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Water Flows From India or Pakistan Draws Blood

Water Flows From India or Pakistan Draws Blood


In September 2016, a series of cross-border skirmishes in Kashmir raised an uproar for retaliation against Pakistan from Indian civilians. The escalation of attacks and threat of nuclear war between the neighboring states over Kashmir mark a growing trend toward violence over one resource: water. Demand for fresh water increases and supply decreases; in turn, upstream India has incentive to hoard water and downstream Pakistan becomes desperate to attain fresh water. Defiant rhetoric from both sides pointedly addresses the tension. The slogan touted by the Pakistani militant group serves as prime example: “Water must flow or else blood will flow[1]”. The rhetoric was met with a fiery response from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after a terrorist attack on India-controlled Uri that killed 18 Indian soldiers. Modi announced the suspension of water allocation talks between India and Pakistan, saying, “Blood and water cannot flow at the same time[2],” said Modi, as he announced the suspension of water allocation talks between India and Pakistan. Water scarcity, used as a diplomatic weapon, is the brutal consequence of power and politics. Historic publications and news coverage frame the Kashmiri conflict as a geopolitical issue exacerbated by a dissident people. However, intermittent clashes in Kashmir over the last fifty years shed light on a larger political hand at play. It is the control and usage of water in the Indus River Basin that motivates the recurrent violence in Kashmir today. 

This paper focuses specifically on the implications of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), the predominant water allocation agreement signed in 1960 on political action in the region. Accredited as one of the “world’s most lopsided and inequitable water pact[s][3],” the Indus Waters Treaty grants over 80 percent of total waters in the Indus system to Pakistan. Yet, accounting for Pakistan’s geographical position, the Treaty also appears to give India a disproportionate amount of power. According to former World Bank Senior Water Expert, John Briscoe, the Treaty lays a “very uneven playing field. The regional hegemon is the upper riparian and has all the cards in its hands.”[4]This dichotomy of viewpoints sets the narrative behind the fierce rhetoric and political action taken on the issue today.   

The geopolitical atmosphere that led to the signing of the Indus Waters Treaty dates back to 1960. Threats toward India, both internal and international, divided the nation’s attention from the bilateral water dispute. Religious violence in Jammu and Kashmir, an unresolved territorial dispute with China, and international pressure preluding the Cold War ultimately forced then Prime Minister Nehru’s hand. Brokered by the World Bank, the Indus Waters Treaty seemingly pacified Pakistan and brought a brief stint of peace to the Kashmir region. However, the growth of urbanization, industrialization, and population has shifted Pakistan’s political standpoint: Islamabad in the last few years has placed water in the center of its political agenda, threatening to bring international attention back to this bilateral issue. Accounting for India’s consequential retaliation and power play in hydropolitics, this paper analyzes the influence of water on the relationship between these two nations.     

Origin of the India-Pakistan Water Conflict 

The India-Pakistan Water Conflict begins at each country’s independence in 1947. The land partition under the Indian Independence Act divided India and Pakistan along religious lines, disregarding resource allocation. Over 85 percent of the irrigated breadbasket of Punjab became Pakistan, while the source of the Punjab rivers became India-controlled Kashmir. Lacking a clear water sharing agreement, on April 1, 1948, India cut off water supply from the west-flowing tributaries to Pakistan’s West Punjab. Due to the fact that India could stop water flow to Pakistan during sowing season placed, Pakistan was in an extremely vulnerable position. In an early attempt to grab control of eastern headwaters, Pakistan armed religious rioters in Kashmir to destabilize northern India and exert political influence in the water-rich region. 

From India’s standpoint, much of modern irrigation built under British Rule went to West Punjab. India contended that though both Indian Punjab and Pakistani Punjab had roughly 25 million civilians, less than 20 percent of the 105,000 km² irrigated from the Indus Basin went to East Punjab[5]. To develop its agricultural sector, India claimed the eastern rivers–the Ravi, Sutlej and Beas. Yet Pakistan, the lower riparian state, pushed against the stoppage of water, escalating attacks in the Kashmir region. In response, India invited the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to mitigate the territorial dispute.    

