DMPQ-What is Indus water treaty ? Throw light on some of the objections regarding it from both parties.

The Indus River basin has six rivers- Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej; originating from Tibet and flowing through the Himalayan ranges to enter Pakistan, ending in the south of Karachi. In 1947, the line of partition, aside from delineating geographical boundaries for India and Pakistan, also cut the Indus River system into two. Both the sides were dependent on water from the Indus River basin to keep their irrigation infrastructure functional and therefore, equitable distribution was needed.

In the upcoming meeting, Pakistan is likely bring up its objections to three Indian Hydropower projects in the Chenab basin in Jammu and Kashmir- the 1000 Megawatt (MW) Pakal Dul project, the 48 MW Lower Kalnai project and the 624 MW Kiru project, aside from other smaller Hydropower units India wants to develop in Ladakh. India has already said, however, that all the projects are in full compliance with the Indus Waters treaty

While the treaty has been regarded internationally as a successful diplomatic effort which managed to withstand three wars and multiple military impasses between the countries, with both countries largely sticking to its provisions, the journey has not been without conflicts.

The treaty, according to observers, became a source of dissatisfaction between the two countries with growing demand for water, the extensively technical nature of the document rooted in its annexures and the fact that the western rivers flow through the conflicted region of Jammu and Kashmir.

Besides, similar to the objections Pakistan is expected to raise during this year’s meeting, in the past decades as well, it has raised multiple objections under the treaty, over India’s hydropower and dam projects on the western rivers.While the treaty has been regarded internationally as a successful diplomatic effort which managed to withstand three wars and multiple military impasses between the countries, with both countries largely sticking to its provisions, the journey has not been without conflicts.

The treaty, according to observers, became a source of dissatisfaction between the two countries with growing demand for water, the extensively technical nature of the document rooted in its annexures and the fact that the western rivers flow through the conflicted region of Jammu and Kashmir.

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