The water issue as a catalyst of the conflict nature of Pakistani-Indian relations: evolution and present state

Keywords: South Asia, Pakistan, India, Indus River Water Sharing Treaty, water issue


The issue of access to fresh water, free use of water resources for agriculture in countries with a water deficit is becoming an instrument of pressure and conflicts in international relations. The article attempts to analyze the water issue in the relations between Pakistan and India, which permanently becomes a factor in increasing the level of conflict between the states. It was found that the issue of distribution of water resources between states is becoming increasingly important due to a number of reasons. Firstly, the growing need for water resources in view of the economic and social dimensions of the development of both states, especially for Pakistan. Secondly, manipulation of the water issue in the system of bilateral cooperation regarding the settlement of the Kashmir issue. On the territory of the disputed Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, the rivers of the Indus water system originate, and India is increasingly using its right of upstream power to block the access of Pakistan to water resources. Thirdly, the need to revise the terms of the Indus Waters Treaty 1960, taking into account the development of the hydroelectric power plant network by India and Pakistan, as a result, changing the course of rivers and water levels, which violates the terms of the agreement. The existing institutional mechanism for regulating disputed water issues between India and Pakistan, namely the mediation of the World Bank and the activities of the Permanent Commission on Indus Waters is not effective. In turn, the issue of the distribution of water resources increasingly depends on the diametrically opposed approaches of India and Pakistan to the existing contradictions and becomes, along with the nuclear factor, another slow-acting factor in the destabilization of the security environment in the South Asian region.


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How to Cite
Tykhonenko, I., & Shurkova, O. (2022). The water issue as a catalyst of the conflict nature of Pakistani-Indian relations: evolution and present state. Acta De Historia & Politica: Saeculum XXI, (04), 63-71.