By April 21, 1948, the UNSC called a ceasefire and withdrawal of troops from both India and Pakistan. Originally treating the Kashmir territorial dispute and West Punjab water conflict as two separate issues, the UNSC found the disputes closely correlated. Militant clashes in Kashmir were motivated by sovereignty and ideology: a 1951 communique from the British High Commissioner’s office in Karachi, the old capital of Pakistan, neatly summarized the issue.

“One assumption [Pakistan] refused to entertain: that India should have control over Kashmir. By having such control, India could ruin Pakistan, simply by refusing to operate Mangla at the head-works. It is almost certain therefore that Pakistan would reject any solution of the Kashmir problem which would give these powers; she would rather embark on a war which she fully understood to be suicidal[6].”[7]

India controlled the headwaters of the Jhelum and stored 9.12km3of potable water in the Mangla Reservoir. Water resources were vital to the survival of a budding Pakistan, motivating the persistent territorial clashes over Kashmir. Both nations recognized Kashmir as a geopolitical keystone. In 1950 amid ongoing hostilities, India and Pakistan froze talks of a second Standstill Agreement on shared water usage. 

In 1951, David Lilienthal, former Chairman ofthe Atomic Energy Commission, published an article in Collier’s Magazineproposing India and Pakistan jointly develop the Indus river system under the guidance of the World Bank. Persuaded by the influential article, then World Bank President Eugene R. Black gathered a Working Party of Indian, Pakistani, and World Bank engineers to figure out the logistics of a formal water sharing agreement. Under growing international pressure, the Indus Waters Treaty was signed by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Pakistani President Ayub Khan, and World Bank President W.A.B. Illif in September 1960.   

Despite the fifty year peace between Jammu and Kashmir (J&K)—maintained by the Indus Waters Treaty—lingering hostile sentiments, an imbalance of power, and unforeseen water stress has led to its abrogation today. The Treaty portrays that India wields water control as a political weapon while Pakistan lashes out against the ceaseless threat of water scarcity, perpetuating mutual mistrust. The next section explains the reality of the Treaty and the deepening political partition between India and Pakistan.       

The Indus Waters Treaty and Mistrust

The IWT divided the use of rivers in the Indus Basin along the Line of Control. On the eastern side, India claimed unrestricted use of the eastern rivers, the Beas, Sutlej, and Ravi; on the western side, Pakistan received the lion’s share with control of the Indus, Chenab, and Jhelum rivers.


Two provisions were agreed upon: 1) the Kashmiri people received a small percentage of allotted river water, and 2) India received control over upstream headwaters for hydropower, irrigation, and water storage. Despite Pakistan’s paranoia over India’s newfound power, the Treaty restricted India from harnessing water for hydropower at specific quantities and times at the upper riparian. The Treaty also sets aside a precautionary mechanism. Should India disregard Pakistan’s decision to reject its hydropower proposal, the matter falls to mediated negotiations or into the hands of an internationally appointed expert. Should that fail, the issue then falls to the Permanent Indus Commission or the Court of Arbitration under the World Bank.

Despite the tentative success of the IWT, water discourse quickly turned militant in Kashmir. The informal line splitting Kashmir became a de facto military border between India-held Kashmir to the East and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir to the West. In 1965, Pakistan launched Operation Gibraltar, a clandestine mission designed to infiltrate eastern Jammu and Kashmir and incite an insurgence against Indian rule. According to Indian pundit Brahma Chellaney, the IWT only roused Pakistan’s “territorial revisionism”. He continued that the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 was aimed at seizing the headwaters of West Punjab’s three rivers[8]. Explained by Pakistani rhetoric, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 set forth a clash of ideologies for the liberation of the Kashmiri people. As India once controlled Pakistan’s water supply, Islamabad feared they needed a claim in Kashmir to resist Indian subjugation.  It was unlikely that India would violate the terms of the Treaty. However, religious differences, nuclear capabilities, and water conflict compounded the mistrust between the two countries, which opened the door for extremist groups to deepen the divide. 

