Thoughts on the Balakot Strike: Part 1

(This chain of thoughts was tweeted right after the initial reports of the airstrike came by. Sharing it here for archival purposes.)

So I woke up to this news and this tweet by the Brown Pants Propagandu-In-Chief!
(NOT a typo, btw)

Firstly, THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT! It is big. It means that it was something they simply cannot hide away, unlike the . It also that gives me great satisfaction, personally. In fact I had tweeted this on the very night of the



Now, since they cannot simply wish it away, comes the bombastic statement by the Propagandu-in-Chief that IAF couldn’t achieve its mission.

Well, there are two aspects to it – firstly, in this time of Social Media & camera phones, how long before truth emerges?

Secondly, and more importantly, even IF the IAF failed, fact remains that Brown Panted rulers of Pak still confirm that the IAF came visiting

What will they do now?

Especially when they themselves have so pumped up their own population about their invincibility?

A population so brainwashed that it still believes it won the Kargil War and didn’t quite lose in 1971 either. In fact, I did a three part blog series on this. May have a look – State Sponsored Radicalization in Pakistan’s School Curriculum: Part 1 of 3

Point is that such Propagandu (again, NOT a typo) by a losing army, esp one that is the de-facto ruler of the country is in a way, understandable. But when you yourself start believing in it is when things go South and ‘Victory’ of 1965 turns into a thappad of 1971.

This is when the average citizen starts expecting their mighty Brown Pant Warriors to deliver a ‘befitting’ response to the eternal enemy. How dare the Indians even think about attacking the mighty Brown Pants, hainji?

THIS is when such things start trending on Twitter in Pak

My favourite of the above trends is #PakistanTayarHai.

Indeed, the Paki population is ready!

But what about the Brown Pants?

Why, despite 3-4 hours of the IAF bombing have they not sent their own air force across in retaliation? Weren’t their own aircraft patrolling their own cities to loud, bombastic cheers by their citizens?


I mean, how far is the Indian border from those cities, hainji?
Or was it the loud noise that empty vessels are so prone to make?

My point is, that India has done what it has done.
And done it in a way that the Brown Pants simply cannot wish away (Just as I had hoped for. Refer second para of this blog).

What it means now is that onus of what happens next is now on the Brown Pants. As I see it, they have two options:

Option 1 – Retaliate

Option 2 – Play it down, pontificate, cry, but do nothing

Going strictly by their past track record, esp in light of the #SurgicalStrike, they will go with Option 2. But what is different this time is that, this thing cannot simply be denied, unlike the #SurgicalStrike

The very fact that the Propagandu-in-Chief woke up early in the morning to tweet about it means that it is something much bigger that what he makes you believe. What bolsters my argument is that there is complete silence from him since that early morning tweet. The reason possibly is that now they don’t know what to do with it.

Reminds me of a joke about a dog that always runs behind cars, until someone asks him what will he do if he ever manages to catch one!

Additionally, this time the GOI has not only done something big, it has done it in Pakistan, NOT PoK!


The ball is clearly in Pakistan’s court. Airstrikes, that too, this deep in Pakistan send a different message altogether.

Now, by merely striking terror camps and not the regular, uniformed jehadis, GOI has indeed given an avenue to the Brown Pants that a war / further escalation will happen ONLY if the Brown Pants want it.

And that is something I seriously doubt.

With tonnes of dispensable terrorists, a few dozens or 100s of them dead doesn’t matter, esp for an army that refused to accept its own dead in Kargil.

Plus, attacks on terror camps is something which the US itself has been doing in past, albeit with missiles. This is something which bolsters India’s case externally too (Not that it matters). What I now await is the reaction from Jaish. THAT is what will set the tone for what happens next. Esp when photographs emerge.

Ah, so the Propagandu-in-Chief is back online after his morning potty and weekly bath! Going back to photographs that I talked about in the previous tweet, this is the first set released officially by the Brown Pants.

Now will come photographs, including satellite imagery and those taken by the attacking aircraft themselves, that will be released by own side. Plus, photos taken by Pakis themselves in the immediate aftermath must already be circulating on their own WA groups.

Once those come out, the Propagandu-in-Chief will once again come out denying them.

But what about the mango, brainwashed Paki, and the mango, brain-dead Jaish ‘worker’?

They too will buy the party line – the IAF ran back.

YET, fact remains that the IAF came in and dropped bombs on Paki territory. The mango Paki WILL demand blood, and answers.

Here is how I visualize it panning out, ATLEAST INITIALLY.

They will issue ‘STRONG’ statements and dismiss this ‘attempt’ by IAF. They will try and be the ‘bigger’ power and pontificate about need to keep tempers under control (All that, while the Brown Pants themselves stock up on toilet paper)

Bottomline: They know their bluff has been called. What they need now is moral lectures on why not to escalate.

