The Indus River originates in the Tibet Autonomous Region, southwest of Tibet, and flows through the Kashmir region and then pakistan into the Arabian Sea. In addition, there are many tributaries, especially those on the eastern plain of Punjab – the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej rivers. The Indus river system has always been used for irrigation. Work in modern irrigation technology began around 1850. During the period of British rule in India, large pipeline systems were built, old canal systems and flood channels were revitalized and modernized. In 1947, British India was divided, leading to the creation of an independent India and Western Pakistan (later Pakistan). As a result, the water system was late, major work in India and canals were passing through Pakistan. After the expiry of the short-term status quo agreement of 1947, on April 1, 1948, India began to retain water from the canals that flowed to Pakistan. The agreement between the projects of 4 May 1948 required India to supply water to the Pakistani parts of the basin, for annual payments. This was also an emergency solution, and further discussions were to take place in the hope of a lasting solution. Asma Yaqoob argues that the exit of the IWT is easier said than done. From a legal point of view, this is a “non-withdrawal partnership” and any concerted attempt to prevent Pakistan from accessing the Indus water would also damage India`s global reputation. A unilateral withdrawal would not be favourable to China and Nepal, with which India is a beneficiary of water-sharing contracts.
The water distribution contract between India and Pakistan, negotiated in 1960 by the World Bank to use water from rivers from India in the industrial system, was again put in the spotlight, with New Delhi deciding to stop the flow of its waters from the three eastern rivers – Beas, Ravi and Sutlej – to Islamabad. Some restrictions have been imposed on India as a senior riparian. On the rivers attributed to Pakistan, India was not allowed to build storage. Restrictions were also placed on the expansion of irrigation development in India (on the lower shore of Pakistan, there were relatively less significant restrictions). There were also provisions for the exchange of data on the operation of the project, the volume of irrigated agriculture, etc. The treaty also provided for certain institutional provisions: there should be a permanent industrial commission, composed of a commissioner for India and Pakistan, and regular meetings and visits. Conflict resolution provisions have been introduced: disputes should be resolved within the Commission, if necessary; If no agreement has been reached at the Commission level, the dispute should be referred to both governments; if they have not reached an agreement, the treaty provided for an arbitration mechanism. The comparison also included international financial assistance to Pakistan for the development of irrigation works for the exploitation of its waters, and India also paid about 62.06 million pounds, in accordance with Article V of the treaty. The division of British India caused a conflict around the waters of the Indus basin. Newly formed states were divided on how to share and manage the bulk of a closed and uniform irrigation system. Moreover, the geography of the division was such that the flows from sources in the Indus basin were in India.
Pakistan felt threatened by the prospect of Indian control of the tributaries that poured water into the Pakistani part of the basin. Where India certainly had its own ambitions for the profitable development of the basin, Pakistan felt seriously threatened by a conflict over the main source of water for its buildable country.