minister Narendra Modi has called a meeting of concerned ministries and
departments to review the Indus Water Treaty of 1960 between India and
Pakistan. The meeting will ponder over the treaty post Uri attack circumstances
to see if India can continue with it or the 56 years old treaty now needs
way the government is thinking can be gauged from the reaction of Vikas Swarup,
spokesperson of India's External Affairs Ministry. He said that such treaties
require 'mutual trust and cooperation and can never be one-sided'.
can the Modi government take some tough decision?
is well known that the Indus Water Treat is one-sided, heavily skewed in favour
of Pakistan. Rivers of the Indus Basin originate in India but according to the
treaty, 80% of the Indus water is reserved for Pakistan and 90% of Pakistan's
irrigated area is dependent on it. When we talk of the catchment area of the
Indus river, if Pakistan has its 47% area, India is not far behind with 39% of
the land falling under its territory.
India, especially in Jammu & Kashmir, the state that is directly affected
from the arrangements made under any such treaty, demands have been consistently
raised on abrogating the treaty. And now after the Uri attack, that demand is
back again, this time now to correct this historical anomaly to use it as a
potent tool to encircle and give a befitting reply to Pakistan. Now, if India,
indeed, raises this demand tomorrow, Pakistan will be in deep trouble. If India
stops the Indus flow to Pakistan or starts controlling and regulating it on a
fair share basis, it will left a big area of Pakistan barren.
India will have to face tough international pressure in doing so. The Indus
Water Treaty between India and Pakistan was brokered by the World Bank and
India and Pakistan have been approaching international arbitration tribunals in
case of disputes. But even if we assume that India will get everyone onboard, what about
China, especially when China is fully capable of doing something similar with
river water has been a source of consistent discord between India and China.
China can pose a big threat if it decides to divert the Brahmaputra water away
from India to its arid north and north-western parts where 37% of its population
has just 7% of water resources available. Brahmaputra originates in China and flows
for quite long before entering India and then to Bangladesh. If China does so,
it will create a grave existential threat for the north-eastern states of India
as Brahmaputra river is like a lifeline here and for a big part of Bangladesh.
by the past precedents and China's traditional anti-India stand, which can go
to any extent to see India in trouble, especially when it concerns its
so-called all-weather friend and ally Pakistan, China can certainly do
something like this.