The Critical Evaluation of The Pak-India Relations In The Context of Water Dispute Between Both 

The Critical Evaluation of The Pak-India Relations In The Context of Water Disputes Between Both By Captain Imran Khan

Pak-India Relations And Water Dispute | Daily Writeup | Opinions

The article is written by Captain Imran Khan, a student of Sir Syed Kazim Ali.

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Outline

1-Introduction

2-Historical context of the water dispute originated between Pakistan and India

  • The controversial Redcliff Award (1947)
  • Water blockade by India under the Inter-Dominion Accord (1948)
  • Biased formulation of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), 1960

3-Current nature of the conflict

  • India’s demand to Pakistan to modify the provisions of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT)

4-What are the impacts of the water dispute on Pak-India relations?

  • India’s one-man-up-ship under the Hundred Dam project
  • The Wular Barrage project: A trigger in the already nuclear flashpoint Kashmir
  • The immense power’s backdoor diplomacies in the region: A call to water war
  • Pakistan’s strategic re-orientation towards China as a balancing act

5-What are the recommendations for resolving water disputes to normalize Pak-India relations?

  • To properly implement the Indus Water Treaty (IWT)
  • To resolve the Kashmir issue via plebiscite
  • To choose a charismatic leader to run the state of affairs
  • To focus on the economic will of the region rather than the political will

6-Critical Analysis

7-Conclusion

8-Conclusion

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Answer to the Question

1-Introduction

       The water conflict’s roller-coaster between Pakistan and India since their inception- like other tussles- has become the central theme of aggression due to the then-British policymakers’ biased decisions. The dispute card triggered by various internal and external issues has- undoubtedly- been manipulated by India, jeopardizing Pakistan’s sovereignty and deteriorating their bilateral relation- could be resolved by sagacious measures, further normalizing the region’s stability. Therefore, the water dispute is the cornerstone of Pakistan and India’s relationship, rekindling other significant conflicts between the rival states. Sadly, the fundamental human resource conflict is the outcome of the bias of the British Crown leaders and the global world body, the World Bank, which is still the centre of the rivals’ conspiracies. Speaking in a negative vein, the conflict raised due to population growth, climate change, and weak political discourse has deteriorated the relation in such a way that the regional one-man-up-ship, nuclear war dilemma, populist policies, and coercive means of diplomacies have become the fate of the region. , adopting measures: the proper implementation of the treaty, conduction of plebiscite, and many others, executed solemnly, will prove fruitful in resolving the water dispute, further stabilizing the entire region politically and economically.

2-Historical context of the water dispute originated between Pakistan and India

      Before moving forward, the water conflict’s brief historical glance explained the series-wise trigger points of the issue’s origination.

  • The controversial Redcliff Award (1947)

First, the false demarcation of the dividing states under the Redcliff Award (1947) was the first reason behind the installation of the dispute. According to the cunning Mountbatten Plan following the Award, India became the upper riparian controlling the Easter River’s head-works, and Pakistan became the lower riparian by controlling the Western River’s head-works, became the reason behind the conflict.

  • Water blockade by India under the Inter-Dominion Accord (1948)

Second, after the independence, Hindus blocked Pakistan’s water entirely for just a year in 1948 under the Inter-Dominion Accord, in which India claimed that it was only their legitimacy to use the water, and Pakistan argued that it was a scheme to undo her. India’s inhumane, illegal move added fuel to the fire and agitated the dispute into full swing, raised concerns regarding the conflict.

  • Biased formulation of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT)

 Lastly, the formulation of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) – 1960, although a positive step yet biased one, has changed the discourse of the issue from a bilateral one to an international issue by adding more actors, zero-sum games, and heating up the conflict to its peak, became the cornerstone of the issue.

3-Current nature of the conflict

Moving ahead, the recent developments surrounding the Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan are concerning and could have far-reaching consequences for both countries and the region. The treaty has been a vital tool in ensuring equitable sharing of water resources between the two nations for decades. The leaders of both countries must work together to resolve this issue and provide the long-term sustainability of the treaty. The world is watching, and the stakes are high. Any disruption to this agreement could have severe consequences, including the potential for escalating tensions between India and Pakistan. Therefore, both countries must come together to find a solution that maintains the treaty’s integrity and ensures that water resources are shared equitably.

