The Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) was a path-breaking project and negotiation success that materialized in 1960 after eight years of talks between India, Pakistan, and the World Bank. The treaty ended a simmering Indo-Pak dispute pertaining to the right of use of the rivers of the Indus system. The treaty not only specified the rights and privileges of India and Pakistan in regard to the sharing of river waters but also created a mechanism for conflict resolution in case of future disputes having to do with the rivers. The treaty’s success is due to the farsightedness of the negotiators who, while resolving the prevailing dispute, also anticipated problems that might arise in the future and provided the necessary provisions and mechanisms to address those problems. These mechanisms have since been invoked on several occasions to resolve differences between India and Pakistan on river water usage and sharing. The treaty contains several relevant lessons that deserve attention, since they may aid in resolving many of India and Pakistan’s present-day disputes. This chapter provides the dispute’s history since 1947. It recounts the history of the negotiations and illuminates key factors that have contributed to the success of those negotiations.
- Working Party
- Indus Basin
- Indus Water
- Tough Posture
- Indus River System
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Niranjan D. Gulhati, Indus Waters Treaty: An Exercise in International Mediation (Bombay: Allied Publishers, 1973), pp. 24–25.
Aloys Arthur Michel, The Indus Rivers: A Study of the Effects of Partition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967), p. 196.
Javed Tufail, “The World Bank and the Indus Basin Dispute: Background,” Pakistan Horizon, 18 (1965), pp. 231–235.
For Indian views see J.S. Bains, India’s International Disputes: A Legal Study (Bombay: Asia Publishing 1962), pp. 29–61.
Also see J.B. Das Gupta, Indo-Pakistan Relations 1947–55 (Amsterdam: Djambatan, 1958), pp. 160–187.
G.W. Choudhary, Pakistan’s Relations with India (1947–66) (London: Pall Mall Press, 1968), p. 161.
For the genesis of the dispute refer to Das Gupta, 1958; S.P. Shukla, India and Pakistan: The Origin of Armed Conflict (New Delhi: Deep and Deep Publications, 1984), pp. 123–124.
J.S. Bains, “The Diversion of International Rivers,” Indian Journal of International Law, 1, 1 (July 1960), pp. 38–52.
Hafeezur Rahman Khan, “Indo-Pakistan Waters Dispute,” Pakistan Horizon, 12 (December 1959), pp. 323–336.
For a detailed analyses of India-China developments and Pakistan’s policy during this period, see “Notes Memoranda and Letters Exchanged and Agreements Signed between the Governments of India and China, 1954–1959,” White paper No. 1, New Delhi (1959), pp. 55–57, cited in Ajay Saxena, India and Pakistan: Their foreign Policies (New Delhi: Anmol Publication, 1987), p. 51.
For details see Sisir Gupta, “The Indus Waters Treaty 1960,” Foreign Affairs Reports, 9 (1960), pp. 153–54
and L.F. Rushbrook Williams, “Significance of Indus Treaty,” Asian Review, 51 (July 1961), pp. 163–173.
Harold Saunders, The Other Walls: The Arab-Israeli Peace Process in a Global Perspective (New Delhi: Affiliated East-West-Press, 1992), pp. 158–163.
Please see analysis of what constitutes negotiation in William Zartman and Maureen Berman, The Practical Negotiator (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1982).
Also see Louis Kriesberg and S.J. Thorson (eds.), Timing and the Deescalation of International Conflicts (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1991)
Hans Kelsen, Principles of International Law (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston Inc., 1952), p. 306.
A.N. Khosla, “Development of Indus Rivers System: An Engineering Approach,” India Quarterly, 24 (1958), pp. 239–43; Eugene P. Black, “The Indus Project: Background of the Indian, Pakistan Agreement,” The New York Times, December 11, 1960.
© 2010 Ashutosh Misra
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Misra, A. (2010). Bridge over Troubled Waters: The Indus Waters Treaty. In: India-Pakistan. Palgrave Series in Asian Governance. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230109780_4
Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, New York
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