In August 1947 when South Asia divided into two sovereign countries. There survive one of the most highly developed Irrigation System in the world. Approximately 37 million acres received irrigation from the waters of the Indus system of rivers. At the time of independence major portion of the Indus Basin formed a part of Pakistan and out of 37 million acres. Which received irrigation, about 84% i.e. 31 million acres in Pakistan.
Water Dispute between Pakistan and India
The water dispute between Pakistan and India began when soon after the winding up of the Arbitrarily Tribunal on 31st March 1948, India while taking advantage of its upper riparian, stopped the discharge of waters in every irrigation canal on 1st April 1948. Pakistan argue based upon the time privileged principle that accessible uses revered and excess water, not formerly committed, could divided among the riparian’s according to area, population, etc. This principle had the support of several treaties between different countries and states/provinces if in the same country.
The Indians put forward a principle, which had sometime advanced during international negotiations, but had nowhere accepted. Under this principle the upper riparian had a total right to the water and the lower riparian could only get it under a concurrence or treaty entered into between the riparian’s.
India decided to reinstate some of the supplies in May 1948. However, generally recognized that Pakistan could not live on without restoration of the full supplies. So, on this question, there could be no compromise. Even at international level, there was awareness that there could be a war on this issue.
Direct discussions between the two parties abortive to resolve the dispute. Dialogue under the good office of the World Bank commenced in May, 1952. So it agreed to work out specific engineering measures by which the supplies effectively available to each country would increase substantially beyond what they had. The working party set up under the good offices of the World Bank. However, failed to agree on a complete plan for the deployment of the waters of the Indus River System.