Inland waterway transport has established the Standing Indus Commission, composed of representatives of India and Pakistan, to resolve any disagreements between the parties. Negotiations on inland waterway transport are being conducted by the World Bank, while Pakistan in particular has appealed to other bodies such as the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. “It`s our water. It is our farmers` share of water; these are the waters of our field; it is our water to quench the thirst of our people. No one has the right to object. That is what we are working on. We have prepared its DPR (detailed project report). To ensure that water is released in a controlled manner and that electricity is produced and diverted, we are working on the second phase of the diversion plan and preparing its DPR,” Shekhawat added. The Ujh multipurpose project will have a capacity of 186 MW for power generation and will also provide water for irrigation of 16,743 hectares and 20 cubic meters for drinking.
The World Bank was quickly frustrated by this lack of progress. What was originally conceived as a technical dispute that would quickly unravel seemed intractable. India and Pakistan were unable to agree on the technical aspects of the allocation, let alone on the implementation of an agreed water supply. Finally, in 1954, after nearly two years of negotiations, the World Bank presented its own proposal, which went beyond the limited role it had set for itself and obliged both sides to consider concrete plans for the future of the basin. The proposal offered India the three eastern tributaries of the basin and Pakistan the three western tributaries. Canals and reservoirs should be built to drain water from western rivers and replace the eastern river supply lost by Pakistan. Water issues in the Indus Basin are mainly governed by the Indus Water Treaty (NAVIGATION). It was signed in 1960 and negotiated by the World Bank to avoid a water conflict between India and Pakistan.
The Treaty defines the principles of intergovernmental use of Indus water (Indus Waters Treaty, 1960). It was widely regarded as a success and survived several interstate tensions. The United Nations, the World Bank, and other Asian countries have some power to enforce the treaty (Abas et al., 2019). In the context of inland navigation, India is granted control of the three eastern tributaries of the Indus – Ravi, Sutlej and Beas – before they flow into Pakistan, and the three western tributaries – Indus, Jhelum and Chenab – in Pakistan (FAO, 2011b). Extracting its limited groundwater resources is a major challenge in the Indus Basin (Kugelman, 2016). In the long term, groundwater recharge is expected to decrease significantly (Jayaram, 2016), which will reduce water availability for the entire basin (Dharmadhikary, 2008; Diamant, 2014). Meanwhile, total water demand in Pakistan is expected to increase from 163 km3 in 2015 to 225 km3 in 2050 (Amir & Habib, 2015). In northern India, where tributaries of the Indus flow, irrigation is particularly intense and groundwater depletion could increase by up to 75% by 2050, putting additional pressure on the upstream parts of the Indus (Dhawan, 2017). Each party must provide the other party with plans to construct engineering work that would affect the other party and provide data on that work. Annual inspections and data exchange continue undeterred by tensions on the subcontinent. The Salal dam was built by mutual agreement between the two countries.  The Tulbul project has been awaiting approval for decades, even after lengthy discussions between India and Pakistan.
 In the event of disputes or disagreements, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) or a neutral technical expert is called upon to arbitrate. The decision of the technical expert was followed for the evacuation of the Baglihar power plant and the decision of the PCA was followed for the evacuation of the Kishanganga hydroelectric power plant.    Pakistan claims to have breached the contract for the 850 MW Ratle hydroelectric power plant.  India has not yet claimed a violation of Article II of Pakistani river transport, although Pakistan uses groundwater for various purposes in the Ravi and De Sutlej watershed before these rivers finally enter Pakistan. Pakistan has also implemented river formation works to reduce river flooding in its region and increase flooding in the Greater Rann of Kutch in India, in violation of Article IV(3a).  Pakistan, which raises disputes and appeals to the PCA against Indian projects, could lead to the abolition of inland navigation if its provisions are interpreted in detail in the PCA`s decisions.  The Jhelum is only one of the six tributaries that make up the Indus basin. Since 1960, the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) has sought to equitably distribute water rights for the basin between India and Pakistan. However, the Treaty is currently hanging by a thread and the roots of this precariousness go back to the foundation of inland navigation. Today, due to population growth and water demand, the difficulties of climate change and the mismanagement of tributaries by both states, it is crucial to renegotiate the treaty.
Amid rising tensions with Pakistan in 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised an issue on inland navigation for the first time. After the attack on the Indian army camp at Uri in the J&K in September 2016, in which about 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives, Modi said, “Blood and water cannot flow at the same time.” Fears of future water shortages due to the construction of dams are causing diplomatic tensions between India and Pakistan. Political narratives that divide India and Pakistan generally increase the likelihood of conflict. In India, a narrative of Pakistan-linked Islamic terrorist cells attacking civilians has been used to justify withdrawing diplomacy and even threatening to reduce Pakistan`s water supply (Al Jazeera, 2019; Roy, 2019). Meanwhile, nationalist media in Pakistan blamed Poor Water Management in India for the country`s floods (Mustafa et al., 2017). Although water scarcity in the Indus Basin is often attributed to water abuse, climate change also plays an important role (Diamond, 2014). The Himalayan glaciers that feed the Indus basin are expected to continue to decline in the coming years. This may increase water flow in the short term, but it will also deplete groundwater recharge in the long term, thereby reducing available water resources (Jayaram, 2016).
At the same time, heavy rains are expected to become more erratic during the monsoon, which will create further challenges to counter potential flood risks (Stolbova et al., 2016). This is likely to exacerbate tensions over water distribution and river management issues (Diamond, 2014). The waters of the Indus river system begin mainly in Tibet and in the Himalayan mountains in the states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.  They cross the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Sindh before flowing into the Arabian Sea south of Karachi and Kori Creek in Gujarat.   The average annual water resource available in Pakistan is 177 MAF, or 218.4 billion cubic meters.  Where there was only a narrow strip of irrigated land along these rivers, developments over the past century created an extensive network of canals and storage facilities that by 2009 would provide water to more than 47 million acres (190,000 km2) of water in Pakistan alone, one of the largest irrigation areas in a river system.  The division of British India led to a conflict over the waters of the Indus Basin. The newly formed states were divided over how to divide and manage what was essentially a coherent and unified irrigation network. In addition, the geography of the division was such that the source rivers of the Indus basin were in India. Pakistan felt threatened by the prospect of Indian control over the tributaries that carried water into the Pakistani part of the basin.
While 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 in its growing lands. In the early years of division, the waters of the Indus were divided by the Inter-Dominion Agreement of May 4, 1948.  This agreement required India to release sufficient water in the Pakistani regions of the basin in exchange for annual payments from the Pakistani government.  The agreement was intended to address immediate needs and negotiations on a more durable solution followed.  However, neither side was willing to compromise its respective positions and the negotiations resulted in an impasse […].