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The Indus unchained March 22, 2012

Posted by southasiamasala in : Guest authors, Pakistan , comments closed

Muhammad Ali Shah and A. Ercelan

First posted Dawn.com March 15, 2012

In celebrating the contribution of nature to human prosperity, we must also recall society’s ingratitude to our rivers despite their generosity. For our own sustainable security, we cannot continue to make nature a slave to our greed. The damage by heavy rains and severe floods are one reminder of the furious rebellion by cruelly mistreated forests, soil and water.

Across the country, the livelihood of millions of peasants depends upon secure supplies of clean freshwater. However, the peasants abuse their leashed rivers. Both the irrigation (and drainage) system and farm methods deny adequate water to other tail-end and downstream peasants.

We emphasise that amidst extensive peasant suffering, there are also several million fisherfolk who are excluded from decent livelihoods. Extreme inequality in land ownership is a major constraint in equitable access to water, and leads to mass poverty. Only serious land reform can rapidly eradicate poverty caused by the inequitable ownership of productive natural resources.

As the UN Research Institute for Social Development recently reminded us, when domestic demand is limited because of severely unequal livelihoods, export-led growth cannot create sufficient synergy between agriculture and industry for rapid eradication of mass deprivation. …

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The Indus Water Treaty revisited March 22, 2012

Posted by sandygordon in : Future Directions International, India, Pakistan, Weigold, Auriol , comments closed

Auriol Weigold

This post first appeared on the FDI web site on 21 March 2012.

The Indus Water Treaty (IWT) (1960), negotiated by Indian Prime Minister Nehru and then President of Pakistan, Field Marshall Mohammad Ayub Khan under the eye of the World Bank, agreed on the utilization of the six rivers of the Indus Basin to benefit each country. The Treaty, intended to settle inter-country water disputes and govern water usage, allocated the Indus, Chenab, and Jhelum Rivers to Pakistan, and the Ravi and Beas (Sutlej in Pakistan) to India. These rivers have, however, been the subjecs of on-going disputes and failed arbitration under IWT provisions.

Differences over water-sharing were evident pre-independence and persist in disputes today as both countries prove unable to resolve issues in the ever more rapidly escalating water resource rivalry, increasing tension across other already fraught issues in their bilateral relationship.