Indus Water Treaty
Between India and Pakistan

F or 56 years, both India and Pakistan are peacefully sharing the water of Indus and its tributaries, thanks to The Indus Water Treaty. At a time when States within India are unable to find an amicable solution to sharing water from rivers that flow between them, India and Pakistan are living examples of how water resources can be shared through legal frame work.

Important Facts about Treaty:

  • This treaty was signed in 1960 by India's first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan's President Ayub Khan.
  • Under this treaty, the six rivers which flow in Sindhu basin were divided in two parts – Eastern and Western.
  • India has full rights over the rivers which come under Eastern Part- Sutlej, Ravi and Beas.
  • India can use in a limited way the waters of the rivers Sindh (Indus), Chenab and Jhelum which come under Western part.
  • According to this agreement, India can only stop 20% of water of the western part. Though, India can make dams over it but India can only make Run of the River Projects.
  • According to the treaty, Beas, Ravi and Sutlej are to be governed by India, while, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum are to be taken care by Pakistan.
  • Though Indus originates from Tibet, China has been kept out of the Treaty. If China decides to stop or change the flow of the river, it will affect both India and Pakistan.

Why came in News?


On December 12, 2016, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim announced that the World Bank would pause before taking further steps in each of the two processes under the Treaty. This was done to safeguard the treaty, since referring the matter simultaneously to the processes sought by each of the parties risked contradictory outcomes and worked against the spirit of goodwill and friendship that underpins the Treaty. The World Bank is assisting the two parties in reaching an agreement on the process for resolving the issue of the two hydroelectric power projects. More generally, it is also working with them on how to ensure that the Treaty remains an effective tool to manage the use of Indus basin rivers.

Why is the Sindhu River so important?

  • The Sindhu river is one of the largest rivers of the sub-continent.
  • The Sindhu basin spreads over 11.5 lakh square km, that means four states like Uttar Pradesh can be covered under it.
  • It is more than 3000 km in length.
  • It is longer than the Ganga river.
  • The Sindhu and its tributary rivers flow in 2/3 part of Pakistan.
  • Pakistan uses the Sindhu river's water for irrigation and power generation. So it is economically important for Pakistan.

  • India has never broken any treaty yet with any country. If India breaks Indus water treaty, Pakistan will get a chance to play victim and utilize the situation to gain the sympathy of other nations on various fora.

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    Milan Anshuman is a travel blogger at Roadway Star. He is passionate about travelling across entire India, specially in undiscovered places, apart from travelling he loves to shoot nature and wildlife beauties, waterfall, mountain series and beaches.

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