Even in the fraught and volatile framework of India-Pakistan ties, the Permanent Indus Commission mandated to implement the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) has met like clockwork, 112 times in 56 years, annually in each country. The commission has experts who look into issues and disputes on the ground over the utilisation of the waters of six rivers of the Indus system. Under the treaty, India has full use of the three “eastern” rivers (Beas, Ravi, Sutlej), while Pakistan has control over the three “western” rivers (Indus, Chenab, Jhelum), although India is given rights to use these partially as well for certain purposes. As a result, there should be little to comment in the normal course when India accepts Pakistan’s invitation to the next round of talks, as it has for the Permanent Indus Commission in Lahore later this month. The move is welcome, as it denotes India’s commitment to the treaty that has stood the test of time and war, and also displays New Delhi’s sincerity on the issue of water-sharing, given that the IWT is seen to be a model in dispute management. In September, last year, doubts had been raised over India’s commitment after the terrorist attack on an army camp in Uri, killing 19 soldiers. In the days that followed, senior officials announced the suspension of talks until there was an “atmosphere free of terror” after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting on the treaty to consider retaliatory[प्रतिशोध का] measures against Pakistan for the attack, saying, “blood and water cannot go together”. Mr. Modi repeated some of those angry sentiments at public rallies where he said India would not allow even a “drop of water” to go waste into Pakistan. The atmosphere was also charged after the government announced “surgical strikes” had been carried out along the Line of Control and subsequently pulled out from the SAARC summit in Pakistan, leading to fears of a freeze in bilateral ties.
In the event, the government has chosen wisely, with some encouragement from the World Bank and persistence by Pakistan, to step back from much of that rhetoric, and allow IWT commissioners from both countries to meet. The decision follows several other moves between India and Pakistan in the past few weeks indicating a softening of positions on some other issues as well: from a marked reduction in LoC firing, the regular annual exchange of nuclear lists, the release of prisoners by both countries, and India being part of the consensus to elect the Pakistani nominee as the SAARC Secretary-General this week. It would be premature to expect that any of these events, some of which are routine, consolidate a thaw in relations between the two countries. However, they reaffirm the high stakes that are woven into India-Pakistan relations, and the need to keep certain issues such as water-sharing above the politics of the moment.
Magical Words in the Editorial-
- Fraught [भरा हुआ] – (of a situation or course of action) filled with or destined to result in (something undesirable). And causing or affected by great anxiety or stress.
- Synonyms: anxious,worried, stressed, upset, distraught, overwrought.
- Examples: The journey wasfraught with danger, with a cold and wet welcome for anyone who lost their grip in the icy shin-deep water.
- Volatile [ परिवर्तनशील] – liable to change rapidly and unpredictably, especially for the worse.
- Synonyms: unpredictable,changeable, variable, inconstant, inconsistent, erratic, irregular,
- Examples: A market with large swings in price is generally considered highlyvolatile and, hence, unpredictable.
- Retaliatory [ प्रतिशोध का] – make an attack or assault in return for a similar attack.
- Synonyms: fight back,hit back, respond, react, reply, reciprocate, counterattack,
- Examples: I should have been prepared for her toretaliate and take revenge on me.
- Subsequently [बाद में] – after a particular thing has happened; afterward.
- Synonyms: later, later on, afterwards, afterward, after.
- Examples: He was landed off the coast of Clare by a German submarine and wassubsequently
- Persistence [हठ] – firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
- Synonyms: pertinacity, perseverance, tenacity, tenaciousness, doggedness, persistency
- Examples: This strategy requires the samepersistence and energy and idealism we have shown before.
- Rhetoric [वक्रपटुता] – the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the use of figures of speech and other compositional techniques.
- Synonyms: bombast,turgidity, grandiloquence, magniloquence, pomposity,
- Examples: The devices ofrhetoric, however, did not lose their links with poetry or their practical ties with the law.
- Consensus [आम सहमति] – general agreement.
- Synonyms: agreement, harmony, concurrence, accord, unity, unanimity, solidarity, concord
- Examples: There seems to be a growingconsensus that any orientation toward the future is somehow out of place.
- Consolidate [समेकित] – combine (a number of things) into a single more effective or coherent whole.
- Synonyms: combine, unite, merge, integrate, amalgamate, fuse, synthesize, bring together, unify
- Examples: As he continues toconsolidate his position in the world of entertainment, his tricks are still breathtaking and dramatic.
- Thaw [पिघलना] –
- Synonyms: improvement, relaxation, coming-to-terms, rapprochement
- Examples: The signs of athaw in US relations with these and other countries point to a different approach emerging in Washington.
- Woven [मिलना] – twist and turn from side to side while moving somewhere in order to avoid obstructions.
- Synonyms: entwine, lace, twist, knit, intertwine, braid, plait, loop.
For more details click here