Figure 2: Map of Kashmir with LoC

Figure 2: Map of Kashmir with LoC

Jammat-ud-Dawa (JuD) is one of the loudest defenders of Pakistan’s claim to Kashmir.[9]JuD is also the front for predominate Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a South Asian terrorist group responsible for the 2001 Indian Parliament attack and the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Territorial expansion is one of JuD’s core political issues: JuD chief Hafiz Saeed openly attacked the Indian “occupation” of Kashmir and stated that India’s restrictionary water flow is cause to wage jihad. Prior to the recent attack on India-controlled Uri in eastern Kashmir, Saeed demonstrated through Kashmir shouting the infamous “water or blood” slogan. Using the water issue as anti-India propaganda, JuD claimed new evidence of New Delhi sabotaging Islamabad’s water supply under the IWT.[10] The emotive message nonetheless resonated with Kashmiri separatist groups, allowing the LeT to fuel a resurgence of violence in the region. 

Following these recent attacks, Indian Prime Minister Modi called a press conference in September 2016 to review the Indus Waters Treaty and put pressure on Pakistan. During this press conference, Modi delivered a blistering critique of Pakistan’s use of terrorism to blight Indian innovation since independence. India has a diplomatic advantage–by revising or nullifying the Treaty, India can control the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab rivers that sustain 90 percent of Pakistan’s agriculture. Alternatively, Uttam Sinha from the Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA) proposed a less severe course of action,“India can rather go for the extreme option of suspending the meeting of the Commission. However, the more realistic option would be to use water of the western rivers of the Indus system, which is well within the framework of the treaty[11].” By invoking its right to harness the western rivers for hydropower, water storage and irrigation, India has an opportunity to subdue Islamabad and implicitly threaten its water supply.

Such problems have threatened the future of Kashmir, and therefore of Pakistan. Since 2002, Kashmiri separatists and nationalists repeatedly clashed with New Delhi over cries for secession. While insurgent forces sought political alliance and military supplies from Pakistan, Kashmir’s regional administration remained loyal to Indian authority. Yet underpinning the local unrest and political tension was the fear of a dwindling water supply. Kashmir was unintentionally barred from harnessing hydropower from the Indus River Basin due to the IWT. Moreover, its supply of potable water has been falling yearly due to a lack of rainfall and increased reliance on Pakistan. In 2011, the Kashmiri government reportedly sought to hire a multi-national consultant firm to quantify the Kashmir’s loss from the IWT, thus bringing the case to New Delhi. Despite the ‘great loss’ caused by the Treaty, J&K Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh fully supported the Indian government following the Uri attack, stating “We will support any move which will benefit the people of the state and any step that puts Pakistan under pressure,” in late September 2016. Singh condemned terrorist efforts in J&K and noted that disorder in Kashmir would cause India to tighten its hold on the water supply. Speaking for Kashmir, Singh highlighted the counter-productivity of extremism and military occupation in the Kashmir Valley, as they deteriorate the possibility of a binding water-sharing accord. 

Questions arise when examining water control positions of India, Pakistan, and Kashmir. What conditions in Pakistan created such desperation for water security? What has changed since 1960 that has pushed Pakistan towards inciting a water war today? The next section addresses Pakistan’s water stress and regulatory shortcomings.

Pakistan’s Big Thirst

Pakistan relies heavily on reservoir water, which drains water stores for future shortages, due to its low level of 1,000 cubic meters of water per person per year.[12]A 2013 report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) named Pakistan as one of the most water-stressed countries in the world. Based on Pakistan’s current usage rate and water storing capability, the ADB estimated the country has only thirty days of water stored for emergency—33 percent less water compared to the average 1,000 days of similarly arid nations.[13]Reports indicate that since the signing of the IWT in 1960, water availability per-capita has dropped by 75 percent[14]

Although Pakistan blames India for its water woes, they largely stem from poor water management and lack of effective allocation nationally. Pakistan has done little to control its water supply: over the last 40 years, it built two dams while India erected 4,000. Consecutive plans to build more dams have been thwarted by inter-provincial disputes. Like India’s famines resulting from colonial rule, Pakistan’s droughts and starvation are products of poor planning and government negligence. With few water storage facilities and fresh water reservoirs, Pakistan can barely sustain economic growth and civilian necessities. Its economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, which employs 50 percent of the Pakistani population and contributes 25 percent to annual GDP. Yet the three major crops—wheat, cotton, and rice—use close to 90 percent of Pakistan’s water supply, largely irrigated from the Indus River Basin. According to Punjab Irrigation Department groundwater expert Muhammad Javed, “There is no planning and regulation for farmers vis-à-vis water usage” to address water waste in agricultural practices. In 2011, Pakistan lost 18 million gallons of potable water as run-off[15]. The little water left for civilian use is severely polluted, due to treatment of less than one-tenth of industrial waste and sewage water. Consequently, 40 percent of Pakistanis die from polluted drinking water and water-borne diseases. 

