaneous messages of hope and distress regarding the availability of water to meet surging worldwide demand in the coming decades. Its significance is especially serious in the Indian subcontinent, a region that is home to one-fourth of humanity and to three of the mightiest rivers of the world: the Indus , Ganges and Brahmaputra . Although these rivers have been subject to significant water sharing treaties among the various riparian states in the past, currently four major treaties govern them. These include the Indus Water Treaty (1960) between India and Pakistan , Sankosh Multipurpose Project treaty (1993) between India and Bhutan , the Ganges Water Sharing Agreement (1996) between India and Bangladesh , and the Mahakali Treaty (1996) between India and Nepal .

Recent stresses and strains in the observance of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) [1] have had many analysts including this author believe that water sharing will take a politically charged dynamic and may even replace Kashmir as the primary source of conflict between India and Pakistan. Therefore it is important to have comprehensive understanding of the overall issues of the Indus system of rivers and the IWT as this article attempts to provide. It is formatted introduce the Indus river system, a brief overview of the principles of water sharing, the historical background leading up to the water crisis between India and Pakistan and the mediation by the World Bank, various provisions of the IWT, current disputes in water projects on the Indus River System bilaterally between India and Pakistan, and a look into the state of affairs of the Indus River System within Pakistan today.

The Indus River System

The northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent is dominated by the Indus River and its system of upper tributaries (collectively referred to as Indus River System in this article.) Originating 17,000 feet (518 m) above sea level in a spring near Lake Manasarovar at Mt. Kailash , the Indus river along with the Brahmaputra [ii], Sutlej , and Karnali rivers are fed by massive Tibetan glacial waters to become a mighty river with further feeds from other glacial catchment areas in Karakoram and Zanskar ranges. The Indus then traverses a distance of 1800 miles (2900 km) through Tibet, India, Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), and Pakistan before draining into the Arabian Sea south of Karachi. On its way, it is further enriched by the waters of several tributaries, the most important and discussed in this article are Beas , Sutlej , Ravi , Chenab and Jhelum rivers. The western tributaries of the Indus that include the Swat, Kurram, Gomal, Kohat, Zoab and Kabul are not discussed herein. The river has been variously known as the Sengge[2] or Lion River by the Tibetans[iii], Abbasseen or Father of Rivers by the Pathans of present NWFP Pakistan, and Mitho Dariyo or Sweet River by the denizens of the arid Sindh.


Figure 1: Indus river and its tributaries with in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Courtesy of Panos Institute South Asia


Figure 2: Major tributaries and dams of the Indus river Courtesy of Indian Express

The Indus Tributaries

Sutlej : The longest of the five tributaries, the Sutlej originates near Mt. Kailash along with the Indus and runs a course of 964 miles (1550 km) through the Panjal and Siwalik mountain ranges and enters Pakistan through the plains of Indian Punjab. The Husseiniwala Headworks at Ferozepore is located downstream at the merger between of Beas and Sutlej , the closure of which on May 1, 1948 triggered the water crisis that prompted the IWT. These headworks supplied water to the then Princely State of Bikaner through a left-bank canal called Bikaner Canal and the state of Bahawalpur from the right-bank canal called Depalpur Canal . The huge 740 feet (225 m) high Bhakra Dam, which Nehru called “the new temple of resurgent India ,” [11] is also situated on this river. In addition another important headwork located on this Sutlej is Harike that feeds the Sirhind and Rajasthan canals. Within Pakistan , these eastern tributaries of the Indus known as Panjand combine at Mithan Kot.


Figure 3: Bhakra Dam Courtesy of Ministry of Irrigation, Govt. of Rajashtan

Chenab : This 675 mile (1086 km) long river originates in the Kulu and Kangra districts of Himachal Pradesh and is fed by the tributaries Chandra and Bagha as it enters J&K near Kishtwar. After cutting across the Pir Panjal range, it enters the Sialkot district in Pakistan that built the Marala barrage across the river in 1968 with a maximum discharge of 1.1 million cusecs.

Jhelum & Kishenganga (Neelum): The Kishenganga river rises in the mountain complex west of Dras and south of Deosai plateau and is fed by a number of tiny tributaries and merges with Jhelum near Muzaffarabad in PoK. The Jhelum [iv] itself originates in the foothills of Pir Panjal near Verinag and flows through the four major cities of Anantnag, Srinagar , Sopore and Baramulla. Some important tributaries of the Jhelum are Lidar, Sind and Vishav.

Ravi : This 475 mile (764 km) long river rises in Himachal Pradesh and runs a course of 102 miles (164 km) before joining Chenab in Pakistan after flowing past Lahore . The Thien Dam (Ranjit Sagar Dam) is located on this river at the tri-section of Punjab , Himachal Pradesh and J&K States and feeds the Upper Bari Doab Canal (UBDC) which irrigates Northwestern Punjab .

Beas : This 290 mile (467 km) long river originates near Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh and flows through Kulu Valley and the Siwalik Range . The Pandoh Dam is situated on this and diverts water to Sutlej through the Beas-Sutlej link.

The original infrastructure built by the British to harness and efficiently distribute the waters of these tributaries with a series of canals, barrages, and headworks has been augmented with construction of dams since independence by both India and Pakistan .

The Indus Water Treaty

The India Independence Act enacted in 1947 by British Parliament and the subsequent British withdrawal from India left the subcontinent partitioned between two independent states marred by demarcation problems along their international boundaries, the peculiar circumstances leading to the division, and the accession of a number of princely states especially that of Jammu & Kashmir straddling India and Pakistan as well as the complex riverine systems of Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra. Of these three rivers, the Indus presented a complicated set of issues stemming from thousands of kilometres of man-made irrigation canals and headworks that regulated the flow of its waters. While all the rivers, except Indus and Sutlej , originated within Kashmir , the headworks located mostly in the Eastern Punjab were awarded to India . Aside from the Punjab Boundary Commission suggestion that the canal-headworks system be treated as a joint venture, a proposition rejected by both countries, it had not deliberated water sharing of Indus River Basin due to a hasty partition that was completed in a mere 73 days. Water sharing issues of Indus River System would later take over a decade to resolve. Further complicating this issue, Pakistan covertly and later overtly sought to grab Jammu & Kashmir for various reasons including the desire to control the waters of these rivers that succeeded in instilling only distrust among Indian minds.

