New Delhi, April 10: The Supreme Court today dismissed a Public Interest Litigation seeking declaration of the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan as illegal and unconstitutional. A bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar said while dismissing the PIL that this treaty is of 1960 and has held good for more than half a century.
“The treaty between India and Pakistan is more than half a century old,” CJI said and rejected Sharma’s argument their it’s not a treaty but an agreement between leaders of two countries.
Sharma in his PIL, claimed that this Indus water was not an treaty but a personal agreement. He pleaded to the top court to declare the treaty void on the ground that it was not a valid document as this document does not bear signature of President of India.
Notably, The Indus and its tributaries easily make up the most important river system in the world. The basin was converted into an extensively cultivated area during the British colonial period, with millions of acres irrigated by large canals. At the time of Pakistan and India’s Partition in 1947, boundaries were drawn without first considering the realities of the region. The part of the Punjab to the west of this boundary becomes a part of Pakistan, while the east was incorporatedinto India. The immediate effect of this partition was that the Indus Basin became divided andconflicts subsequently arose between the two countries over the sharing of water resources.
In 1948, after India obtained control of the headwaters and halted the water flow into Pakistan, the dispute drew international attention. In 1960, after years of negotiations, the World Bank brokered the Indus Water Treaty, [IWT] which regulated the use of the Indus Basin rivers. The agreement was signed on September 19, 1960 by Pakistan’s President Mohammad Ayub Khan, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the World Bank’s W.A.B Iliff.
BRIEF PROVISIONS OF INDUS WATERS TREATY 1960: