The Third Party Involvement in Resolving River Water Disputes between Pakistan and India

  • Shaista Tabassum


Water and related issues are gaining importance in the present world politics. It is believed that water would be the source of some major future conflicts in many regions including South Asia. Water distribution between Pakistan and India has become a serious political issue since independence. The problem has its roots in the partition of the Indian Subcontinent in 1947. Although the issue was resolved amicably by the two states in 1960 and a treaty was signed, even then number of other issues developed after the treaty. One of the important aspects of the settlement route was the Indian refusal and Pakistan’s insistence on the presence and participation of any third neutral party. Despite the Indian policy of bilateralism on many regional issues, water disputes and resolution remained a classical example of multilateralism, where at least on four major occasions the settlements were reached with the involvement of a third neutral party.