Institutional Arrangement of the Indus Water Treaty: A Transboundary Water Management between India-Pakistan

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"This paper is aimed at understanding institutional arrangement of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT-1960) between India and Pakistan that sustained for nearly six decades amidst several geo-political disagreements and distresses. It further intends to identify characteristics that can be considered robust in maintaining peace between the neighboring countries including but not limited to the principles now internationally crucial in hydro-diplomacy and in enabling sustainable trans-boundary water management. The Design Principles for sustainable management of the Common Pool Resources (CPRs) such as river, fishery, forest, etc. developed by Elinor Ostrom (1990) are used to understand formal and informal rules of action situation and thereby assess the success of the IWT. The Indus river basin comprises of six east and west river basins whose social-ecological aspects have worked towards robustness. The paper is part of personal endeavour of the authors to understand the idea of peace ecology and contribute towards the peace building process between Pakistan and India through highlighting the principles that sustained the IWT for six decades. This study of IWT within Ostrom’s SESF helps in analysing institutional strengths and weaknesses, influences, approaches to understand role of collective action in determining how the commons are created, maintained and recovered.. The paper gives a brief overview of the rules of the collective agreement. The analysis helps identify some vital institutional characteristics of the IWT that can transcend into other resource sharing."



water management, institutions, common pool resource, social-ecological system