After the Partition, both the nations agreed to a “Standstill Agreement” on Dec. 30, 1947 freezing the existing water turn systems at the two headworks of Madhopur (on the Ravi ) and Ferozepur (on the Sutlej ) until March, 31, 1948 . Any dispute that could not be resolved by the Punjab Partition Committee was to be decided by the Arbitral Tribunal (AT) which had been setup under Section Nine of the Indian Independence Act by the Governor General to sort out difficulties arising over the division of assets. However, on the expiry of the arrangement and after not receiving an encouraging response to a reminder for talks issued by the East Punjab Government on 29th March 1948, and in the absence of a new agreement, the then Indian Punjab Government promptly stopped the water supply through Madhopur on April, 1, 1948. By a coincidence, the Arbitral Tribunal’s term also expired on the same day. In the meanwhile, the AT had accepted India ’s claims regarding seigniorage charges for the waters and ordered payment of the same by Pakistan . At the invitation of East Punjab , the Engineers of the two divided-Punjab States met in Simla on Apr. 15, 1948 and signed two Standstill Agreements [5] regarding the Depalpur Canal and Central Bari Doab Canal to be in effect until Oct. 15, 1948 . The West Punjab Government agreed to pay: (1) seigniorage charges, (2) proportionate maintenance costs, and (3) interest on a proportionate amount of capital. In its defence, the GoI cited such charges levied by the Punjab on the Bikaner state under the British.

However, the West Punjab Govt. refused to ratify the Agreement and the Prime Minister of Pakistan, then Liaqat Ali Khan, called for a meeting. The Finance Minister of Pakistan , Ghulam Mohammed, along with the Pakistani Punjab ministers, Shaukat Hayat Khan and Mumtaz Daulatana visited Delhi to work out an agreement [4] in the Inter-Dominion Conference held on May, 3-4, 1948. India agreed to resume release of water from the headworks, but made it clear that Pakistan could not lay claim to these waters as a matter of right and would levy seigniorage charges specified by the Prime Minister of India to be deposited in Reserve Bank of India , establishing Indian sovereignty over these rivers. The Indian side also made assurances that the waters would be diminished slowly giving enough time for West Punjab to develop alternate sources. The West Punjab Government, for its part, also recognized “the natural anxiety of the East Punjab Government to discharge the obligations to develop areas where water is scarce and which were underdeveloped in relation to parts of West Punjab .” Soon the Pakistani Government falsely accused that they were coerced into signing this Agreement and made futile appeals to the Governor General Lord Mountbatten. However, due to the hostilities between India and Pakistan on account of Kashmir and in the general environment of distrust and animosity, no further talks took place. Pakistan ’s suggestion in June 1949 to take the matter to the International Court of Justice at The Hague and widen the conflict across all rivers, was rejected by India . On November 1, 1949 , Pakistan unilaterally invalidated the Delhi Agreement and by July, 1950 stopped seigniorage payments into RBI. However, India continued to abide by the Agreement and supplied waters.

In 1951, David Lilienthal, former chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority and a former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission, USA visited the two countries ostensibly to write a series of articles for the Colliers magazine (since defunct). Having had access to both the Governments at the highest level, Lilientahl wrote in one of his articles, “I proposed that India and Pakistan work out a program jointly to develop and jointly to operate the Indus Basin river system, upon which both nations were dependent for irrigation water. With new dams and irrigation canals, the Indus and its tributaries could be made to yield the additional water each country needed for increased food production. In the article I had suggested that the World Bank might use its good offices to bring the parties to agreement, and help in the financing of an Indus Development program.” Inspired by this idea, Eugene R. Black, then President of the World Bank visited the two countries and proposed a Working Party of Indian, Pakistani and World Bank engineers to tackle the “functional”, rather than the “political” aspects of water sharing. The two countries accepted this mediation [5] (which also had the backing of President Truman who wanted to remove the “kind of unfriendliness” that existed then between the US and India ) offer in March 1952 and sent their technical teams to Washington for further discussions. Subsequent meetings took place in Karachi in Nov., 1952 and New Delhi in Jan. 1953. The World Bank suggested that each side submit its own plans, which they did on Oct. 6, 1953 . The two plans, while concurring on the available supply of water, differed widely on allocations. [6] The table below, shows the initial, negotiated and final positions of both the countries.

Table 1: Indus River System Estimates and Allocations


However, despite all efforts, the wide gaps in the stands of the two countries could not be bridged, mainly due to the intransigence of the Pakistani side as the revised and final allocations show clearly above. The World Bank felt that an ideal approach to joint development of an integrated plan for Indus Basin as proposed by David Lilienthal was now impossible. In order to resolve the dispute, it finally stepped in with its own “settlement” proposals on Feb. 5, 1954 offering the three Eastern rivers to India and the three Western rivers to Pakistan . India accepted the proposal in toto on Mar. 25, 1954 while Pakistan gave only a “qualified acceptance” on July 28, 1954 . The settlement offered by the World Bank was closer to the Indian position as it repudiated the claims of Pakistan based on “historic usage”. An angered Pakistan threatened to withdraw from further negotiations. The World Bank proposal was then transformed from a “settlement” to a “basis for further negotiations” and the talks eventually continued for the next six years. [7, 8] In the meanwhile, the two countries signed an Interim Agreement on June 21, 1955 . As no conclusive agreement could be reached, the World Bank announced on Apr. 30, 1956 that the negotiation deadline has been indefinitely extended. [9] As is its wont, Pakistan , through its then Prime Minister H.S.Suhrawardy, issued a direct threat of war with India over waters, escalating tensions.

