STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

50 Years of the Indus Water Treaty: An Evaluation

Dr. Uttam Kumar Sinha is Research Fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile.
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  • September 2010
    Volume: 
    34
    Issue: 
    5
    Commentaries

    Rivers are more than what Samuel T. Coleridge poetically expressed in Kubla Khan: ‘meandering with mazy motion’ and falling into the ‘sunless sea’. Rivers are life-givers, carrying a mystic and sacred quality about them. That they are oft described as being ‘mighty’—the mighty Amazon; the mighty Nile; the mighty Brahamaputra; the mighty Murray; the mighty Mississippi and Missouri—is hardly mystifying. Civilizations have grown around it and flourished. In contemporary politics the salience of rivers cannot be overlooked both in terms of being drivers of cooperation and conflict. Riparian water rights has suddenly become a hotly contested issue as lower riparian users have started resenting their upstream riparian neighbours for not sharing water in an equitable fashion.

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