Why India Should Keep Indus Water Treaty Intact?

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Why India Should Keep Indus Water Treaty Intact?

why india should keep indus water treaty intact

There are many reasons that compel India to keep the Treaty intact. Some of them are discussed in below paragraphs.

Indus Basin Development Fund (IBDF)

Both Pakistan and India receives financial support from World Bank in the shape of Indus Basin Development Fund for the expansion and development of their irrigational areas. The fund also helps both countries in the creation of infrastructure for the storage and transport of water.

Indus Water Treaty And Its Main Points

High Possibility of War

At the time of signing the agreement, both countries were ‘Water Rational’. They had realized that cooperation was pre-requisite for safeguarding their country’s long term access to the shared resources. A war over water would not guarantee either country’s water supply in the long term.

China Factor

By keeping the Indus Water Treaty intact, India could leverage its position as a responsible upstream riparian when it engages with China over water issue. China is an upstream riparian to some of the major rivers flowing into India from Tibet as well as to Pakistan.

In 2016, China blocked a tributary of the Brahamputra River which sent shock waves to India. In Pakistan the action was perceived as Chinese deliberate move to ease Indian mushrooming pressure on Pakistan.

Indus Water Treaty Dispute And Its Resolution Mechanism

 Regional Peace at Stake

Revoking the treaty may endanger the delicate regional security. The Indus Water System which originate from China and subsequently flows to Pakistan and India could generate a three party crisis with a bigger threat of large scale war.

Negative Message to Neighboring Countries

Revoking the treaty could also send a negative message to neighboring countries. For instance; seven rivers including the Kabul River flows from Afghanistan to Pakistan. The Kabul, Kuram and Gomal Rivers are the main source of irrigation for more than 150,000 acres of land in Khuyyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan and there is no water sharing formula or procedure between the two countries.

The latest reports indicate that India is assisting Afghanistan in constructing 12 hydropower projects on the Kabul River. Indian revocation of Indus Water Treaty could well encourage Afghanistan to follow a similar course in a bid to pressurize Pakistan on the issue of Durand Line.


 Though Indian Prime Minister Narrendra Modi and his cabinet members has time and again threatened Pakistan of revoking the Treaty but the above mentioned factors show that keeping the treaty alive is in best interests of both the countries.

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