Under the World Bank plan, Pakistan was asked to construct barrages and canals to divert the Western river waters to compensate the loss of Eastern rivers on the Pakistani side. During the period needed to do this, called the Transition Period, India was required to maintain the “historic withdrawals” to Pakistan The World Bank then suggested a “financial liability” for India as replacement costs by Pakistan for the loss of the three Eastern rivers. In the 1958 meeting, the replacement works and the financial liability to India were considered. India rejected Pakistan ’s proposal, known as the “London Plan”, for two large dams on the Jhelum and the Indus and three smaller ones on Ravi and Sutlej and several canals, all in all totaling USD 1.2 Billion. India ’s alternate proposal, known as the “Marhu Tunnel Proposal”, was unacceptable to Pakistan as leaving too much leverage on water flows in Indian hands. In May, 1959, the Bank’s President visited both countries and suggested a way out which involved India paying a fixed amount of £ 62.060 Million to be paid in ten years in equal installments and the Bank assisting Pakistan with help from donor countries. The international consortium of donors pledged USD 900 Million for Pakistan and the drafting of the IWT began in Aug., 1959.

The treaty was signed in Karachi by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Field Marshal Ayub Khan H.P., H.J. and Mr. W.A.B. Illif, President of the World Bank in a five-day summit meet starting Sep. 19, 1960 . However, it was deemed effective from Apr. 1, 1960 . The two governments ratified the same in January 1961 by exchanging documents in Delhi . Simultaneously an Indus Basin Development Fund was established with contributions from Australia , Canada , Germany , New Zealand , the UK and the US along with India ’s share of the cost. The Eisenhower Administration contributed roughly half the cost of the Fund, while the World Bank provided US$ 250 Million and the other donor countries together provided a similar amount. The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) of Pakistan was entrusted with the task of completing these tasks. The fund was subsequently extinguished after the completion of the projects as per Article XI of the IWT. The May 4, 1948 accord stood annulled after the signing of IWT. The Indus Basin Project involved construction of two large dams, five barrages, one siphon and seven link canals as detailed below in Tables 2, 3,& 4, to transfer 14 MAF of water from the Western rivers. [10] There are three systems of link canals. Two of the systems, the Rasul-Qadirabad-Balloki-Suleimanki System (R.Q.B.S.) and the Trimmu-Sidhnai-Mailsi-Bahawal System (T.S.M.B) connect the Jhelum River through to the Sutlej and the third system Chashma-Jhelum System (C.J) connects the Indus with the Jhelum

Table 2: Engineering Construction Work in Pakistan as part of IWT - Canals



Figure 4 Indus Basin Courtesy: Pakistan Water Gateway Portal


Figure 5 Nehru at Karachi to sign IWT Courtesy: Frontline

The IWT consists of a Preamble, twelve articles delineating the rights and obligations of both countries, including mechanisms to deal with disputes, and various Annexure.The treaty allocated the three Eastern rivers (Ravi-Beas, Sutlej ) to India and the three Western rivers Indus , Jhelum and Chenab largely to Pakistan . The Treaty permits India to draw water from the Western rivers for irrigation of 642,000 Acres that existed on the date of the treaty and in addition an entitlement to irrigate an Irrigated Cropped Area (ICA)[vi] of 701,000 acres. The break-up (in Acres) on the various Western rivers is as follows: These are as follows:



Of the above, Annexure H is no longer valid as the Transition Period, during which Pakistan was required to make alternate arrangements for the loss of waters of the Eastern rivers, has long since expired.


Figure 6: Stamp issued by Pakistan to commemorate Mangla Dam Courtesy: World Bank

There are some caveats to the above storage allocations as follows:

· General storage means any purpose including generation of electricity

· Power storage water may also be used for non-consumptive or domestic use except flood control or protection

· The power storage capacity on Chenab may be increased by decreasing corresponding amounts in Jhelum , and/or Chenab Main.

The IWT also enunciated a mechanism to exchange regularly flow-data of rivers, canals and streams. A Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) was constituted, headed by two Commissioners, one from each country. The PIC is expected to meet at least once a year alternately in India and Pakistan and submit an annual report to their respective Governments before June, 30th every year. So far, the Commission has met 92 times. The IWT also sets out the procedures for settlement of differences and disputes both bilaterally and through International arbitration. Given below is an abridged version of the dispute settlement process that may be of interest in the present context:

A. Any question that might be a breach of IWT shall be first examined by the PIC.

B. A difference is deemed to have arisen if the PIC could not reach an agreement.

C. The difference shall be dealt with by a neutral expert who may opine if it is a dispute or not. If not, he shall resolve it. Such a neutral expert shall be a highly qualified engineer and appointed by the two Governments in consultation, or failing which, by the Bank. Such a neutral expert can deal with any of the questions mentioned in Part-I of Annexure-F. The expert’s decision is final and binding.

D. In case of a dispute, the Commissioners report to their respective Governments which shall then strive to resolve the dispute.

E. A Court of Arbitration shall be setup to resolve the dispute, if no decision is reached by the above process.

F. Such a Court will consist of seven members, two from each party and three including a Chairman from a panel to be chosen by the two Governments. If no consensus on names can be arrived at, the IWT has given a list of persons from whom to choose such as the Secretary General of the U.N. or International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) for the Chairmanship and the President of M.I.T., Cambridge, the Rector of Imperial College, London, the Chief Justice of the USA, or the Lord Chief Justice of England for panel membership.

Many Pakistanis feel that Pakistan surrendered to India the waters of the three Eastern rivers in 1960. Their argument is along the following lines. On the basis of over fifty years' record the mean flow in Indus River System (IRS) totalled 175 MAF on the eve of Partition of Punjab in 1947. This comprised of 93 MAF including 27 of Kabul for Indus, 23 for Jhelum, 26 for Chenab, 6 for Ravi, 13 for Beas and 14 for Sutlej annually. Out of this 175 MAF, 167 flowed into Pakistan at the time the boundaries of partitioned Punjab were fixed according to the Radcliffe Award . This means that the Indian East Punjab drew only 8 MAF of a total of 33 MAF of water that annually flowed in three eastern rivers Ravi , Beas and Sutlej . Under the Internationally agreed rights of lower riparian states and also Indian Independence Act 1947, the balance 25 MAF waters of three eastern rivers were to be shared between India and Pakistan . [12] The Pakistanis feel that those who negotiated the IWT on their behalf did not sufficiently press for the sharing of this quantum of water.

However, there are several fallacies in these arguments. First, leaving the claim on the quantum of waters aside, the arrangement entered into at Partition time was interim in nature until a final agreement could be reached and the provisions of such an interim arrangement were in no way binding on the parties concerned. Secondly, the Indus Agreement was reached eventually in 1960 during that time the utilization of the waters of these rivers had grown enormously in the states of East Punjab , Rajasthan, and Jammu & Kashmir. To claim the waters on the basis of the flow thirteen years before, when agriculture and economy had been dictated by different circumstances of a united India is patently unfair. In fact, the IWT itself treats water flows and usage based on the situation existing as on Apr. 1, 1960 , the effective date of the Treaty. Thirdly, as a lower riparian state, all the unused river waters would naturally flow to Pakistan . This, by itself, cannot bestow any rights on that country and again, a quantum of 80 MAF of water was reaching the Arabian Sea unutilized out of the total flow of the Indus River systems. [13, 14] All these are summarized by the following statement of N.D.Gulhati, the principal negotiator from the Indian side to the IWT, “After ten years of hard and devoted work, we had secured almost a world-wide recognition of our claim to use in India all the waters of the Eastern Rivers, including the 12 MAF which was actually being let down for use in Pakistan as at the time of partition... In India , we had already allocated all these waters, including the 12 MAF referred to above, between Punjab (including the present Haryana), Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir . The scope of the Bhakra-Nangal project had been considerably increased, the Madhopur-Beas Link and the Sirhind Feeder had been completed and opened for operation, several new channels had been built on the Upper Bari Doab Canal and the Rajasthan Canal was under construction." [15]

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Figure 7:Indian Canals on the Indus River Tributaries Courtesy: Bhakra Beas Management Board

Current Issues on Indus Water Sharing

Issues External to Pakistan

There are a host of factors external to Pakistan that could also affect the Indus River System. One is the climatic changes leading to reduced flows on the Indus per se. Another exogenous factor is the growing demand within India, especially the state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) where people feel that the IWT has wrongfully deprived them of water resulting retarding the growth of agriculture, power generation, and irrigation from rivers that originate and flow from their very state. There was also a widespread demand within India for abrogation of the IWT after the attack on the Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001 by terrorists supported directly by the Pakistani state apparatus.

The Tulbul Navigation Lock/Wullar Barrage Issue
The 74 Sq. Km. Wullar Lake (original size 202 Sq. Kms.) is the largest freshwater lake in India and is situated on the Jhelum and supplies 40% of J&K’s fish catch. The stretch of 22 Km between Sopore and Baramulla becomes non-navigable during the lean winter season with a water depth of only 2.5 ft. It is only in spring that rainfall causes the snow to melt at higher elevations on the surrounding mountains and causes floods. [16] In order to improve navigation, India started constructing in 1985, a barrage 439 feet long and with a lock, at the mouth of the lake to raise the flow of water in winter to 4000 cusecs with a depth of 4 ft with an added storage of 0.3 MAF. Pakistan objected to this project and construction was halted in 1987. Pakistan’s objection [17,18] stems from two issues, one India needs to get concurrence of the design from Pakistan and two, it cannot store waters as per IWT on the Jhelum Main anything in excess of 0.01 MAF as “incidental storage work” (Paragraph 8(h) in Annexure E of IWT). Pakistan ’s real objections may be due to its fear that such a barrage may damage its own Triple-Canal project linking Jhelum and Chenab with the Upper Bari Doab Canal . Pakistan also says that such a barrage would be a security risk enabling the Indian Army to make the crossing of the river either easy or difficult through controlled release of water. India ’s argument [19] is that such a barrage would not reduce the quantum of water flow and it would also be beneficial to Pakistan by regulating water flow to Mangla Dam by controlling floods and also improve the Pakistani Triple-canal irrigation system. The water flow would indeed double during the lean winter period from the current 2000 cusecs. Also, the project does not envisage building any new storage capacity as the Wullar lake already existed and the water is only for non-consumptive use (this term includes such usage as navigation, floating of timber, flood protection or control, and fishing with no diminution in volume of water returned to the river/tributaries after use) which is allowed by the IWT. The Wullar barrage is not a storage project but a control project permissible under the treaty. The two countries had indeed reached an agreement in October, 1991 but then Pakistan suddenly introduced an irrelevant element in February, 1992 by linking the termination of Kishenganga Hydroelectric project with further movements in the Tulbul Navigation Lock project and India ’s refusal stalled further work. The 1991 draft agreement stipulated that India would build a 40-feet wide lock but leave ungated 6.2 Metres of the lake at a crest level of 1574.9 Metres and would also forego 0.30MAF storage while Pakistan would allow the lake to fill to its full capacity at 1578 metres. When the agreement was reached in 1991, the only contention that remained was the timing of the filling up of the lake. The crucial period was between June 21 and August 20 every year. Between October, 1987, and August, 1992, experts from the two countries met eight times to settle the issue. The matter was taken up during the Foreign Secretary-level talks between 1990 and 1994 also. The ninth round was held in July, 2004.

