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Indus Water Treaty: Mutual trust, cooperation between both sides important, says India

Updated: Sep 22, 2016 21:24 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept. 22 (ANI): Amid increasing speculations that India may revisit the 1960 Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan in the wake of the Uri terror attack, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Thursday said any such treaties to work it is important that there must be mutual trust and cooperation between both the sides as it cannot be a one-sided affair.

Swarup emphasised, "After all, the preamble of the treaty itself says it is based on goodwill."

"There are differences between India and Pakistan over implementation of the Indus Waters Treaty, which stood for 56 years, but this is an issue which is being addressed bilaterally. But let me make a basic point: eventually any cooperative arrangement requires goodwill and mutual trust on both sides," he added.

The Preamble the 1960 Indus Water Treaty reads as: "The Government of India and the Government of Pakistan, being equally desirous of attaining the most complete and satisfactory utilisation of the waters of the Indus system of rivers and recognising the need, therefore, of fixing and delimiting, in a spirit of 'goodwill and friendship', the rights and obligations of each in relation to the other concerning the use of these waters and of making provision for the settlement, in a cooperative spirit, of all such questions as may hereafter arise in regard to the interpretation or application of the provisions agreed upon herein, have resolved to conclude a Treaty in furtherance of these objectives."

Brief provisions of Indus Waters Treaty 1960

i. The Indus system of rivers comprises three Eastern Rivers (Ravi, Beas and Sutlej and their tributaries) and three Western Rivers (Indus, Jhelum and Chenab and their tributaries).

ii. The Indus Waters Treaty 1960 was signed on September 19, 1960 between India and Pakistan. It is however effective from April 1, 1960.

iii. Under the Treaty, the waters of Eastern Rivers are allocated to India. India is under obligation to let flow the waters of the Western Rivers except for the following uses:

(a) Domestic use,

(b) Non-consumptive use,

(c) Agricultural use as specified,

(d) Generation of hydro-electric power as specified

iv. India has been permitted to construct storage of water on Western Rivers up to 3.6 MAF for various purposes. No storage has been developed so far.

v. India has been permitted Agricultural Use of 7,01,000 acres over and above the Irrigated Cropped Area (ICA) as on 1.4.60. Out of this additional ICA of 7, 01,000 acres, only 2, 70,000 can be developed (i.e. a total ICA of 9,12,477 acres including that on 1.4.1960) till storages are constructed and 0.5 MAF of water is released there from every year. ICA during 2011-12 was 7, 84,955 acres.

vi. Under the Treaty, India and Pakistan have each created a permanent post of Commissioner for Indus Waters. They together constitute the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC), which is entrusted with the implementation of the Treaty. The PIC is required to hold meetings and tours and submit report on its work to the two Governments every year. It has held 117 tours and 110 meetings so far.

vii. Both sides are required to exchange information related to river flows observed by them, not later than three months of their observation and to exchange specified information on Agricultural Use every year.

viii. India is under obligation to supply information of its storage and hydroelectric projects as specified.

viii. India communicates as a gesture of goodwill, flood data to Pakistan from July 1 to October 10 every year, to enable them to undertake advance flood relief measures. The arrangement is reviewed every year.

ix. The Commissioners may discuss the questions arising under the Treaty under Article IX of the Treaty related to Settlement of Differences and Disputes and in the case of non-resolution, take further action under this Article for resolution through a Neutral Expert, negotiators or Court of Arbitration.

A Neutral Expert appointed by World Bank on Pakistan's request delivered Expert Determination on Baglihar Hydroelectric project in 2007. On request of Pakistan, to resolve the issues of Kishenganga HE project, a seven member Court of Arbitration was set up in 2010. The Court has given its final award on 20 December, 2013. (ANI)