Indian media and Modi government seem to be openly threatening to withdraw the cases filed against India regarding Indus Water Treaty in the International Court of Hague. If these cases are not withdrawn immediately, then India will continue to behave with the Indus Water Treaty that it has been doing so far with UN resolutions regarding occupied Kashmir.  In the Indian media, a section is demanding vigorously that the Modi government should immediately withdraw the Indus Treaty and treat it the same as what it did with Article 370. Some analysts and anchors are so emotionally opposed to the Indus Treaty ‘as if this is the reason for India’s poverty and backwardness. India has termed Pakistan’s request for international mediation as a deviation from the Indus Treaty, saying that now India will not allow a drop of Chenab and Jhelum to come to Pakistan and will stop the water of the Indus River. We have complete silence in response to these threats made by India and the continued reporting of Indian media on the treaty.

This is the most important issue of national nature which should not be taken flippantly. We should not forget that Narendra Modi has been making such announcements in his meetings that he will stop a drop of rivers coming to Pakistan. Some classes see these adventurers as a tactic to ram their voters and to collect extremist voters, but the matter cannot be ignored by the seriousness of the matter and Modi’s track record.

If talk about the Indus Treaty, about 63 years ago, the efforts of Pakistani President Ayub Khan and Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru reached a unanimous agreement between the two countries regarding rivers’ water. According to the agreement, 80% of the western rivers of Jhelum, Sindh, and Chenab were found to be the right of Pakistan, and India recognized it formally. According to the agreement, India was given the right to use 20% of the Indus River water and three eastern rivers’ Ravi, Beas and Sutlej water. India has the right to generate electricity from the flowing water of the rivers in Pakistan, but it does not have the right to store water or reduce its flow. The World Bank is a global guarantee in this agreement, but now India has tried to unilaterally change the rules and regulations of the deal. India issued a notice to Pakistan that the two countries should review the deal and amend it.

At present, there is a dispute between Pakistan and India regarding the Kishan Ganga and Ratle Dam, and Pakistan has filed a case against India in Hague’s International Court and requested the court to give its decision on the differences between the two countries. Both India’s hydroelectric projects are being made on the rivers of Jhelum and Chenab.

Pakistan fears that India will not only stop the water through these dams but will also try to flood Pakistan suddenly by opening the dams. On the controversial design of India’s water projects, Pakistan approached the World Bank’s mediation court in August 2016, on which the World Bank began the process of judicial formation in March 2022. The 330 MW Kishan Ganga project is calling India’s strategic project overly excessive. The only purpose of this project is to close the Neelam Jhelum Hydro project of one thousand megawatts in Pakistan. Pakistan had earlier raised this objection with India, but the Indus Water Treaty Commission could not make any decision in this regard. That is why it is now requested for neutral mediation. Although a request was made in this regard in 2015, it was then that the request was withdrawn the next year. Now, on the insistence of Pakistan, the World Bank has begun a neutral expert and mediation process simultaneously. It should be noted that almost all the problems in this agreement have arisen due to the construction of new dams by India. India was allowed to construct the Baglihar Dam in 2008, rejecting Pakistan’s objections. South Africa’s John Briscoe, who served for 35 years in Bangladesh, India, and Brazil as a World Bank’s water expert, wrote books and articles on the aquatic economy of India and Pakistan in 2006 and 2007. John said that India has been conducting water attacks on Pakistan for the past several years and Pakistan’s food fronts are being destroyed, but Pakistan is still not taking it seriously. The United Nations warned that “in the near future, war on water in Pakistan and India can break at any time”.

In the Indus Treaty, India was given only the authority over the Pakistani rivers to the extent that it could create a hydropower project on them. Neither can India reduce the amount of water, nor can be changed. The Modi government has now begun to deny the deal. On the issue of the Baglihar Dam, Pakistan objected that water gates could not be installed on the dam, but India made an excuse for Silt. John Briscoe had said that after living in New Delhi for five years, he could say with full confidence that India is always waiting for an opportunity to harm Pakistan.

Although there is room for termination or withdrawal of global agreements under the Vienna Convention, this aspect will not be applied to the Indus Treaty because even if somehow this agreement is broken, there are international conventions, regulations, and norms that protect the water interests of the riverine countries.


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