BUT ..

Bulk of their energies will now be dedicated to managing the opinions within their own country.

And THIS is where the ‘unknown’ lies. Over the coming hours and days, this is what the Brown Pants will be fighting against, not India. Once again, a story about a monkey with his hand caught in a jar of peanuts comes to mind!

Let me wind up this blog post by saying that this day suddenly becomes a lot more ‘interesting’. This is just the beginning, mind you. The events triggered by the have still not been played down fully.

What if they are not able to answer the questions raised by their own countrymen?

Esp if the India side releases photographs of their own and more importantly, Pakis themselves get to see the photos of immediate aftermath clicked by their own jehadi countrymen?

As I said, interesting days ahead! Btw, you might want to google as to why the Paki Navy Chief resigned soon after Kargil War! 



This stream of thoughts was shared by me on Twitter last night in the immediate aftermath of the Pulwama Attack. Putting them here for archival purposes.

Firstly, what happened and how it happened is by now well known. So I won’t talk about it. In addition, it continues to be my belief that it is Pakis that are behind it. Thoughts on that are embedded in THIS blog post.

Let me concentrate instead on some thoughts that have been wracking my head for the past few hours. 

Firstly, and strictly a personal opinion, this is partly a manifestation of the planned US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Logistics & efforts from that end can now safely and easily be diverted to the 1000 year war that Bhutto promised before he was hanged.

Coming to timing, it couldn’t have been better, or worse, for that matter, depending on the glasses you wear while observing it – General elections on the horizon, Governor’s rule in Kashmir .. and more importantly, the Saudi Crown Prince about to land up in the sub continent. What sort of messaging might be going on, I’ll leave it for you to decipher.

Btw, on a not so unrelated note, next month is the 19th anniversary of the Chittishingpura massacre that happened on the eve of US President Bill Clinton’s visit to the sub continent.

That there is a definite, even if unintended, political angle to this is undeniable. All one needs to do is go thru the TL’s of some ‘celebrity’ journos and politicos. Of course, there are folks saying this was done solely for political purposes.


With the surgical strikes, including the recent bollywood movie, behind them, there seems to be absolutely no way that this govt won’t react. And given the magnitude of the attack, a similar surgical strike which the Pakis can easily deny, won’t cut it. In any case, this is something they must already be guarding against. Hence, I would personally rule out another surgical strike in which own soldiers will go across this time.

How and what shape might the reprisal take, I’ll leave to the CCS that meets soon.

But one thing is for sure – quite a LOT of folks won’t get much sleep tonight, on both sides of the LoC and within the hinterland.

Just as the attack, the response too needs to be ‘spectacular’, and one that is equally visible to the whole world. Herein lies the difference between the and the Uri Attack – visuals of the attack itself.

Incidentally, just as the Uri attack itself, the reprisal in the form of the surgical strikes too was away from the ‘limelight’ until formally announced by the Indian Army. Hence, the Brown Pants of the Paki Fauj could so easily just dismiss the same.

This is what makes the job of the CCS that meets soon, a bit more complicated – An attack that was SEEN by the whole world deserves a response that is equally visible.

Now come the big questions – WHEN and HOW?

Firstly, let me talk about the ‘When’.

With the Saudi Prince very nearly on his way, would the GOI wait for his visit to culminate before doing anything and putting India – Saudi relations in an awkward place?

It is a very serious question indeed, given the recent uptick in the relationship. But in any case, his visit to both the countries will still be overshadowed by the incident.

On that note, why do I get a feeling that phone lines between New Delhi and Riyadh will be quite busy tonight. However small, but what might be the odds of the visit of the Saudi Prince being rescheduled in light of this attack, I wonder..

But the fact remains, that time is running out for the govt even as I type this. By that, I mean that time is running out politically as the elections come closer and closer.

Already, a narrative is building up, on twitter atleast, against the Govt and its security policies. So, the question of WHEN is a critical one for the govt, lest a response be spun as a political gimmick to win an election.

I mean that in all seriousness. My opinion is bolstered by the fact that more than just a few folks actually call Kargil as Vajpayee’s Re-Election War.

Now coming to the question of HOW.

A reprisal can take many forms – Diplomatic, Economic, or Military. I guess, whatever happens, a military response is a given, along with a Diplomatic one.

What form might the military response take, needs to be seen.

Like I said earlier, this time a Surgical Strike won’t cut it. The response simply HAS to be big, and more importantly, visible to all. In fact a highly visible response needn’t be that big since a very visible slap on the face of the Paki Fauj too will suffice.

Despite being in the news for all the wrong reasons, the Indian Air Force still remains leagues ahead of the PAF, as does the Indian missile force when compared to what the Pakis can bring to bear of their own.

Just got this on my mentions tab.