Source : Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources 2002.

Source: Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources 2002.

According to Pakistan’s Minister of Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, the country’s laissez-faire water management, antiquated farming methods, and lack of environmental regulation, while coupled with Pakistan’s rapid population growth, are the perfect storm for a catastrophic drought in the next 10 to 15 years. Water scarcity in mind, he considers the grave ramifications for Pakistan if it loses its diplomatic discourse with India or rights to the Indus River Basin. Thus, in addition to reforming and enforcing environmental protection standards, Pakistan maintains its interests in curbing aggression with India and reinstating cooperation over water resources.   

Aside from its preventable measures, climate change also primarily contributes to shifts in water levels in the Indus Valley. Both Pakistan and India are reliant on glacial run-off from the Himalayas to replenish river waters. Yet, a study by Dutch scientists Walter Immerzeel, Ludovicus van Beek, and Marc Bierkens cautions that water supply in the Indus River Basin will decrease by eight percent by 2050 due to melting glaciers.

Pakistan is not the only country affected by these factors. According to ADB estimates, potable water levels in India will become “water-stressed” by 2025. With its own ongoing water deficit, India incentivizes to build more dams, hydropower plants, and water storage facilities beyond political reasons. While Pakistan faces water allocation inefficiencies and a growing population, India encounters a significantly higher demand for water resources per capita because of net population growth. 

Hydropower and Pressure 

Recent conflicts surrounding India’s river basin development projects have raised serious questions about the sustainability of the IWT. Pakistan challenged and impeded the 27 projects India intended to pursue in J&K. Arbitration proved a lengthy and costly process as Pakistan stalled project implementation, ultimately inhibiting the infrastructural development of Kashmir. The three most scrutinized developments–the Baglihar Hydel Power Project (BHP), the Tulbul Navigation Project (TNP), and the Kishenganga Project–are examples of standoffs between an adamantly defensive Pakistan and an increasingly frustrated India. 

The BHP conflict emerges as the first to be sent for international arbitration under IWT’s dispute resolution options. The hydropower plant at the mouth of the Chenab River was designed to generate 900 megawatts (MW) of energy. Pakistan was wary of the possibility that the BHP would divert downstream flows and cause floods in the western banks.[16]The Court found Pakistan’s fears improbable, as committing such actions contradicted the Geneva Conventions’ rules of war and caused the loss of credibility in the international community. Yet, India agreed to amend the designs, which resulted in severe structural problems during construction in 1982. This time, India refused to halt construction work, arguing that the water used for power generation would fully be returned to the river. A neutral expert was invited to break the stalemate: they ruled in favor of India’s position and helped tweak design to placate Pakistan. The BHP case is often cited as a prime example of the IWT’s success in conflict resolution.  

The Tulbul navigation project (TNP) of 1984 was originally designed as a barrage by India on the Jhelum, a river unnavigable for a few months out of the year due to low tides. The TNP, capable of storing up to 0.30 million acre-feet of water (MAF), was intended to regulate water currents and allow navigation of Jhelum in dry months. Again, Pakistan feared that India’s potential use of water current control would become a geostrategic weapon. India maintained that the barrage did not impede the water flow into Pakistan’s Upper Chenab and Lower Bari Canals. However, when Pakistan moved to take the case to Arbitration Court, India backed down and abandoned the project.

