Indus Water Treaty and Water Scarcity in India: Implications for Pakistan

Tahira Mumtaz, Fatima Bilal, Sobia Younas


Pakistan has been facing a water crisis since the day it emerged on the map. The issue of the water crisis is deeply rooted in Pakistan's creation. The partition of the subcontinent not only divided the landmass between India and Pakistan but also the Indus River Basin. The rivers of the region were not entirely divided between the two states; they were rather shared. The water dispute was among the initial problems that created conflict between these two newly established countries. The Indus River Basin deeply affected the economy, society, culture, and political scenario of the subcontinent. Consequently, the water dispute is one of the major and initial conflicts that intertwine with the territorial disputes. The World Bank presented its proposal for the division of rivers. With the mediation of the World Bank, the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) was signed between Pakistan and India in 1960. Three Western rivers, the Indus, the Chenab, and the Jhelum, were to be given to Pakistan, and three Eastern rivers, the Sutlej, the Ravi, and the Beas, were to be given to India. The Indus Water Treaty is a permanent, binding contract between India and Pakistan. The qualitative research approach is taken while opting for the historical and correlational approach to how India faces water scarcity and Pakistan faces its after-effects. Both states are agricultural and need water for the cultivation of crops. Being an upper riparian, India controls water, so when India faces a water shortage, it ultimately affects the lower riparian, which is Pakistan.


Indus water treaty, India, Pakistan, water scarcity, river, water, dispute, political

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Journal of South Asian Studies
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