In the wake of the Uri attack, there have been calls to abrogate the Indus Waters Treaty. Last Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup, responding to a query on the Indus Waters Treaty, said “for any such treaty to work, you need mutual trust and goodwill. I will leave it at that.”
The 1960 treaty has survived wars and phases of frosty ties between India and Pakistan.
The treaty, which came after a decade of World Bank-brokered negotiations, classified the six rivers of the Indus system into ‘eastern’ and ‘western’ rivers. Sutlej, Beas and Ravi were eastern; Jhelum, Chenab and Indus itself were western.
The treaty gave India full rights over the waters of the eastern rivers, while it had to let the western rivers flow “unrestricted” to Pakistan. India could use the waters of western rivers only in a “non-consumptive” manner.