4-What are the impacts of the water dispute on Pak-India relations?

        More importantly, it is commonly known that every action has a reaction. So, the aftershocks of the flawed treaty have deteriorated Pakistan’s and India’s relations socially, politically, and economically.

  • India’s one-man-up-ship under the Hundred Dam project

Firstly, India’s Hundred Dam project clearly shows her one-man-up-ship agenda in the region. It is part of her strategic culture to make more dams to knee-down Pakistan for primary resources in front of her, as Pakistan is already a water-scarce country, and almost in 2025, according to some reports, it might be a water-depleted country, enhanced the conflict’s intensity.

  • The Wular Barrage project: A trigger in the already nuclear flashpoint Kashmir

Furthermore, Indo-Pakistan relations have so deteriorated that Kashmir has now become a nuclear flashpoint between both rivals, as India has built a Wular Barrage or Tulbul Navigation project on the outlet of Jehlum-river’s Wular-lake with a lock cum control structure at its mouth. The structural changes in the dam’s construction and hidden information about water storage capacity have straightly violated the IWT, enhanced the intensity of the issue.

  • The populist leader’s idiosyncratic dam construction strategies

 Likewise, the outcome of India’s populist mindset policies is also destroying the neighbours’ bonhomie relationships. Among all other Muslim hatred policies, the dam’s spill-way gate strategy- like Salal, Kishenganga, and Baglihar dams’ strategy- is another lethal tactic giving Pakistan a psychological dither, deteriorating the relation between the rivals.

  • The immense powers’ backdoor diplomacies in the region

Lastly, the enormous power’s involvement with India through back door channels without even mincing words about Pakistan is somewhat the nail in the coffin of Pakistan-India relations, as both are well aware of the colonialist-era’s atrocities owing to the hands of big powers. India’s funding of Afghanistan’s dam project in Kabul and the unjust role of a third-party mediator- the World Bank- are the glaring examples in this case, making the issue worst.

5-What are the recommendations for resolving water disputes to normalize Pak-India relations?

  • To properly implement the Indus Water Treaty (IWT)

       The first and foremost best possible solution to the dispute involves properly implementing the IWT in its true letter and spirit. For that purpose, it is necessary to amend all the treaty articles and fill the loopholes, ensuring positive productivity in the region.

  • To resolve the Kashmir issue via plebiscite

Moreover, the Kashmir issue’s plebiscite by the Kashmir people could also prove fruitful in resolving the water dispute. It is evident that after the referendum, the autonomous Kashmir people would be free to participate in administrative affairs and contribute to lessening the issue via a diplomatic win.

  • To choose a charismatic leader to run the state of affairs

Furthermore, having a charismatic leader running the state of affairs is mandatory for healthy regional relations. It would become a blessing in disguise for the two rival nations, and the war-mongering slogan, “Blood and water cannot flow together”, by leaders like Modi, also met its end.

  • To focus on the economic will of the region rather than the political will

Likewise, the focus on the economic will of the region should be a higher priority than the political will. It would be possible by the functionality of the regional organization SAARC by both disputants. The collaboration would automatically diminish the validity of the conflicts in the region.

6-Critical Analysis

     In the critical diagnosis, the apple of discord between Pakistan and India since their inception has deepened the grievances and compelled them to stand eyeball to eyeball each other. It is an axiomatic truth that the issue’s legality lies in the heart of the different ideological perspectives based on the concept of the Two Nation Theory, bridging the gulf between rival states. Moreover, the water scarcity phobia has given the dispute another path, shifting it from an agenda of religious win to a zero-sum economic gains race. As a result, the interference of other international actors for their win-win has made the issue so complicated for Pakistan and India that they could not even explore the recommendations box for bilateral agreements.

7-Conclusion

    In a nutshell, the disputes on primary resources and necessities between two neighbours have dragged their relationship to the critical juncture of collapse. It is saddening to note that India, instead of focusing on the region’s win-win uplifting via regional organization and collaboration, always prioritizes her own subjugation’s and supremacy’s vested interests to fulfil her old-age dream of becoming a superpower aroused from the Russo-Japanese war in 1904-1905. Ultimately, the dispute only advances its dimensions with time, further destabilizing the relationship instead of resolving it.              

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