The Kishenganga Project was a dam designed to store 140,000 MAF of water and usher water flow from a tributary off the Jhelum toward Wullar Lake in West Punjab. Allowed under the IWT, inter-tributary transfer for irrigation purposes fell within India’s provisional use of the western rivers. Pakistan contended that redirecting the water flow would flood Wullar Lake and risk water waste before returning to the Jhelum. However, India was already constructing an irrigation network from the Kishenganga tributary when it disclosed plans of the dam to Pakistan. This detail, the “existing use” of the Kishenganga, fell under a gray area due to legal jargon and was then set aside by the IWT, which stalled approval of the project. Despite the ongoing negotiations, India laid groundwork and began excavation of the Kishenganga Dam. Witnessing the deliberate disregard of its veto power, Pakistan became increasingly paranoid of India’s geopolitical motives. Thus, Pakistan ignored India’s request for a neutral expert opinion and appealed directly to the World Bank in early 2016. 

The unwarranted involvement of the World Bank distorted bilateral negotiations. The dispute escalated to an international affair when the World Bank agreed to process Pakistan’s request without India’s participation. In November 2016, Prime Minister Modi met with World Bank officials on the proceedings: senior advisors were rumored to have encouraged India to distance itself from negotiations until the World Bank agreed to rectify its favorable actions toward Pakistan. The latest arbitration magnified the IWT’s limitations—further compounded by the recent outburst of violence in Kashmir—and lent a critical eye to the effectiveness of the Treaty.  

India currently sees the interference of the World Bank as a blow to its sovereignty or an overstep by the international community in dealing with a regional dispute. Though there have been moderated talks by politicians and water experts of abrogating the Treaty, India is still on the precipice. A round-table gathering of Indian, Pakistani, and World Bank officials may be fast approaching. Pakistan needs release from the pressure India has placed through increased hydropower construction; India needs an effective dispute-management tool and promise of goodwill from Pakistan to continue cooperative efforts. But, as both nations continue to grow economically while external factors further constrict the water supply, dry seasons could trigger blame, droughts could beget resentment, and water depravation could ignite armed conflict.   

Rethinking the Indus Water Treaty  

The IWT does not provide an adequate system for India and Pakistan to reach a compromise under today’s circumstances. The incentives for each state set up by the IWT do not align; each side only sees its own advantages, and neither side is satisfied with the compromise. Pakistan remained vulnerable to water manipulation from India despite retracting its claim to East Punjab, while India lost sovereignty over its northern rivers in exchange for provisional rights it cannot fully exercise. 

Considering the circumstances, a publication in the Tulane Environmental Law Journal, “Reconsidering the Indus Waters Treaty,” offered an interesting and alternative model. The proposed model returns to the original intent of the World Bank when brokering the IWT: for India and Pakistan to develop the Indus Basin through a joint management system together. The current system partitions Kashmir and the river basin to de facto regions of operation. It also cuts off chances for joint development and discourages the possibility of necessary cooperation. The new model suggests a pooling of resources and a reduction of geostrategic scheming over Kashmir, all through a simple realignment of incentives.  

The proposed integration model is comprised of two goals. First, managing the rivers must be “according to the natural geographical and hydrological unit, instead of according to the administrative or political boundaries[17],” where the Indus Basin is the focus of developmental efforts. Moroever, the water-sharing model aims to use water cooperation as a trust building tool and actively strengthen bilateral relations. The publication further explains that in practice, the approach is nuanced and tailored to Indo-Pakistani relations. Considering upward population growth as well as fluctuations in water supply and demand, both India and Pakistan must explicitly understand the necessity of looking for other water sources to satiate demand. Diversifying water dependency seems to be a logical step to reducing tension and water stress in Kashmir. There is potential for India to siphon from its working treaties with Nepal, Bangladesh, and China; there is possibility for Pakistan to invest in raising the quality of its current water sources, such as in sewage and silt treatment facilities.

The second goal of strengthening Indo-Pakistani relations is met through energy cooperation. India’s current rate of economic growth can be sustained by dramatically increasing its annual electricity growth rate. A joint effort from both countries to increase India’s electricity capacity will divert sources away from hydropower and free up water resources. The ingenious piece of this suggestion is Pakistan’s role for a transnational natural gas pipeline in the Iran-Pakistan-India negotiations. Pakistani cooperation in guaranteeing security and promising a lower transit fee of the pipeline through its territory will facilitate transport of natural gas from Iran to energy-hungry India.  

The last proposed cooperative effort is a new water-sharing agreement that focuses on the development of J&K to leverage the competitive advantages of both countries. Given India’s experience in harness hydropower and Pakistan’s financial support benefits each country through either profit or access to energy. 

