Indus Water Treaty And Distribution Of Assets

Indus Water Treaty And Distribution Of Assets (History)

Article Upload Date: 2018,Feb 16

It had been agreed in June 1947 that the assets of British India were to be divided in the ratio of 17 to India and 5 to Pakistan. The division, however, was difficult to implement and Pakistan constantly complained of Indian non-compliance.

Title Description
Type: Post Partition History
In English: Indus Water Treaty and Distribution of Assets
In Urdu: سندھ طاس معاہدہ اور اثاثوں کی تقسیم
Assets of Pakistan: 750 Billions
Received : 200 millions
Location: India and Pakistan
Proposed By: World Bank
Drafted By: Governments of India and Pakistan
Appreciated By: India and Pakistan
Disregarded By: None
Rivers of India: Ravi, Beas and Sutlej
Rivers of Pakistan: Indus, Jhelum and Chenab

Distribution of Assets

Pakistan had been awarded 750 million rupees under the final statement, of which initially Pakistan received only 200 million. The rest was not paid on the pretext that, as a war had started in Kashmir, India was not going to give money to Pakistan so that it could use it to buy arms. The money was Pakistan’s rightful share. India deliberately withheld it because they hoped that the state of Pakistan would become bankrupt.  It finally took a hunger strike from Gandhi to force Nehru to pay another  500 millions to Pakistan. Indian promises were not fulfilled in military supplies as well, and India simply did not send Pakistan its agreed  and promised share. Pakistan also had no factories capable of producing military goods, and so urgent plans were made for an ordinance factory to be set up at Wah in Punjab. Trains from India carrying Pakistan’s supposed share of military assets usually arrived with obsolete or damaged equipment. 

Water Dispute

The partition of the Punjab in 1947 gave rise to another serious dispute between the governments of India and Pakistan. The bulk of irrigated land was in Pakistan but the canal headworks were in India. The main dispute was over the water coming from the Firozpur headworks in East Punjab to the Bari Doab Canal in West Punjab. The  Indians claimed that as the headworks were in India they had complete right over the water, but the Pakistan government claimed that under international law they had a right to water as Pakistan’s economy was dependent on it. The Indians proposed that a joint commission be set up in which outstanding questions could be resolved. The Pakistan government pressed for the dispute to be settled legally by the International Court of Justice. The dispute was related to the Kashmir question, as three rivers came into Pakistan from Indian-occupied Kashmir, namely, the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab

Temporary agreement

A temporary agreement was reached in May 1948 which stated the East Punjab would allow water to continue to flow into West Punjab while Pakistan would explore alternative water supplies. Negotiations dragged on until 1952 but without any Lasting settlement. In February 1953, the Pakistan government alleged that the Indians were cutting back on the flow of water, a charge denied by the Indians who reputed their willingness to have a joint commission look into the problem.

Indus Water Treaty

In 1952, the president of the World Bank, Eugene Bank, proposed that the World Bank could help with financial and technical support to resolve the dispute. After further disputes over World Bank recommendations which India agreed to but Pakistan did not, a temporary agreement was reached in June 1958 on the Basis of the World Bank recommendations. That did not end the story, however, as the search for final settlement went on under the auspices of the World Bank. It was not until 19 September 1959 that the final Indus Water Treaty was signed by the Governments of India and Pakistan, with the World Bank signing as a witness. 

Basic terms

The basic terms were that:
  •  India would be allowed the use of the waters of three rivers Ravi, Beas and sutlej
  • Pakistan was allocated the use of Indus, Jhelum and Chenab. 
The World Bank promised to help in the establishment of hydroelectric production and soil reclamation in both countries. The main gain for Pakistan was that India could not now legally interfere with the water coming through the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab. [1] indus water treaty

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