Explained: The Indus Water Treaty Between India and Pakistan
The Indus River System | (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Toronto, February 22: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the Central government has decided to stop "our share of water that used to flow to Pakistan." “Under the leadership of Hon’ble PM Sri Narendra Modi ji, Our Govt. has decided to stop our share of water which used to flow to Pakistan. We will divert water from Eastern rivers and supply it to our people in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab,” Gadkari tweeted.

This statement is meant to show the Modi government’s action against Pakistan which is hosting terror groups that target India. This comes a week after the Pulwama attack carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists which claimed the lives of 44 CRPF soldiers.

A ministry official clarified that Gadkari has only reiterated what he has been saying in the past. “He is talking about diverting India’s share of Indus water which was going to Pakistan – and he has always been saying this.” So what did Gadkari’s statement really mean?

India and Pakistan signed a treaty in 1960 to share the waters of the six rivers that originate in India and flow into Pakistan. The rivers are Ravi, Beas, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum. The treaty was negotiated by the World Bank and was agreed upon after decade-long negotiations.

According to this treaty, referred to as the Indus Water Treaty, India has full rights over the waters of the eastern rivers – Ravi, Beas and Sutlej. But, India has to let the western rivers–Indus, Chenab and Jhelum flow unrestricted to Pakistan. India has the right to use the waters of the Western rivers in a “non-consumptive” manner and under certain conditions the water could be used for domestic purposes, as well as for irrigation and hydropower production.

From its allocated share from all the rivers, India currently manages to use up 93% of the water with the rest flowing unused into Pakistan. India has been working to set up projects to ensure full utilisation of its share of the water. And this is what Nitin Gadkari was referring to when he said that India would “stop our share of water which used to flow to Pakistan.”