The Salal Hydroelectric Project
This was the first major dispute successfully resolved bilaterally under IWT. On April 14, 1978 , the governments of India and Pakistan entered into a treaty on the Salal project. The Salal hydroelectric project on the Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir was negotiated by the Janata Party government in India and the Bhutto administration in Pakistan and has not been disputed by subsequent governments in Pakistan . The negotiations and discussions took place for a period of four years between 1974 and 1978 between the Indus Commissioners and the foreign offices. The project provides waters to Pakistan in a regulated manner but involves no diversion by India . However, Pakistan successfully objected to the building of the anti-siltation sluice gates, which were six low-level outlets normally used for controlling sedimentation, resulting in decreased power generation capacity of this project. India also agreed to reduce the heights of the spillway gates from 40 feet to 30 feet.

The Ranbir and Pratap Canals
The Ranbir Canal , built in 1870, was intended to feed the areas of Miran Sahib, Vijaypur and Madhopur. Poor maintenance has ensured that it can now carry just 300 cubic feet per second of water, rather than the 1,000 cusecs it was designed for when originally built. The Pratap Canal , meant to meet the needs of the Akhnoor-Sunderbani belt, has also silted up. [20] These canals off take from Chenab between Salal and Marala headworks. These two canals need urgent repair work to restore their earlier capacities. Under the treaty, India is allowed to take out a fixed quantity of water for these channels. Many restrictions, such as quantum and dates of withdrawal have been imposed on India by the IWT.

The Kishenganga Project [21]

India started the 330 MW Kishenganga hydroelectric projects across River Kishenganga after protracted negotiations between the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the Defence Ministry, and the environmentalists who fear the loss of the serene Gurez valley. The project involves a 103 metre dam across the river before it crosses the Line of Control (LoC) and a channel and a 27 Km long tunnel through the North Kashmir ranges to bring the water to the Wullar lake where a hydroelectric power station will be built as part of an integrated project. The Kashmir Chief Minister Dr. Farooq Abdullah signed an MoU with the Union Power Minister in July, 2000 for the project. The National Hydroelectric Power Corp. (NHPC) was entrusted with this project on a Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) basis. The CEA cleared the project only in June, 2004.


Figure 8 Courtesy: K.E.W.A ( Kashmir Environmental Watch Association)

Pakistan objects to the Kishenganga project fearing an adverse impact on its envisaged 969-MW Neelum- Jhelum power plant to be constructed with Chinese assistance. This project was initially planned for 1994-1997 but lies dormant because of lack of funds. The Indian Kishenganga project is expected to lead to a shortfall of 21% loss of water flow in Neelum resulting in a 9% reduction in power for the Pakistani project. [22] The IWT allows India to store waters on Neelum for power generation and so Pakistan wants to start its project first in order to deny waters to India claiming the principle of “prior appropriation”, per Paragraph 15(iii), Part-3, Annexure-D which states “where a Plant is located on a Tributary of The Jhelum on which Pakistan has any Agricultural use or hydroelectric use, the water released below the Plant may be delivered, if necessary, into another Tributary but only to the extent existing Agricultural Use or hydroelectric use by Pakistan on the former Tributary would not be adversely affected”.

India also claims that the waters will ultimately reach Pakistan through Jhelum though not through Kishenganga (Neelum). In the meanwhile, Pakistan has felt the urgency to take up its USD 1.6 Billion Neelum –Jhelum Hydropower Project by appointing a private company, NESPAK, as consultants and complete the international bidding and evaluation by April 2005.

The Baglihar Project


Figure 9 Baglihar Project Courtesy: Lahmeyer International Gmbh

This project, currently under construction by the Jammu & Kashmir Power Development Corp. on the Chenab in Doda Distt , will generate 450 MW of power when commissioned by end-December, 2005. The contract was extended in 2002 to raise the capacity to 900 MW by Dec., 2007. Pakistan claims that this dam will result in a loss of 7000-8000 cusecs of water a day during the rabi season. India has assured Pakistan that the quantum of water will not be diminished in any way. Pakistan disputes India ’s contention that this is a run-of-river[vii] project and the site is unsuitable for an ungated spillway. The works involve the construction of a “Pondage” of 15 Million Cubic Metre (IWT allows for ‘Pondage’, a term meaning Live Storage, of only sufficient magnitude to meet fluctuations in the discharge of the turbines arising from variations in the daily and the weekly loads of the plant) capacity and an underground power station. Pakistan claims that the submerged gate spillways of this 429-feet high 1046-feet long dam, allow India to increase the reservoir’s storage capacity to 164,000 acre feet and the ability to stop water for about 26 days during December, January and February affecting canals taking off Marala headworks. The IWT specifies the following with respect to gated spillways, “If the conditions at the site of a plant make a gated spillway necessary, the bottom level of the gates in normal closed position shall be located at the highest level consistent with sound and economical design and satisfactory construction and operation of the works” (Part-3, Annexure-D of IWT). This project, Pakistan believes, could also lead to inundation of Bajwat Area above Marala headworks due to sudden synchronized releases from Dulhasti, Baglihar and Salal reservoirs on Chenab . Pakistan also claims that India adopted a stonewalling tactics by not allowing the Permanent Indus Commission members of Pakistan from visiting the dam site for four years after having been officially informed of the project in 1998, little recognizing that the 1999 Kargil conflict and the general mobilization of Indian troops as part of Op. Parakram following the Dec. 13, 2001 Parliament attack, both events of Pakistan’s own making, prevented such site visits. In fact, India suspended the site visit on Dec. 24, 2001 following the decision to mobilize troops. Pakistan also contests that it was informed only in 1998 about the Bagilhar project, though the GoI had informed Pakistan as early as 1992. The Pakistani Commissioner of the Permanent Indus Commission had recommended to his government to appoint a neutral expert in Feb. 2003 and accordingly Pakistan claims to have served two notices to GoI in May and November of the same year. Following the February meeting, India allowed a visit by Pakistani experts to the Baglihar project site in October. The Pakistani Commissioner is reported to have made the same recommendation to his Government in January 2004 after another round of PIC meeting. On December 15, 2004 , India supplied Pakistan with more data on the project as a goodwill gesture and rejected Pakistan ’s claims of violation of IWT. However, Pakistan rebuffed India ’s explanations, refused India one week time to study and reply, and decided to discontinue the talks-illustrating Pakistani leadership uncompromising attitude and intransigence. By mid January 2005, Pakistan requested the World Bank to appoint a neutral expert under Article 9(2)(A) of the IWT, claiming one week later that the World Bank chief Mr.Wolfensohn, honored with Pakistan’s highest award of Hilal-e-Pakistan during a visit to that country in early February 2005, had assured Gen. Musharraf that there would be no delay in appointing such an expert. While responding to enquiries from World Bank , India advised the Bank that rather it should allow the suspended bilateral course of action to resume rather than get involved at that stage especially as some convergence of views had appeared in the last round of talks in New Delhi . Meanwhile, Pakistan ’s Minister for Education and former head of the ISI, Javed Ashraf Qazi, warned the Pakistani National Senate that the nation might go to war with India over Baglihar “controversy.”

