"I realise that some of my criticisms may be mistaken; but to refuse to criticize judgements for fear of being mistaken is to abandon criticism altogether... If any of my criticisms are found to be correct, the cause is served; and if any are found to be incorrect the very process of finding out my mistakes must lead to the discovery of the right reasons, or better reasons than I have been able to give, and the cause is served just as well."

-Mr. HM Seervai, Preface to the 1st ed., Constitutional Law of India.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Some Academic Discussions on the Indus Water Treaty

In this post, we bring to the notice of the readers two articles in the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) on the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) and the present arbitration proceedings between India and Pakistan on the Kishaganga issue. In the December 11-17 edition of the EPW, John Briscoe (according to the author description in the article, he teaches Environmental Engineering at the Harvard University) writes in an article titled “Troubled Waters: Can a Bridge Be Built over the Indus?” writes that it requires “far-sighted political leadership” in Pakistan and (especially) in India to keep intact the troubled edifice of the IWT. Briscoe starts off with a lengthy disclaimer that he does not represent the interests of the World Bank or the US or any other institution but are the personal views of a “university professor”. In sum, Briscoe criticises the Indian position on the Indus basin.

A month later (January 15), in the same journal, Ramaswamy R. Iyer (affiliated to the Centre for Policy Research) refutes the contention of John Briscoe and defends the Indian position on the subject in an article titled "Briscoe on the Indus Treaty: A Response". Both the articles are worth checking out. They may be accessed (with subscription) from here and here.

Also, check out this news item in the Outlook which reports that the Kishanganga dispute may be settled “outside arbitration”.

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