The last proposal placates the relationship between India and Pakistan while it also stabilizes Kashmir, allowing both countries to pour resources without fear of escalating violence or ceding Kashmir. Hyper-tailored to the needs of India and Pakistan, the proposal introduces the collective interest of preserving water resources. Despite the attractiveness of such an idea, India is unlikely to negotiate away its position of power under the IWT in its current position. Vying for international recognition, India would rather maintain the Indus Waters Treaty for as long as possible. As the Treaty is currently lauded as long-standing and successful by the international community, India may not be keen on giving up a seat at the table, based explicitly on the trust of an untrustworthy neighbor. Given Prime Minister Modi’s adamant condemnation of Pakistan’s tacit acceptance of terrorist organizations and militant government strategies, the likelihood of setting it all aside for peace talks is low under the current administration. Pakistan may also be hesitant to cooperate as past mistrust and ideological differences could shift support away from such a concept. Sharing energy resources, giving India access to Pakistani territory, and relying capital investment to solve water stress would require deep-rooted trust in the ally, progressive government planning, and provincial peace within Pakistan for effective execution. Pakistan’s weak state, not to mention the insurgent LeT functioning as a legitimate political entity through JuD, is away from carrying out those suggestions. 

Despite these realistic shortcomings, redesigning the relationship between India and Pakistan through a reimaged water-sharing treaty is necessary. The Kashmir conflict is nearly eight decades old. Effectively disentangling water control from political strife and extremist insurgency could be the key to bringing peace to the region. As Pakistan and India mend relations, military spending can be allocated to infrastructure, renewable energy, and infant industry support. Though the Kashmir conflict is a deeply complex and multifaceted issue, there is no harm in entertaining such a solution. In fact, the Indus Waters Treaty was similarly birthed from a simple article. Amendments to the arbitration framework or to the water sharing boundaries could originate from another pivotal publication that sways the World Bank. 


It is incredible how something as rudimentary as the geopolitics of water can create bias and pool power in the hands of one state to another. Kashmir is defined by its tributaries: the Indus, Chenab, Jhelum, Beas, Ravi, and Sutlej carved their landscapes and gifted them with value. Kashmir dictated the relationship of its neighboring hegemons and caught the attention of the most powerful countries around the world.

In the game of power and politics, the great equalizers are obtaining and maintaining basic needs. Without water security, nations react instinctively. Once stripped to their primal impetuses, states clutch onto their possessions, grab at what they need, and desperately guard against their vulnerabilities. The story of the Kashmir conflict is primarily this concept: a clash between Pakistan’s need to maintain a stable water supply and India’s need to safeguard its water rights. The resulting water wars are muddied by external considerations: India also shares water treaties with China, Nepal and Bangladesh. If India retreats from Kashmir, what signal would India send to its neighbors? If Pakistan retaliates, will another Indo-Pakistani war ensue? How will the international community react? 

Therefore, representatives should consider the mutual benefit of both countries to ensure de-escalation when discussing any suggestion of abrogating or revising the Indus Waters Treaty. Since Indian Independence, no issue has harbored such long-standing hostility and deep-seated mistrust as water control has in Kashmir. Any forward momentum on water sharing between India and Pakistan must cautiously proceed and equitably accommodate the needs of both nations. 


Akhter, Majed. “The Hydro Political Cold War: The Indus Waters Treaty and State Formation in Pakistan.” Political Geography 75thser. 46.65 (2015): 65-75. Elsevier. Web. Dec. 2016.

Ali, Raja Nazakat, Faiz-ur-Rehman, and Mahmood-ur-RehmanWani. "Indus Water Treaty between Pakistan and India: From Conciliation to Confrontation." Dialogue (Pakistan)(2015): 169-81. New York University Libraries. Web. Dec. 2016 

Asian Development Bank. Economic Trends and Prospects in Developing Asia: Pakistan. N.p.: Asian Development Outlook, 2013. Print. 

Bhatnagar, Manav. "Reconsidering the Indus Waters Treaty." Tulane Environmental Law Journal22:27 (2009): 271-313. New York University Libraries. Web. Dec. 2016.

