Briscoe on the Indus treaty - A response from Ramaswamy Iyer - Economic and Political Weekly

The paper supports and sheds light on the efforts made by India to reach a solution on water issues with Pakistan

This paper published in the Economic and Political Weekly, provides a critique of the writings by John Briscoe on the implementation of the Indus Waters Treaty and argues that it is a biased and a one sided presentation of issues, which ridicules and ignores the attempts made by India at negotiating with Pakistan and reaching a peaceful agreement over the water issue.

 It highlights examples of how political controversies between India and Pakistan have influenced the perception of the community at the general level on the relations between India and Pakistan and continue to bias the discourse in the writings by John Briscoe.

The paper argues that Pakistani worries about a present or impending water scarcity and the readiness to believe that India has something to do with it, and its apprehensions about the cumulative impact of planned Indian projects on the western rivers, may be well-founded or baseless, but they have the potential of causing serious strains in the relationship between the two countries at every level

India needs to dispel misperceptions, if any, reassure Pakistan that it has no intention of harming that country, and if necessary, undertake some joint studies. Those efforts have to be made at both official and non-official levels. The paper ends on a highly critical note by stating that these positive efforts run the risk of getting marred by and are not helped by articles such as Briscoe’s.

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