All I’ll offer is that Pakis are bluffing. The facade of irrationality will work only till such time someone gets ready to call their bluff. The moment you do so, you’ll find others joining you.

Talking of Paki bluff, how many of you remember PAF’s ‘valourous’ CAP sorties over Lahore and Islamabad as the Mumbai attacks raged in Nov 2008? Chests puffed, Pakis cheered them on, just because the IAF permitted them to fly unmolested.


Your army is as strong as you want it to be.

No enemy can stand in front of it.



Here’s a bet – within 24 hours atleast one ‘prominent’ Paki will remind the whole world that Pakis are a nuclear power.

That bombast is what has worked so far, but ONLY because no one has called them out on that.

I had tweeted this nearly four years ago. This decade is still not done, btw.


I am not saying this will precipitate another war. Far from it. All I am saying is that the sheer audacity and timing of it all means that there will be something coming their way soon enough.

Oh, btw, forget about the Kartarpur Corridor   It will remain yet another election issue against the govt, just as I mentioned some months ago in THIS  blog post.

Let me end this blog post with a prayer for the martyred CRPF boys and a hope that the Nation gives it back to the perpetrators in a form not seen for a long time.

Om Shanti ..

Thoughts on the Kartarpur Corridor

Firstly, about Gurudwara Dera Saheb Kartarpur. It was here that Guru Nanak spent a chunk of his last years at that location. Hence the emotional attachment of Sikhs to that place.

Secondly, about its physical location. The Gurudwara is located just above 2km from the nearest point on the Indian Border, across the Ravi River. Thus, a corridor for controlled access to the Gurudwara is eminently feasible. Here is a Google Maps screenshot.


This brings us to the question – Why in the world was a corridor not established in the 71 years that both India and Pakistan have existed as independent nations?

The answer to this question should be clear enough to all of us, on both sides of the border, so I won’t waste time on that.

Now this gives rise to two other questions in my mind – WHY NOW? and WHAT NEXT? It is these questions that have been trickling my brains for some time now. It is these questions that I am seeking to delve into, by the way of this blog post.

But first, let me state that I refuse to believe that the decision to open up this corridor has been a ‘spur of the moment’ decision, as an offshoot of the visit of Mr Navjot Sidhu to Pakistan a few months ago. IMO, this has had to have been in the works for a much larger period of time via Track II efforts, either by the GOI or by persons not part of the Govt. Given the fact that it has already been announced, it doesn’t really matter now whether it was a Govt led effort or otherwise.

Thus, I truly believe that the announcement that this corridor was being considered was merely a formality to bring these behind the scenes negotiations out in the open & that a decision had more or less been made into making it happen

With this, let me go back to the first question that I talked about a few paragraphs above – WHY NOW?

One of the first thoughts that came to my mind was about the political maneuvering in light of the upcoming 2019 General Elections in India. That Imran Khan is no big fan of the Indian PM not at all a closely guarded secret. So it would make sense to give a strong argument to one of the principal opposition parties as India gears up for the next general election. And this is exactly what happened. Mind you, I don’t say the above as a statement of any political affiliation. 

Why I made the above statement is because of the timing of the announcement and the circumstances behind it which are too glaring to ignore this point of view. However, another thought crossed my mind too, with respect to the timing of the announcement.

Two thoughts, in fact. Firstly, despite all the hype and hoopla over the past few months, Pakistan has consistently failed to draw India towards even a facade of diplomatic engagement, leave alone resumption of a full fledged bilateral dialogue.

The frustration was marked by the overenthusiastic invites to India by Pakistani politicians, alongwith the continuing cross border terror by the terrorists in Khaki, leading to the inevitable rebuff by India which has made it clear that Dialogue and Terror can’t go together. This was followed by jilted lovers’ type statements such as the one quoted below. Basically, their dreams of grandeur lay shattered and their true selves lay exposed for what they were – hollow posers.


In light of this, such an ‘grand offer’ made eminent sense to cajole India towards engaging them in some sort of dialogue in order to boost their sense of importance in the larger scheme of things.

Not surprisingly, came the announcement of a meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA Session, which was duly declined by India, thanks to the Paki Army’s inability to control the homegrown terror factory. It was this that led to the very ‘diplomatic’ statement by Shri Imran Khan, the screenshot of which is shared above.

Thus, there were no talks happening anytime soon.

At some level, it might even look to some as a carefully orchestrated ballet between the Pakistani politicos and their masters in Khakis – good cop bad cop, if you will, to make sure it never happens.

Of course, what I said above is once again, mere speculation. But then, another thought comes to mind as to WHY NOW?

Pakistan as of now, is in the middle of a really bad economic mess, and being squeezed by both, China as well as the US / IMF. This situation hardly encourages misadventures or misunderstandings with your adversaries that might make an already ‘hot’ border even ‘hotter’, esp when your own pockets are empty and you are begging for spare change from anyone who cares to listen.

In fact, their own loudmouth Foreign Minister said as much, a few days ago – that this overture for peace is forced upon them by the state of their economy. Here’s a link to what he said – Pakistan FM scored self-goal with ‘googly’ remark, says New Delhi

This is a screenshot of the relevant part mentioned in the paragraph above


All this happened in the duration between the announcement of the corridor and the actual ceremonies to mark the inauguration of the same. 

Soon after the corridor was inaugurated, Pakistan Govt tried once again – by extending an invite to the Indian PM for a SAARC Summit in Islamabad which was once again, duly tossed aside by the India MEA, the ‘googly’ of Pakistan Foreign Minister notwithstanding!

(Link: India dismisses Pak ‘invite’ to PM Modi for Saarc meet as ploy)

This brings me to the next, more interesting question – WHAT NEXT?

To think that the corridor has happened due to sudden benevolence on part of Pakistan would be a joke, esp since not so long ago, even Indian Diplomats were refused entry into Nankana Saheb!

Here’s a news link for those who weren’t aware of this incident – Pakistan stops Indian diplomats from meeting pilgrims in gurdwaras, New Delhi lodges strong protest

Now, what shape this corridor takes, one is not quite sure. But one thing that is definite is that it gives leverage to Pakistan in that it can close the corridor at will in case it feels like, putting the GOI under political pressure, whenever it wants.

In addition, it potentially gives access to Khalistanis on both sides to meet each other under garb of pilgrimage. This again has huge implications for internal security in India, more so in light of the recent bomb blast in Amritar. (Link: Amritsar Blast Being Treated As A Terror Attack, Say Punjab Police)

However, on the contrary, in case of a future conflict, this corridor can actually give a legitimate claim to India for retaining this piece of land, if captured!

I guess no one has talked about this till now, but I do hold this view that it does.

In fact, a quick google search tells me that in 1971, the Indian Army very nearly reached Kartarpur, held back only because they decided not to cross the Ravi River that winter! Here is an account of the Battle of Dera Baba Nanak – Link

That time the Indian Army went back to own side of the IB. But in future, with the corridor existing, who is to say that the Indian Army cannot stay on and enforce its claim?

Bottomline – this development and the timing of the same is not a sign of good faith on part of Pakistan, but a carefully calculated move.

Of course, getting access to the holy site is welcome any day for ordinary folks who couldn’t care less about the state of relations between the two countries or the intentions behind this sudden ‘benevolence’ of Pakistan.

But what this whole thing has done is that it has made the ‘game’ a lot more interesting, including in ways that the other side may not even have dreamt about.

Bring it on, I say!

Of course, the date chosen for the inauguration might have been purely coincidental with the tenth anniversary of the dastardly Mumbai Terror Attack. But then, knowing their proclivities, it just might have been the Khakis’ way of cocking a snook at India.

As also making Mr Navjot Sidhu take a photo with a Khalistani without his knowledge, that once again showcases the true intention of the Pakistani State behind this whole issue.

NSS with khalistani GSP

But knowing whatever little I know of Pakistan, or more specifically, Erstwhile West Pakistan, I don’t think they’ve gamed it fully, beyond very short term tactical gains, ala Kargil War. 

Like I said before, the ‘game’ just got a lot more ‘interestinger’!

Keeping internal and regional politics aside, I’ll close this thread with this beautiful video.

For the time being, I’ll leave the ‘worrying’ about future for a later date!


On the Recent Spate of Terror Incidents in the Valley

Sharing some thoughts, after the recent spate of terror incidents in the Valley.

Ever since the humiliation of 1971, further reinforced by 1999, Paki Army is well aware they stand no chance in a face to face war with the Indian Army, chest thumping and bombastic statements notwithstanding.



Hence the other option – the uniformed jihadis hiding behind their non uniformed brethren and bleeding by a 1000 cuts – first by the Punjab insurgency and later on with the Kashmir siyapa.

Thank God for the uniformed men of this nation that the Punjab issue has been successfully resolved (recent Paki attempts at reviving it nothwithstanding) and the Kashmir insurgency has been prevented from spiralling out of control.

However, in doing so, our forces have been paying a huge price by the way of their own blood, with the army itself losing on an average 150-200 men every year, as per figures released every year on Army Day. JKP too suffer huge losses each year.

In doing so, they do extract much more in way of blood from the scum that the uniformed jihadis of the Paki Army push in relentlessly.

However, IMO this is a strategy for stalemate, wherein we are only treating the symptoms instead of the root cause. We are merely dispatching the puppets instead of the puppet masters in Khaki that sit comfortably across the LoC.

The locus of what is wrong in the Valley lies not within the Valley, but in a far away Paki town called Rawalpindi, that houses the terror central targeting India.

