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Indus Water Treaty violations

Amid escalating tensions and increasingly deteriorating relations, the Indian government has been finding new ways to hit back at Pakistan. India has been using a new weapon by threatening to cut down the water flowing to Pakistan violating the historic Indus Water Treaty.
Earlier this year, India made unfounded allegations when a Kashmiri youth launched an at attack in Pulwama in the Indian held territory of Kashmir killing scores of Indian soldiers. In response, an Indian minister threatened to stop the water supply to Pakistan. Indian media subsequently reported that many officials clarified that it was a long-standing policy.
Tensions soured further when India revoked the autonomous status of Kashmir on August 5. India then decided not to renew an agreement signed with Pakistan thirty years ago to share hydrological data during the flood season. Pakistan responded to the water threat maturely by stating that the Indus Water Treaty should be allowed to function.
The Indus Water Treaty, drawn in September 1960 and brokered by the World Bank, lays down rules on how the water from the River Indus and its tributaries will be shared by both countries. It is seen as one of the most successful treaties and has survived frequent tensions and conflicts. Now the far-right government in India is threatening to pull the historic treaty apart.
Pakistan approached the World Bank to resolve the violations of the treaty in the cases of Kishanganga and Ratle hydroelectric power projects. Pakistan is concerned that the designs of the dams being built on the Jhelum and Chenab rivers violate the treaty.
A delegation is currently in the United States to hold meetings with World Bank officials on the dispute, and will press for the complete implementation of the treaty. It will demand setting up a Court of Arbitration to address Pakistan’s concerns. India wants a neutral expert for the same purpose.
As a signatory to the treaty, the World Bank’s role is limited. India is allowed to construct hydroelectric power facilities on these rivers subject to constraints. There has been no amicable resolution to the most recent dispute.
These actions could escalate into a full-blown war which would be catastrophic for the hundreds of millions of people inhabiting both countries. India should honour its commitments to the treaty. The region remains a flash point for water war and both nuclear armed nations must resolve the dispute for the sake of world peace.
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