The two-day 118th Permanent Indus Commission meeting between India & Pakistan ended recently with both sides showing positive signs. In the last meeting in Islamabad, India & Pakistan had reiterated their commitment to implement Indus Waters Treaty in its true spirit.
About ‘Permanent Indus Commission’ –
- The Permanent Indus Commission is a bilateral commission of officials from India and Pakistan, created to implement and manage goals of the Indus Waters Treaty, 1960.
- The Commission according to the treaty must meet regularly at least once a year, alternately in India and Pakistan.
- The functions of the Commission are:
- to study and report to the two Governments on any problem relating to the development on the waters of the rivers.
- to solve disputes arising over water sharing.
- to arrange technical visits to projects’ sites and critical river head works.
- to undertake, once in every five years, a general tour of inspection of the Rivers for ascertaining the facts.
- to take necessary steps for the implementation of the provisions of the treaty.
About Indus Water Treaty –
- The treaty was signed in 1960 by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and then Pakistan President Ayub Khan.
- The six rivers of the Indus basin originate in Tibet and flow across the Himalayan ranges to end in the Arabian Sea south of Karachi.
- The three western rivers (Jhelum, Chenab and Indus) were allocated to Pakistan while India was given control over the three eastern rivers (Ravi, Beas and Sutlej).
- While India could use the western rivers for consumption purpose, restrictions were placed on building of storage systems. The treaty states that aside of certain specific cases, no storage and irrigation systems can be built by India on the western rivers.
- It was brokered by the World Bank. The Treaty also provides arbitration mechanism to solve disputes amicably. A Permanent Indus Commission was set up as a bilateral commission to implement and manage the Treaty. The Commission solves disputes arising over water sharing.