The Khaki clad jihadis operating out of Rawalpindi have a strong sense of self preservation, having amply displayed it in 1971, Kargil and even Parakram when a rattled Musharraf committed to not using Paki territory for terror attacks on India.

With this insincere statement, the Paki Army once again saved its skin, only to outsource the fighting to its pet terrorist organisations that have no dearth of cannon fodder in their country.

Things will NOT change unless and until the Pak Army feels the consequences. And by Pak Army, I don’t allude to the grunts manning the posts across the line of control. These uniformed ones too are expendable for the senior echelons of the Paki fauj, amply demonstrated by their abandonment during the Kargil war and subsequent refusal to even accept the mortal remains of their own soldiers and young officers.

Till such time the middle and senior level hierarchy of Paki fauj personally feel the pain of consequences for their terror franchises, nothing will change.

How might it be done, is for the powers that be to decide – whether by another overt military slap, this time going even beyond the previous surgical strikes, or alternatively, through covert actions of our own. But either which way, the Khaki clad jihadis that pull the terror strings feel the brunt, we may keep killing a Burhan Wani every day, this mess will not get sorted out.

In the end, I will just leave this link here for those who still have doubts

ISI instructed J&K terrorists to kill SPOs, intercepted chats reveal



Folks, sharing some thoughts on the recent brouhaha over the dragging of a dead Paki terrorist’s body by own army men.

Funny, how all that ‘outrage’ died in less than 48 hours, no? Says a lot about the ‘outrage’ walas. But will leave that topic for some other day.

First things first – War is a deadly business (no pun intended). And the Indian Army has been fighting this war for three decades now. It has faced countless charges of HR violations by the usual suspects, not more than a handful of which have successfully withstood scrutiny.

Even the gravest of all provocations have not been able to break this core value by which they operate. Heck, even in the Kargil war, even after seeing the mutilation inflicted upon Saurabh Kalia and his men, the Indian Army still chose to return the mortal remains of Paki soldiers with full dignity, even saluting them on their final journey back to their side of the LoC which they should never have crossed in the first place. Here’s a video for those who weren’t aware of this:-

Those that the Pakistan Army simply refused to accept, were buried with full military honours by the same Indian Army, wrapped in the Pakistani national flag.
Here’s video evidence of that.
Saurabh Kalia’s memories were still fresh, mind you.


That was the Kargil episode of this three decade long war that Pakistan has been waging on us.

Yes, it was a mere ‘high intensity’ part of this ‘low intensity’ conflict that has been draining our Motherland since 1989.

That brings us back to the topic at hand – the photo of the dead Paki being dragged by a rope. It is safe to assume that with a three decade long experience, the Indian Army would have created some drills and SOPs to keep its own casualties low.

Drills and SOPs that have been honed over the years at the cost of the lives of a LOT of fine men. As folks like have been literally shouting over the past few days, dragging a dead terrorist’s body is part of that SOP.

Hiding a grenade under your body as you breathe your last is a tactic which is well practiced by the loonies that have been streaming across the LoC. The latest loss to this tactic was Lt Col Niranjan Kumar, Shaurya Chakra, who died in the aftermath of the Pathankot Attack.

Here’s his photograph, for those who’ve moved on to other outrages since Pathankot.


I’d rather see a thousand dead Paki terrorists dragged for a few metres than have men like him take the fall, just because some libbies amongst us feel bad.

Oh, btw, here is the photo of two of the terrorists involved in last year’s Amarnath Yatra attack, posted by ADGPI after they were despatched in September last year. I guess no one noticed the nice little nylon rope tied to one of the fcukers’ legs. Right?

Amarnath attack terrorists. Sep 17.PNG


I guess there was no outrage on that pic because there was no photo of the other end of the rope in a soldier’s hand pulling the Paki. But trust me, the rope on his ankle is proof that this one too was pulled. Just like practically every other of his countrymen who come sneaking this side of the LoC to ‘liberate’ Kashmir has been pulled .. nay .. dragged.

The difference this time was that own boys were clicked doing the ‘honours’ to this Paki, just like they’ve been doing it for all others before him.

Then there are those who wish to teach how grenades work.


But a quick wikipedia search will tell you that booby trapping a grenade under your body is not about the pin. That is ALREADY pulled! It is about the lever that stays in position thanks to your body weight and is released when the weight keeping it in position shifts. Hence doing it from a safe distance using a rope is now part of the SOP. Here’s the wikipedia link for those who were too lazy to just search ‘Hand Grenade’ on Google:-


Now for the picture in question – the rona dhona is not because the Pakis and their sympathizers this side of the border sincerely care for the dead terrorists’ human rights (Even the NLI soldiers buried this side of the LoC in 1999 will vouch for this).

No Sir!

This outrage is more about the battle of perception, being fought on the social media. The photograph of the dead terrorist being dragged is just the latest tool that has been put to good use by the Pakis.