Embankment on Ravi

Pakistan claims [23] that India has built a 15-Km long embankment (also known as River Training Works, RTWs) on river Ravi in the Narowal sector in 2002, in front of Kot Naina, a village in Shakargarh Distt. Pakistan claims that such a construction “so close to the international border” is violative of both the IWT and the Border Ground Rules, 1961 and has caused flooding on its side. [24] By 2002, Pakistan had also decided to build a similar embankment on its side.

Issues Within Pakistan

The Indus River system, which accounts for 65% of water flow within an arid Pakistan , poses several major challenges to Pakistan today. Pakistan faces both political and non-political problems with respect to The Indus River System.

On the political front, there have been serious differences among the various provinces about sharing of the waters. In Sind, sea water has intruded as much as 54 miles into the estuary of the Indus river due to low or no flow.[25] On the basis of a series of meetings among provinces in March 1991, an agreement, Water Agreement Accord (WAA), [26] was reached on the sharing of the river waters. It stipulated the following allocations



* - Including requirements of Karachi

** - Ungauged Civil Canals above the rim stations where measurements can be made

It was also decided to set up in 1992, an “Indus River System Authority” (IRSA), as per provisions of the 1991 Accord, with representation from all four provinces. However, actual water allocations have been made on the basis of “historic use” rather than on the 1991 settlement leading to more resentment in Sindh.

The climatic changes due to global warming have led to depleting flow in all Indus River system of rivers, especially the Indus , which depends on glacial runoffs for 90% of its waters. Generally, the Himalayan rivers also carry a very heavy sediment load especially during summer and rainy season, which in turn leads to river shifting and silting of dams and barrages. The three largest dams in Pakistan , Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma have already lost ~ 25% of their capacity due to silting [27]. This is a serious problem in a country which depends on river irrigation, rather than the monsoon rains, for 74% of its total cultivated land. It is generally agreed that 40% of all the water drawn through the canals at barrage heads is lost because of seepage due to un-lined and porous beds and banks of the canals. [28] Such problems exacerbate the already poor yield of the crops [29, 30] In addition, there is excessive system-loss of water due to improper and antiquated agricultural techniques and heavy cropping of water-intensive varieties like sugarcane and rice. While reeling under increasing drought for the last six years, it is also predicted that Pakistan will have a certain level of drought conditions for the next 15 years [31, 32].. Since the dams mostly act as storage reservoirs during Kharif season and draw-down reservoirs during Rabi[viii], there is an acute need within Pakistan for more storage


Figure 10 Indus Basin and Crops Courtesy: National Geographic

There have been widespread protests against the proposed dams of Kalabagh at Mianwali, and Basha at Chilas, Gilgit area and the raising of the Mangla dam in Mirpur. Out of the four provinces of Pakistan , three viz. Sindh, Balochistan and NWFP are against these dams. Even the illegally occupied PoK and Balawaristan oppose the dam projects of Mangla and Basha. The proposed raising of the height of Mangla Dam [33] in Mirpur, PoK, by another 40 feet, will further submerge that district. It is also possible that if India exercises its rights to store 1.5 MAF on Jhelum , the raised Mangla Dam will not fill up. The crux of the matter is the lack of agreement among provinces on the total water availability within the country.

Meanwhile, the dwindling flows of water and siltation have led to reduced power generation from the hydroelectric plants that are part of the Indus River System.. There is a real possibility of shutting down power generation permanently at Tarbela, leaving it for irrigation purposes only. [34]


Figure 1 1 Courtesy: WAPDA

The dams, barrages and canals built to satisfy the increasing demands of water upstream have made water scarce in the Indus at the estuaries of the Arabian Sea causing the sea to push in and increase the salinity in 1.2 Million acres of farmlands.[36] The discharge of freshwater from the Indus into the Arabian Sea has declined steadily from 85 MAF in the 1940s to about 10 MAF in the 90s and probably less today. Pakistan also uses the waters of the Indus rivers for another purpose, fortification of its defences along Indian borders. It has built a series of “defence canals” at strategic locations which are flooded at times of wars and tensions to prevent crossing by Indian armour and artillery. In 2002, after India mobilized its forces as part of Operation Parakram , Pakistan diverted waters to these “defence canals” accentuating the then already severe water shortage of 50% to over 70%.[38] [39][40]

The Indus remains important to both India and Pakistan in another less visible way. The extension of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) beyond the 200 nautical mile (nm) limit from coastal baseline depends on the ability to prove the sedimentation of the Indus river into the sea and has to be claimed before May, 2009 The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS-III) protocol [37] allows the EEZ to be extended under several conditions. In places like the sedimentary basin of the Indus river, the sediment thickness of the rivers beyond the foot of the continental slope can be used to establish the outer limit of the continental shelf of a claimant. This requires baseline and bathymetry survey data. A crucial part of the claim is the delineation of the Territorial Sea Baseline (TSB) which is the set of coordinate points that define the line from which the seaward boundaries are to be measured. The continuing Pakistani wrangle with regards to Sir Creek has delayed the compilation and validation of the TSB thereby delaying the computation of the zone boundaries. This is important for India in view of the potential it has for national security, energy prospecting, mining, laying pipelines etc.

Conclusions

Pakistan faces one of the severest water shortages in the world as seen in its’ per capita availability of water per annum fall from 5300 m3 in 1951 to less than 1100 m3 today. This figure is alarming given that it is below the internationally recommended level of 1500 m3 and precariously close to the critical 1000 m3 level. Compounded with the failure to fill the country’s two largest reservoirs to capacity, declining flows in the Indus River System, elusive and contentious the inter-provincial water accord due to mutual suspicions among provinces, and an unsustainable population growth rate of 2% do not bode well for Pakistan’s water situation. Disagreements on construction of new reservoirs, declining groundwater potential[ix], and growing number of disputes with India after a relatively uneventful period of 44 years of water sharing will further complicate matters. In summation, the water situation in Pakistan (a country whose landscape is largely arid to semi-arid) is truly disastrous in spite of the Indus , its tributaries, and a treaty with generous concessions that has been implemented faithfully by upper riparian India to date in spite of grave provocations. Pakistani farmers may be forced to change to higher yielding earlier maturating crops, modify their sowing patterns, and employ micro irrigation in coming years to mitigate shortages-all of which will entail higher costs. Its frivolous objections to Indian projects and a general unwillingness to engage India constructively are partly to force India to amend the IWT to accommodate the emerging patterns of water use in Pakistan , such as water sharing during periods of shortage-a situation not envisaged in the treaty.

References and Footnotes

1. No. 6032. The INDUS WATERS TREATY 1960 between THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA , THE GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN AND THE INTERNATIONAL BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT.
2. “A River Story”, Nandita Bhavnani,The Hindu, June 6, 2004
http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/thscrip/print.pl?file=2004060600580800.htm&date=2004/06/06/&prd=mag&

3. “The Helsinki Rules on the Uses of the Waters of the International Rivers”
http://www.internationalwaterlaw.org/IntlDocs/Helsinki_Rules.htm

4. Inter-Dominion Agreement, between the GoI and GoP on the Canal Water Dispute between East and West Punjab
http://meaindia.nic.in/treatiesagreement/1948/chap7.htm

5. “Water Rationality: Mediating the Indus Waters Treaty”,Undala Z. Alam, University of Durham
http://www.transboundarywaters.orst.edu/publications/related_research/Alam1998.pdf

6. “ Indus Water Treaty: Case Study”, Transboundary Fresh Water Dispute Database
http://www.transboundarywaters.orst.edu/projects/casestudies/

7. “The Indus Waters Treaty: A History” by The Henry L. Stimson Center

8. “Fostering Riparian Cooperation in International River Basins”, Syed Kirmani, Guy Le Moigne
World Bank Technical Paper # 335, January 1997

9. “World Bank Historical Chronology 1950-1959”

10. The Indus Water Treaty
http://www.waterinfo.net.pk/pdf/iwt.pdf

11. Department of Irrigation, Govt. of Rajasthan
http://www.rajirrigation.gov.in/4bhakhra.htm

12. “Rivers Water Dispute, Making of a Tragedy”, A.A. Musalman,The News International
http://www.sanalist.org/kalabagh/a-21.htm

13. “Efficient and Sustainable Irrigation Management in Pakistan ”, Illahi B. Shaikh

14. “Water Development for Irrigated Agriculture in Pakistan ”, Hafeez Akhtar Randhawa
http://www.fao.org/documents/show_cdr.asp?url_file=/DOCREP/005/AC623E/ac623e0i.htm

15. “From Indus to Sutluj”, Frontline, Vol. 21, Issue 16,
http://www.flonnet.com/fl2116/stories/20040813004002900.htm

16. “Turbulence over Wular”,Kamaleshwar Sinha,The Tribune India
http://www.tribuneindia.com/1998/98nov07/nation.htm#8

17. “Water Disputes in South Asia ”, Farzana Noshab, Nadia Mushtaq, Strategic Studies, Summer 2001, No.3, Vol. XXI, the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad

18. “ International River Waters in South Asia : Source of Conflict or Cooperation?”
http://irs.org.pk/spotlight.htm#VIII

19. “Delhi Round of Indo-Pak Talks-II Tulbul Navigation Project/Wular Barrage”, Mallika Joseph
http://www.ipcs.org/newKashmirLevel2.jsp?action=showView&kValue=466&subCatID=null&mod=null

20. “A Treaty Questioned”, Praveen Swami, Vol. 19, Issue 09, Apr. 27- May 10, 2002 ,Frontline

21. “330-MW Kishenganga Project gets Technical Clearance”,Iftikhar Gilani, Kashmir Times
http://kasmirtimes.com/archive/0406/040619/news2.htm

