There is a general misconcaption about the Indus Basin Water Treaty. In 1948, India stopped the flow of Ravi and Sutlej rivers to force Pakistan to pay New Delhi for irrigation water accrued for its lands that were previously under the command area of these rivers. All negotiations with India by the government of Liaquat Ali Khan from 1948 to 1951 failed as did efforts of the subsequent governments. The issue was taken to the World Bank where after two years of negotiations (from 1955 to 1957), the Indus Water Treaty was hatched. The Pakistan delegation did not accept the Treaty as it did not wish to concede on Pakistans demand for a share in the eastern rivers. Both East Pakistan and Sindh rejected the World Bank proposal of funding of the Mangla dam to compensate Pakistan for the waters lost to India. However, Ayub Khan felt that the stalemate could not be allowed to continue any further, with Pakistan buying water for its ever increasing irrigation needs. He decided to opt for the best of a bad bargain in face of the collusion between World Bank and India. Possession being nine-tenth of the law, the same situation prevails today in Kashmir and some day a settlement will have to be reached with India, perhaps not entirely to our satisfaction, as was the case with the division of Punjab. In 1960 Ayub Khan signed the Treaty which guaranteed ten years of uninterrupted water supply while WB helped finance the replacement projects. Mangla, Warsak and Tarbela dams were built along with eight link canals for transferring water from the western rivers to the canals in south Punjab and upper Sindh which were previously under the command area of the eastern rivers. Also five barrages and a gated siphon were built under the Treaty. Mangla and Tarbela dams brought about a green revolution in Pakistan, which in turn also gave an industrial revolution to us which would have continued till today if we had not stopped building dams. The Treaty has restrained India from building mega dams on our rivers with very grave consequences for the agriculture of Pakistan. Also it is this Treaty which facilitates Pakistan in going for arbitration in case of the violations being indulged in by India right now. We must be watchful when condemning this Treaty out of hand as India is looking for an opportunity to back out from it. A lower riparian has to forever look up the river in fear. -KHURSHID ANWER, Lahore February 15