This is where own side messed up- allowed it to be clicked.

And then there were two types of argumentative Indians that jumped in – the well meaning and the ignorant. But in their own zeal, they’ve ended up feeding the Paki propaganda machinery, most of them unknowingly, and atleast some of them, intentionally.

Yes, the army is said to be carrying out an inquiry into the matter. But I feel that the inquiry, if at all, will attribute guilt NOT for the dragging of the body, but for not keeping media at a distance when this was being done.

Bottomline: DON’T FEED THE PAKI PROPAGANDA, whether unknowingly or knowingly.
Social Media is the new battlefield. DON’T make the enemy’s job any easier.

Photo: Lt Col Niranjan’s father and daughter after his body arrived.




“Between Earth and Earth’s atmosphere, the amount of water remains constant; there is never a drop more, never a drop less. This is a story of circular infinity, of a planet birthing itself.”

                                                             – Linda Hogan, Northern Lights, Autumn 1990


New Picture



In the first decade since partition of India in 1947, one of the most intractable issues left over was the sharing of river and canal waters. What had been developed as a single irrigation system over millennia had to be divided between two sovereign states. To make matters worse, the waters in question flowed through Kashmir, a region that had led to armed conflict soon in the formative years of the two states.

It took the good offices of the World Bank to negotiate a fair and acceptable treaty for the sharing of the waters of the Indus River System between India and Pakistan. This treaty is cited as a model of cooperation between two sworn enemies that even stood through three wars and a prolonged low intensity conflict. However, lately there have been a lot of stresses and strains on the treaty that may make water sharing a politically charged issue between India and Pakistan, possibly even overtaking the issue of Kashmir as the primary source of conflict.

This blog seeks to cover the brief historical perspective of the treaty, followed by a critical analysis of its provisions with a view to bring out implications of the treaty on water sharing between India and Pakistan. The study attempts to peep into the future of the treaty in the backdrop of recent differences in perception between India and Pakistan and the consequent potential of conflict. The study also seeks to make recommendations to enhance the cooperation in sharing of Indus waters so that the two countries can avert an avoidable conflict.




Geography of the Indus River Basin

New Picture (1)


Fig : Major Tributaries of Indus River*

(Note: The map is used only for depiction of the geography of the basin. It does not represent correct political boundaries of the region)

The Indus river system consists of the Indus River and its major tributaries that include Kabul, Kurram, Swat, Jhelum and Chenab rivers in the West and Ravi, Beas and Sutlej in the East. The Indus originates near the Manasarovar Lake and travels through Tibet before entering India in the South Eastern part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Thereafter, it passes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir and then Pakistan before finally draining into the Arabian Sea near Karachi.

Major Tributaries Governed by the Indus Water Treaty

Sutlej             Originates in Tibet near Mount Kailash and passes through the Panjal and Shiwalik ranges before entering the fertile plains of Indian Punjab. It thereafter flows into Pakistan. The Bhakra Dam and Husseiniwala Headworks at the merger of Beas and Sutlej are important construction works on the Indian side. In addition, the Harike Headwork is the feeder to the Rajasthan and Sirhind Canals in India.

Beas  This 467km long river originates near the Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh, India, and flows through the Kullu Valley and the Shiwalik Range. The Pandoh Dam on this river diverts water to the Sutlej through the Beas-Sutlej Link.

Chenab         This river originates in the Kangra and Kullu districts in Himachal Pradesh, India. It is joined by the Bhaga and Chandra rivers near Kishtwar before entering the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Chenab River enters Sialkot area of Pakistan through the Pir Panjal Range.

Jhelum & Kishenganga (Called Neelum in Pakistan)           The Kishenganga originates in mountains South of Deosai  Plateau, north of the Kashmir Valley. It merges into the Jhelum near Muzaffarabad in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The Jhelum itself originates in the Kashmir Valley and flows due West towards Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

Ravi    The Ravi River originates in Himachal Pradesh, India and merges into the Chanab in Pakistan. On the Indian side, the Ranjit Sagar Dam is the most important construction work on this river which is located at the confluence of Himachal Pradesh, Punjad and the J&K states of India. On the Pakistani side, the Ravi feeds the Upper Bari Doab Canal (UBDC) which is a major source of irrigatin for the North-Western part of Pakistani Punjab.

Genesis of the Dispute

Pre-Partition Dispute

  • The British developed an elaborate system of irrigation canals in the Indus basin in the 19th
  • Most of the canals were constructed in the provinces of Punjab and Sind. However, each province built its own works independently due to lack of an integrated approach. Due to a lack of storage facilities, competition for the run-of-river flow increased and led to a dispute between Sind and Punjab in the 1930s. Events leading to the partition obstructed any final settlement of the dispute.


