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Indus River Agreement

The World Bank was quickly frustrated by this lack of progress. What was initially conceived as a technical quarrel that would quickly unravel began to seem intractable. India and Pakistan have not been able to agree on the technical aspects of allocation, let alone on the implementation of an agreed allocation of waters. Finally, in 1954, after nearly two years of negotiations, the World Bank proposed its own proposal, beyond the limited role it had assigned to itself, obliging both sides to consider concrete plans for the future of the basin. The proposal offered India the three eastern tributaries of the basin and Pakistan the three western tributaries. Canals and storage dams should be built to drain water from western rivers and replace Pakistan`s eastern river supply. In addition to avoiding deadlocks, these „guarantors” or „arbitrators” will continue to „guarantee” the resolution of disputes, either internally through river organizations on each bank or through a guarantor (or mandated arbitrator) instead of simply representing the forum where conflict resolution efforts can take place. However, the effectiveness of each guarantor depends entirely on his impartiality and irreproachable trust, which each local resident shows in his role as an intermediary. Mutual trust between shores determines whether conflicts should be resolved each other or in a neutral place. Therefore, even though the committee is composed exclusively of members from riparian countries, it can play an important role in resolving conflicts, as in the case of the U.S.-Canada water treaty. However, in the event of dominant hostility between the shores, the role of a guarantor is sought by an independent source.

The inland water of three rivers to the west – the Indus, the Jhelum and the Chenab – is in Pakistan, apart from some limited uses for India in Jammu and Kashmir. India gained control of all the water from the other three rivers Ravi, Beas and Sutlej. Under inland transport, India can store 3.60 million Acre Feet (MAF) (0.40 MAF on Indus, 1.50 MAF on Jhelum and 1.70 MAF on Chenab). The sectoral allocation is 2.85 MAF for conservation storage and an additional 0.75 MAF for „flood storage”. In the final tally, Pakistan received 80 percent of the waters from the IRS, while India received 20 percent. Another priority of the IWT is the role of China and Afghanistan, which has always been considered insignificant. However, recent political developments in the region can no longer ignore their role. South Asian politics plays a very provocative role in cross-border water issues. The current political demarcation is drawn between Pakistan-China and India and Afghanistan.

Much of regional policy is defined by the overlapping interests between four countries (India, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan), under the influence of these countries coming together to achieve their national interests, using the geographical location of their own or the whole to intimidate the rival riparian. Unfortunately, in recent times, countries have started using water as a pressure tactic against their rivals. Verbal clashes between the banks amid announcements to build a dam on the Kabul River and the Lalho hydroelectric project on the Brahmaputra River provide a tangible explanation for how IWT signatories use their friendly relations with other regional countries as an instrument of forced diplomacy against each other. The Afghan government`s decision to build a dam on the Kabul River with financial support for India was not welcomed by Pakistan. India`s growing involvement in Afghanistan is seen by Pakistan as a threat to its national security. Kabul is an important tributary of the Indus, which contributes 20-28 MAF to river flows. . .

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