22. Ibid

23. “Pakistani team will raise water issue with India ”,Khalid Mustafa,Daily Times, May 25, 2004
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_25-5-2004_pg7_26

24. “ India diverts flow of Ravi ”, Daily Times, July 15, 2004
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_15-7-2004_pg7_37

25. “ Indus River dying a slow death”, Shahid Husain, Daily Times, Apr. 26, 2004

26. “The Water Accord, 1991”
http://www.waterinfo.net.pk/fstwr.htm

27. “Consensus on Kalabagh Dam unlikely in near future” ,Nasir Iqbal, Dawn, Mar. 10, 2004

28. “ Indus Waters Imbroglio”,A.A.Musalman,The News, July 21, 2003

29. “Wheat Yields across the border”, Zafar Samdani, Telmed Pak Agriculture,
http://www.telmedpak.com/agriculturenews.asp?a=5218
30. “The Wheat crop”, Dr. S.M.Alam, Pakistan Economist, Oct. 11-17, 2004
http://www.pakistaneconomist.com/page/issue41/i&e3.htm

31. “Drought and Water Planning”, Dr. Faisal Bari, The Nation, Dec. 6, 2004
http://www.nation.com.pk/daily/dec-2004/6/columns1.php
32. “The drought to come”, Editorial, The Nation, Dec. 6,2004
http://www.nation.com.pk/daily/dec-2004/6/editorials2.php
33. “Raising the height of Mangla Dam”,B.A.Malik,DAWN, Aug. 27, 2001
http://www.dawn.com/2001/08/27/ebr14.htm

34. “Restructuring Tarbela”,Syed Sajid Hussain,DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/2002/11/18/ebr3.htm

35. “The dam debate yet again”, Aamir Kabir, DAWN, Dec. 25, 2000
http://www.dawn.com/2000/12/25/ebr13.htm

36. “A Battle over Indus River Water”, Erik Eckholm, New York Times, Apr. 24, 2003

37. “For an Ocean Outlook”,B.G.Verghese,The Hindu, Nov. 25, 2003
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/2003/11/25/stories/2003112500921000.htm
38. “Rain to decide fate of wheat crop”
http://www.waterinfo.net.pk/NewsDetail.cfm?ID=1021
39. “Countering Baglihar: Pakistan to build Mangla-Head Marala Canal ”
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_25-1-2005_pg1_2
40. “Baglihar to dent defence”
http://www.nation.com.pk/daily/jan-2005/26/index4.php
41. “ADB approves $140 Million Loan to Pakistan for National Drainage Sector Project”, Asian Development Bank
http://www.adb.org/Documents/News/1995/nr1995145.asp
“ Pakistan – National Drainage Program Project: Inspection Panel Request for Inspection”
http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDS_IBank_Servlet?pcont=details&eid=000160016_20040922122706

Referred to Kongrigpoke in Tibet

[ii] Referred to Tsangpo in Tibet

[iii] Tibetan mythology has it that Indus pours out of the mouth of a snow-lion.

[iv] Vyeth in Kashmiri

[v] 1 MAF = 43560 Cubic Feet or 0.274430 Million Gallons of water

[vi] ICA means the total area under irrigated crops in a year, the same area being counted twice if it bears different crops in kharif and rabi.

[vii] means that in any period of 7 consecutive days, the volume of water delivered downstream should equal the volume of water received upstream with a few minor restrictions and allowances.

[viii] Kharif sowing period is April thru’ August, Kharif maturing and Rabi sowing period is September to mid-December and Rabi maturing period is mid-December thru’ March.

[ix] WAPDA estimates that the total groundwater potential is 26 MAF, out of which 20 MAF is non-usable saline water.
 
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ajtr

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Don’t blame us for water woes , India tells Pakistan

New Delhi, Feb 26 (Inditop.com) Rejecting “negative propaganda” over the Indus waters row, India has made it clear that Pakistan’s water woes arise from its internal domestic problems and called for adherence to the 1960 Indus Water Treaty, informed sources say.
Pakistan raised the issue of the alleged denial of Indus waters to it during the foreign secretary-level talks with India Thursday. But the Indian side stressed that the interests of the two countries were best served by sticking to the letter and spirit of the water treaty.
India also rejected Pakistan’s accusation that New Delhi was violating the treaty, government sources said Friday.
They have given us no evidence to buttress the charge, an official source said.
India’s stand is that Pakistan’s problems arise due to inter-provincial rivalry in that country.
Sindh and Balochistan have accused Pakistan’s western province of Punjab of denying them Indus water. There are also technical problems relating to lack of effective watershed management. Over the years, per capita availability of water in Pakistan has gone down drastically due to a host of factors.
After talks with his Indian counterpart Nirupama Rao Thursday, Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir handed over a brief paper on the water row to India.
Speaking to reporters later, he struck a conciliatory note saying it was “important to abide by the provisions of the treaty”.
Rao made it clear that the Indus treaty had been “a very successful and useful mechanism” to resolve water-related disputes.
The accusation that India steals water has become an emotive issue in Pakistan. Groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba/Jamaat-ud-Dawa have tried to hype the issue by blaming India for growing scarcity of water in Pakistan.
Anti-India ideologues like Hafiz Saeed and his deputy Abdur Rahman Makki of Lashkar have warned that “Muslims dying of thirst would drink the blood of India”.

Under the 1960 treaty, India was given exclusive use of the waters of three eastern tributaries — Ravi, Beas and Sutlej — and the right to “non-consumptive” use of the western rivers — Indus, Jhelum and Chenab.
The western rivers have a flow of 136 million acre feet (MAF) against a mere 33 MAF in the eastern rivers.
India has allowed the flow of water to Pakistan from its eastern rivers as well, official sources pointed out.
 
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Just fantastic. Keep this great work on, i will do whatever needed to support you effort..............
 

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