Post Partition Escalation of the Dispute

  • Standstill Agreement Upon partition, India became the upper riparian in all five rivers of the Indus Water Basin in Punjab due to the location of headworks on the Indian side of the international boundary. The standstill agreement lapsed on 31 March 1948 and India stopped the water supply to Pakistan on 01 Apr 1948 due to nonpayment of revenue. This is considered to be the start point of the escalation of the dispute as it created a fear psychosis in the minds of Pakistan that India could hold Pakistan to ransom on the issue of water.
  • Delhi Agreement The two countries signed a temporary Inter Dominion Agreement (also called the Delhi Agreement) in May 1948 to maintain the pre-partition status quo n water sharing till resolution of the dispute over revenue payment. However, India and Pakistan failed to resolve the dispute at a bilateral level due to lack of trust and political will on account of hardened domestic opinions.
  • Stalemate Over Payment of Revenue by Pakistan Pakistan wanted to escalate the dispute by referring it to the International Court of Justice which was rejected by India. On 01 Nov 1949, Pakistan declared the Delhi Agreement to be null and void and stopped making revenue payments with effect from July 1950. However, India continued to supply water to Pakistan without any disruption.

The Negotiation Process

Involvement of the World Bank            India and Pakistan had both applied for loans from the World Bank for development of works on the disputed waters of Sutlej, which were initially rejected. Later, the World Bank President, Eugene R. Black visited India and Pakistan and proposed the formation of a joint working group of engineers from India, Pakistan and the World Bank. He was of the view that the issue of sharing / division of water should be treated from a ‘functional’, rather than a political perspective.

Difference of Approach Between India and Pakistan          India wanted to use the water flowing through its territory to develop its own irrigation network. Pakistan was concerned about the resultant damage to its existing usage and the need to ensure uninterrupted supply of water for agriculture. As the negotiations were not making any headway, the World Bank put forward its own settlement proposals in Feb 1954, offering the three Eastern Rivers to India and the three Western Rivers to Pakistan.

The World Bank Plan        Under the proposed plan, Pakistan had to construct replacement works to channelize the waters of the western rivers to compensate for the loss of waters of the eastern rivers. The World Bank proposed that India should bear the cost of replacement works in Pakistan. While Pakistan wanted the Indian financial liability to cover the cost of all transfer works as well as developmental works, the huge financial liability of USD 1.2Billion was not acceptable to India. The World Bank President then proposed a solution as per which, India was required to pay a fixed sum of £62.060Million in ten equal yearly installments while the Bank would raise additional funds for Pakistan with the help of Western donor countries. The donors pledged an additional $900Million, clearing the way for the conclusion of the treaty.

Signing of the Treaty                    The treaty was signed in Karachi between the Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and the Pakistani President Field Marshal Ayub Khan, along with the World Bank President W.A.B Illif, in September 1960. It was deemed effective from 01 Apr 1960 but was only ratified by the two governments later in January 1961.

Salient Features of the Treaty

The complete text of the IWT can be downloaded from the World Bank site. The url for accessing the same is as under:-


Some salient features of the treaty are enumerated below.

Eastern Rivers        Sutlej, Beas and Ravi would be available for unrestricted use by India. Certain agricultural uses are allowed to Pakistan under the provisions of Annexure B of the treaty.

Western Rivers       Indus, Jhelum and Chenab would be available largely t opakistan except for the following limited and specified use by India:-

  • Domestic use.
  • Non consumptive use.
  • Agricultural Use India is permitted to draw from the Western rivers, water for irrigating 642,000 acres as per the existing usage on the day of signing of the treaty. In addition, the treaty also entitles India and additional area of 701,000 acres in the basins of the three Western rivers for irrigation as it would develop post the signing of the treaty.
  • Generation of hydroelectric power as run of river projects.
  • Storage Permitted to India on Western Rivers The quantum of storage allowed by India has been laid down in quantified terms for each Western river under the following heads:-
  • General Storage For all purposes, including generation of electricity.
  • Power Storage The treaty allows use of power storage water for other domestic purposes except for flood control and protection. Also, the storage capacity on Chenab can be adjusted by decreasing or increasing corresponding quantity in Jhelum or Chenab main.
  • Flood storage.
  • Waters in Western rivers can be diverted by India with the condition that the same is restored to the river within a week.
  • India is required to seek concurrence of project design from Pakistan if it undertakes any project on any of the three Western rivers.


Transition Period (10 years from the signing of the Treaty)

            Pakistan authorized to undertake replacement works on Western rivers in lieu of the loss of waters from the Eastern Rivers.

            Pakistan was to receive uninterrupted supply of water from Eastern rivers during the transition period.

            India was to contribute 62 million pounds in ten equal installments towards the construction of diversion and replacement works by Pakistan.