"Blood and Water Can't Flow Together: PM Modi Chairs Meeting on Indus Water Treaty." The Times of India. IndiaTimes, 26 Sept. 2016. Web. Dec. 2016.

Chellaney, Brahma. "Indus Waters Treaty Symbolises India's Enduring Strategic Naiveté, Negligence." Http:// Hindustan Times, 12 Dec. 2016. Web. Dec. 2016.

Ghosh, Palash. “What Are India And Pakistan Really Fighting About?” International Business Times. IBT Media Inc. 27 Dec. 2013. Web. Dec. 2016.

Ians. "What Is the Indus Waters Treaty and Can India Abrogate It?" The Economic Times. Economic Times, 22 Sept. 2016. Web. Dec. 2016.

"India Slams World Bank Decision on Indus Treaty." The Hindu. The Hindu, 10 Nov. 2016. Web. Dec. 2016.

The Editorial Board. “Rising Tensions in Kashmir.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 24 Sept. 2016. Web. Dec. 2016.

"The Indus Waters Treaty." Stimson Center. Stimson Group, n.d. Web. Dec. 2016.

New Delhi Times Bureau. "India Pakistan Water Dispute and the Pakistani Blame Game." New Delhi Times. New Delhi Times, 11 Apr. 2015. Web. Dec. 2016.

Siddiqi, Ayesha. "Kashmir and the Politics of Water." Kashmir and the Politics of Water. Al Jazeera Media Network, 1 Aug. 2011. Web. Dec. 2016.

Sridhar, Seema. "Kashmir and Water: Conflict and Cooperation." IDEALS of the University of Illinois(2010): 26-29. University of Illinois. Web. Dec. 2016.

Wyatt, Oree. "Pakistan and India's Need for Water, Cooperation." Intelligencer. Patrick Henry College, 23 Nov. 2015. Web. Dec. 2016.


[1]Pakistani militant fringe group, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), adopted water scarcity as a main issue in their extremist agenda. In 2009, co-founder and chief Hafiz Saeed paraded the street of Kashmir touting their slogan. 

[2]Indian PM Modi’s blistering response to the Uri attack in a meeting to review the Indus Water Treaty on September 26, 2016.  

[3]Brahma Chellaney, geo-strategic thinker, author and Indian pundit, wrote in an article for Livemint, the online publication of India’s leading business and financial newspaper.

[4]Riparian rights are the rights of people who own land that run into a body of water, such as a stream, lake, river, et. al.

[5]Published in “Indus Water Treaty between Pakistan and India: From Conciliation to Confrontation” by Dr. Raja Nazakat Ali and Dr. Faiz-ur-Rehman, both Assistant Professors at the Institute of Kashmir Studies in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), India. 

[6]I first accessed this quote from an Al Jazeera article published in 2011, but it has since been mentioned and requoted often in many recent publications in reference to the geo-political value of Kashmir for both India and Pakistan.

[7]Mangla refers to the Mangla Dam at the head of the Jhelum River in what is now Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

[8]Chellaney, introduced in a previous footnote, is extremely outspoken on the water issue in Kashmir. Pro-India, Chellaney condemned the IWT as India’s “strategic naiveté” in an op-ed for the Hindustan Times published in December 2016.  

[9]JuD is founded largely on an Anti-India platform, “charitable organization”.

[10]India’s Ministry of External Affairs has since debunked the evidence.

[11]Water experts and political minds agree with this “tit for tat” course of action proposed during the September meetings. Diluting the Treaty is meant to punish Pakistan economically as retaliation for the Uri attack on Kashmir. 

[12]This is the same level of water per person as Ethiopia.

[13]This is an estimate made by the World Wildlife Fund.

[14]Ghosh, Palash. “What Are India And Pakistan Really Fighting About?”

[15]Wyatt, Oree. "Pakistan and India's Need for Water, Cooperation."

[16]In 1978, Pakistan raised similar concerns over a 480 MW hydroproject on the Chenab River, Salal.

[17]Bhatnagar, Manav. "Reconsidering the Indus Waters Treaty."

Vol. 22 - Spring 2018

The Decline of the Shanzhai Phone Industry:  A Political Economy Analysis

The Decline of the Shanzhai Phone Industry: A Political Economy Analysis