The Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) signed in Karachi on September 19, 1960, by Indias Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Pakistans President Muhammad Ayub Khan and Mr W.A.B. Illif of the World Bank has shown a remarkable endurance and resilience in withstanding the jolts of the Indo-Pak turbulent relations. The treaty allocates the water of the three western rivers of the Indus Basin (Indus, Jhelum and Chenab) to Pakistan, while the eastern rivers (Ravi and Sutlej) have been assigned to India for utilisation. The treaty allows India to tap the hydroelectric potential of the Pakistan specific rivers; with the important proviso that generation of power should not interfere with the timings and the quantity of flow of waters into Pakistan. If India and Pakistan had normal and trustful relations, with a credible monitoring mechanism in place, this would not have been too demanding a task to accomplish within the parameters provided by the IWT. However, with emerging water shortages for agriculture in Pakistan, and the sensitivity of timings to the flow of water in the rivers that feed the defence-oriented canals and sustains the capacity for the generation of hydroelectric power, it is easier said than done. It goes to the credit of the IWT that it has met with remarkable success in finding solutions to the problems that have emerged so far. However, with India pushing the envelope to the extremes, there is an emerging fear of redundancy of this vintage accord. A US study has shown that while no single dam constructed by India along the waters controlled by the IWT would affect Pakistans access to water, the cumulative effect would limit the supply at crucial moments. The water sharing environment in South Asia seems to be fast deteriorating. This is evident from the declining capacity of the two countries to themselves work out problems within the explicit guidelines provided by the treaty. The Pakistani exasperation at Indian intransigence was evident when it referred the matter of Baghliar Dam on River Chenab to the World Bank in January 2005. The verdict by a neutral expert, appointed by the bank ultimately settled the issue in February 2007. The decision accommodated both the parties and each country felt that its respective stance had been addressed and vindicated. The problem did not end there; within four years, the two countries are back for arbitration over the water issue and the bone of contention this time is construction by India of the Kishanganga Storage-cum-Hydroelectric Power Project on River Neelum (Indians call it Kishanganga), which is a major tributary of River Jhelum. The matter is sensitive because not only the dam will curtail the flow of water for agriculture, but Pakistan is also constructing the Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project on River Neelum, downstream of Kishanganga Project. It is worth noting that the Indian foot dragging has resulted into wasting of precious time since 1992 when Pakistan officially took up the issue and made bilateral efforts to resolve the problem with India. Pakistans fundamental objection to Kishanganga is that it involves diverting the water of Neelum River through a 21km long tunnel towards the Wullar Lake to generate 330MW power. This is manifestly not allowed by the IWT. The powerhouse located near Bunkot would deliver the water through a Tail Race Tunnel into Bonar-Madmati Nullah; another tributary of River Jhelum that outfalls into Wullar Lake. This diversion is against the provisions of the IWT and has not only serious consequence for the 969MW power generation capability of Neelum-Jhelum Hydrolectrical Project, but will also reduce the water supply for agriculture in the areas of Azad Kashmir, which are dependent on the Neelum River flow. Since the entire flow of river is required to operate the hydroelectric project, the curtailed current will result into less than optimum operation of the project. It is estimated that the diversion of water towards Wullar Lake will reduce flow into Pakistan by 27 percent. The quantity of water flowing into Pakistan is estimated to fall from 154MAF (million acre feet) to about 140MAF per year. This will leave unutilised a significant portion of the Mangla Dams storage capacity. Also, the diversion of the flow of Neelum River will result into the drying up of the riverbed downstream of the Kishanganga Dam for significant periods of time. According to the available data, it is estimated that the dry spell is likely to extend to eight months per year. The lack of water is going to have an adverse impact on the agriculture in over thousands of acres in Azad Kashmir, which are dependent upon the flow of River Neelum, besides causing damage to the environmental aspects of flora and fauna nurtured by the rivers flow in the Neelum Valley. Since 1992, Pakistan has wasted 20 valuable years in prolonged bilateral negotiations with India to pursue its legitimate concerns about the Kishanganga Project before referring the case to the International Court of Arbitration. The stay granted by the court, which prohibits India from constructing any permanent structures on or above the riverbed of Neelum/Kishanganga River is only a temporary reprieve; it cannot be termed as victory, as India has been allowed to retain the water diversion arrangement it has constructed so far. Even as Pakistan has a strong case to plead, no complacency can be afforded. For the future, Pakistan must devise ways and means to defeat the Indian three-tiered strategy that entails; insisting on a bilateral framework of talks without intending ever to settle it on any but Indias terms; foot dragging to induce fatigue and tiredness; and creating facts on ground by proceeding with the construction work knowing fully well that these violate the provisions of IWT and presenting Pakistan and the World Bank adjudicators with a fait accompli. The writer is a freelance columnist.