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Disputed Barrages and Dams

Growing scarcity of water resources, increasing population and poor water management in developing countries has resulted in an increasing demand for water resources The increasing scarcity of water leads to the desire for control of water resources, which in turn becomes a ground for breeding conflicts. These conflicts are manifested at interstate and intra-state levels. Out of the seven South Asian countries, three, namely Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, are involved in water sharing conflicts with India. The need for water is accentuated by the fact that these countries are mainly agrarian economies. These conflicts have riot only hampered their economic development at the national level, but the region, as a whole, is not fully benefiting from the process of globalization.

Water and Cooperation of Countries

However, the scarcity of water resources in some cases, has been instrumental in developing cooperation among states. The Indus Waters Treaty (1960) between India and Pakistan is one of the few examples in South Asia, of the settlement of a major, international river basin conflict. However, the grievances of contracting parties, lead to the possibility that the present cooperation may turn to a future conflict. The study will focus on various water sharing treaties between Pakistan and India with a comparative evaluation of past and future trends and rising unsolved conflicts between two nations.

Water Distribution Between Pakistan and India

Since Independence. serious controversies on the issue of water distribution and sharing between traditional rivalries, India and Pakistan were finally solved through negotiations in the agreement of Indus Water Treaty 1960. This is the only treaty between the two arch rivals that has worked effectively for over four decades and is, at times, cited by international funding institutions, as an illustration of cooperation between the two hostile neighbors.

The treaty also provided that both countries shall have unrestricted use of the waters in each other s rivers for four distinct purposes: domestic use, agriculture use, restricted use of hydroelectric power, through a ‘run-of-the river plant”, and non-consumptive use. Non- consumptive use included use of the waters for navigation and other purposes provided the water is returned to the river undiminished in quantity. However, both countries were prohibited from undertaking any ‘man made” obstruction to cause change in the volume of the daily flow of waters. The treaty specifically barred India, the upper riparian, from storing any water of, or constructing any storage on the western rivers, except limited storage to control floods. Under the treaty. India is not entitled to draw water from the three western rivers, whose headwaters lie in Indian-held Kashmir. India is not entitled to carry out any storage that interferes with the supply of water to these rivers.

In practice, India has sought to use its geographical advantage in a manner potentially harmful: to Pakistan. by drawing up pans that could threaten the supply of this precious commodity. India constructed the barrage to enhance navigation. Because of this, many disputes arises between India and Pakistan, let’s discuss each in detail.

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