Permanent Indus Commission (PIC)

One commissioner each from India and Pakistan heads the PIC. The commissioner should be an engineer with competence in hydrology. The PIC should meet at least once annually (alternatively in each country) and submit a report to their governments by 30th June each year. The commissioners will be treated as official representatives of their governments for all issues related to the IWT.

Exchange of Data

The treaty lays down a mechanism for regular exchange of data regarding the flow and utilization of waters of the rivers through the meetings of the PIC.

Dispute Settlement Mechanism

            Disputes or disagreements on the interpretation of the IWT provisions have been classified into separate categories i.e. questions, differences and disputes, which are described as under:-

  • Any question on an issue alleged to be a violation or breach of the Treaty will be examined and analysed by the PIC first.
  • If the PIC fails to reach an agreement, a difference is deemed to have arisen.
  • A neutral expert appointed by the two governments in consultation, or by the World Bank in case of a lack of consensus will decide whether a dispute exists or not. The decision of the neutral expert will be binding on both the parties.
  • If a dispute is established, the commissioners report the same to their governments for resolution.
  • If the governments cannot reach an agreement or decision, they will initiate proceedings for setting up of a court of arbitration. Detailed composition and procedure for the court of arbitration are laid down in the treaty.

Guidelines for future cooperation between India and Pakistan on the development of the Indus river basin are also included in the treaty.

There is no exit clause in the treaty and it can only be terminated / replaced by another treaty.


Analysis of the Causative Factors

Water Rationality   this concept expects cooperation between co-riparians since neither conflict nor war can achieve any sustainable and practical water security. Water security can only be achieved by good water management practices at national as well as international levels. This theory stipulates that fresh water is so crucial that co-riparians will cooperate despite their political differences and animosity. India and Pakistan did attempt to resolve their water sharing dispute through bilateral negotiations but the discussions reached a stalemate due to lack of trust and accommodative spirit. Accepting the World Bank’s good offices was, therefore, a rational act by both the countries as they continued to find ways to cooperate.

Role of the World Bank    Given the inimical and belligerent attitude of India and Pakistan, the mediation by the World Bank acted as a facilitator for continued engagement and negotiations. The World Bank was able to leverage its position as the principal financer to both nations in taking the negotiations ahead. In addition, mid course correction by the World Bank proposing division of rivers rather than joint development was able to break the deadlock created due to differing positions of India and Pakistan on the sharing of the waters.

International Involvement and Contribution               Intervention by the USA and other developed countries by the way of supporting the World Bank efforts for settlement of the dispute gave the necessary impetus to the negotiation process. In addition, financial contributions by international donors to the Indus Basin Development Fund was an important pre-requisite for the treaty as India and Pakistan were not in a position to bear the huge cost of replacement and development works involved.







On Banning Pakistani Artists from Indian Movie Industry


FO deplores India’s ban on Pakistani artistes

So this landed up on my TL some time back – About Paki artists no longer being welcome in Bollywood, prompting me to share some thoughts on the subject that were first tweeted about two and a half years ago. Here goes ..

With the Pakistani State apparatus actively fomenting / sponsoring terror inside India, each and every Pakistani citizen paying tax to his Govt in whichever form, is actually enabling it kill Indian soldiers and civilians.

The State support for terror is blatant. At times it is apparent for all to see as in Punjab Govt budget catering money for Hafiz Saeed’s JuD. (Pakistan’s Punjab Government allocates funds for JuD centre)

Other times too it is quite apparent, esp when a retired Terroristani Army Chief boasts about it. This specimen refers to use of terrorists as ‘the asymmetric war led by men with high motivation’. Very clever, I’d say! (DEVISING A ROBUST DEFENCE POLICY: Mirza Aslam Beg)

Since terror is a State policy of the Islamic Republic of The Land of the Pure, I’d rather constrict the resources available to them to do so, or at the very least, try not to add to the funds available for them to do so. A Ghulam Ali, talented as he might be, making money off you and me will pump most of it in Pakistani economy, ultimately putting it to use to kill my countrymen.

And then someone like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan would go a step further, choosing to smuggle it out in cash without even paying the mandatory Indian taxes! (Rahat Fateh Ali Khan stopped at IGI airport with cash in baggage)

Same goes for cricket. A Sohail Tanveer would be happy to make money in IPL, and when denied a chance to do so after the Mumbai terror chooses to blame the Hindu mentality for refusing to deny him his ‘haq’ instead. Also note how the anchor too chips in with a ‘Muh Mein Raam Raam Bagal Mein Chhuri’.


Hindu Hatred is second nature out there.


At the end of the day, ‘Art has no Boundaries’ is a universal truth which I too endorse, but to say that you make money off me and use it to try and kill me, is something I’d be an idiot to endorse. Simply for this reason, I am all for chucking out terror sponsoring Pakistani artists / sportsmen.


Btw, here’s some more food for thought – Impose a Terror Tax on Pak Cricketers