As India gets set to explore options to review the the Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan, the Chinese would be watching closely. China-the upper riparian state in the Brahmaputra river-would try and play spoilsport in a bid to protect its all weather friend, Pakistan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Monday chair a high level meeting in which the possibilities of re-visiting the Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan will be discussed. India would be looking to use the 1960 pact to get Pakistan to change its ways and stop sending its terrorists into India.
Senior officials and Water Resources Minister, Uma Bharti will brief the PM on the treaty at 12 pm on Monday. At the high level meeting the pros and cons of the treaty will be discussed. India would have to tread carefully before it tries and reviews the treaty which has survived over 50 years since its signing on September 19, 1960.
The treaty deals with the rivers- Ravi, Beas, Sutlej and their tributaries and the three western rivers of Indus, Jhelum, Chenab and their tributaries. According to the treaty, India is obligated to let 80 per cent of the water from the Western rivers to flow into Pakistan.
Is a review possible?
While reviewing this treaty there would be many considerations that would be taken into account. Pakistan would watch the developments in India as the PM considers options of reviewing the treaty.
The problem for India could be China-which has been very vocal about its support for Pakistan. China is the upper riparian state in the Brahmaputra river. This river flows into the North Eastern states of India. Any amends to the Indus treaty with Pakistan in which India is the upper riparian state could give the Chinese ideas.
Officials say that this is one factor that they would keep in mind before taking any major decision on reviewing the treaty with Pakistan. As per the treaty, Pakistan the lower riparian state gets four times the water available to India. Despite this, the two countries have fought over the issue of water sharing.