CLEARLY, extracting advantage of being an upper riparian state, India has defied the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 that had hitherto provided a sound framework of sharing rivers between India and Pakistan.
The treaty is being violated by India as it is busy constructing dams that may prove detrimental to Pakistan.
Various models quoted by experts indicate that sharing of river basins between countries is the rule rather than the exception and that more than 200 river basins are being shared by two or more countries.
The Indian indifference to lower riparian states can be further exemplified by the project undertaken by it to build a dam on the Farraka Barrage despite resistance from both Indian experts and Bangladesh.
In 1975 India completed the Farakka Barrage about 11 miles from the borders of Bangladesh to divert the Ganges water into the Bhagirati-Hoogly River with the apparent purpose of flushing the accumulated silts from the bed of the river and thereby improving navigation at the Calcutta port.
The unilateral withdrawal of the Ganges water during the low flow months blew Bangladesh’s agriculture, navigation, fisheries, forestry and adversely impacted various components of the ecosystem.
Where once all the eye could see was the splashing blue waves, now lies parched remnants of the river floor.
In this backdrop, it would not be entirely incorrect to infer that a similar state could develop in Pakistan once India is done with its dam constructions that may seriously damage the agricultural industry for good, thus triggering the worst economic disaster in Pakistan.