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The Farakka Barrage dispute : conflict and cooperation in Bangladesh-India relations Mamun, Kazi Asadul 1984

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THE FARAKKA BARRAGE DISPUTE: CONFLICT AND COOPERATION IN BANGLADESH-INDIA RELATIONS by KAZI ASADUL MAMUN M.S.S.,University Of Dhaka,1980 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department Of P o l i t i c a l Science We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1984 © Kazi Asadul Mamun, 1984 In presenting t h i s thesis in p a r t i a l fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of P o l i t i c a l Science The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date: August 15, 1984 i i Abstract The origins of the Farakka Barrage dispute go back as far as 1951 when Pakistan protested against the Government of India's plans to construct a massive barrage across the Ganges River only eleven miles from the East Pakistan border. Pakistan, and since 1971 Bangladesh, argued that Indian diversion.of Ganges water would seriously threaten the agrarian economy and the overall ecology of the lower delta. Although two interim agreements on sharing of Ganges waters have been reached between India and Bangladesh, these agreements have not covered a l l aspects of r i v e r i n e development. As a result, the c o n f l i c t has continued and as of 1984, no solution i s imminent. Two a n a l y t i c a l approaches -- to international river disputes and to power relations between unequal states — are helpful in explaining the Farakka Barrage dispute. The international riv e r dispute l i t e r a t u r e explains why there is a dispute at a l l , what hydrologic-economic factors make this dispute d i f f i c u l t to resolve, and why India and Bangladesh have presented the types of proposals they have for developing the r i v e r basin. Analysis based on unequal power relationship (the "asymmetric dyad") which exists between these two states reveals the superordinate position of India which, in addition to being the more powerful state, i s also the upper r i p a r i a n . Therefore, the strategies that Bangladesh — as the subordinate state and the lower riparian — can employ are limited. This thesis outlines in considerable d e t a i l the p o l i t i c a l as well as the hydrologic-economic aspects of the dispute and t r i e s to demonstrate the c o r r e l a t i o n of o v e r a l l power relations between India and Bangladesh with the p o l i t i c a l strategies they employ. The main argument i s that both India and Bangladesh have acted according to their interpretation of the p o l i t i c a l costs and benefits involved in resolving the dispute. Bangladesh, for i t s part, has pursued a variety of strategies ranging from cooperative to r e t a l i a t o r y in an attempt to secure what i t considers an equitable solution. Each of these strategies i s analysed in turn for i t s effectiveness. Overall, although p e r i o d i c a l l y Bangladesh has been able to extract marginal concessions from India, the l a t t e r , because of i t s predominant political-economic position, has controlled the d i r e c t i o n of negotiations over sharing and augmentation of Ganges waters. i v Table of Contents A b s t r a c t i i L i s t of F i g u r e s Acknowledgement v i Chapter I INTRODUCTION 1 A. THE GANGES AND ITS BASIN 4 B. THE FARAKKA BARRAGE 9 C. CONFLICTING INTERESTS OVER FARAKKA . 10 Chapter II INTERNATIONAL RIVER DISPUTES AND BARGAINING STRATEGIES: SOME THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS 21 A. COOPERATIVE STRATEGIES 36 B. COERCIVE STRATEGIES 39 Chapter III THE NEGOTIATIONS OVER FARAKKA 50 A. THE FIRST STAGE: A BARRAGE ACROSS THE GANGES? 51 B. THE SECOND STAGE: NEGOTIATIONS OR DELAYING TACTICS? ...54 C. INDIAN OBSTINACY OR PAKISTANI WEAKNESS? 65 D. THE THIRD STAGE: SOLUTION ON THE HORIZON? 68 E. THE QUESTION OF AUGMENTATION 81 F. PROCEEDINGS AT THE UNITED NATIONS 85 Chapter IV THE 1977 BREAKTHROUGH AND ITS AFTERMATH 96 A. PRELUDE TO THE GANGES WATERS TREATY 97 B. THE GANGES WATERS TREATY: ITS LIMITATIONS AND IMPLICATIONS 106 C. NEGOTIATION OVER THE QUESTION OF AUGMENTATION 109 D. THE INDIAN PROPOSAL FOR AUGMENTATION 110 E. THE BANGLADESH PROPOSAL FOR AUGMENTATION 114 F. THE CHRONOLOGY OF NEGOTIATIONS OVER AUGMENTATION 115 G. A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING 128 Chapter V ASYMMETRIC DYADS AND UPSTREAM-DOWNSTREAM CONFLICTS 137 A. THE FIVE STAGES OF THE FARAKKA BARRAGE DISPUTE 140 B. THE FARAKKA BARRAGE: THE ARCHETYPE OF AN UPSTREAM-DOWNSTREAM CONFLICT 151 C. STRATEGIES ADOPTED BY PAKISTAN/BANGLADESH 154 BIBLIOGRAPHY • 181 APPENDIX A - STATUTE OF THE 1972 INDO-BANGLADESH JOINT RIVERS COMMISSION 186 APPENDIX B - 1975 FORTY-DAY UNDERSTANDING 188 APPENDIX C - INDO-BANGLADESH AGREEMENT ON SHARING OF GANGA WATERS AT FARAKKA 189 APPENDIX D - CONSENSUS STATEMENT AT THE UNITED NATIONS ..193 v a L i s t o f F i g u r e s F i g u r e 1 - Map o f t h e Ganges and t h e B r a h m a p u t r a R i v e r B a s i n s F i g u r e 2 - Map Showing t h e F a r a k k a B a r r a g e and I t s F e e d e r C a n a l , B h a g i r a t h i - H o o g h l y and O t h e r R i v e r s F i g u r e 3 - Map Showing t h e I n d i a n P r o p o s a l on A u g m e n t a t i o n o f Ganges F l o w s F i g u r e 4 - Map Showing t h e B a n g l a d e s h P r o p o s a l on A u g m e n t a t i o n o f Ganges F l o w s V i Acknowledgement It w i l l not be possible to thank a l l the people by name who helped me research and write t h i s t h e s i s . There have been some, however, without whose help writing the thesis would have been a much more d i f f i c u l t task. I want to thank my supervisor, Professor John R. Wood, for the many hours he spent in discussing so v o l a t i l e and elusive a topic with me. His suggestions about certain substantive aspects of the thesis proved to be very valuable. I e s p e c i a l l y want to thank my wife, Sumaiya, whose patience, encouragement and support made i t possible for me to continue writing even in the midst of- mental and physical exhaustion. If t h i s thesis has achieved a certain measure of excellence, i t i s due to her constructive c r i t i c i s m s and relentless persuasion to carry on. I also want to thank my colleague, Michael P. Howlett, who p r a c t i c a l l y taught me how to use the word processor and edited e a r l i e r drafts of the thesis. I am grateful to my father, K.A. Mamun Sr., who kept me supplied with a constant source of materials on the Farakka Barrage dispute from Bangladesh. I also want to thank a l l my fellow graduate students at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia who, sometimes unwittingly, helped me in the completion of this project. 1 I. INTRODUCTION The relations between India and Bangladesh were amicable for the f i r s t few years after the former helped the l a t t e r gain i t s independence from Pakistan in December, 1971. Since then, however, relations have deteriorated considerably on a number of issues, 1 the most important of which is India's construction of the Farakka Barrage and i t s consequences for the d i s t r i b u t i o n of the waters of the Ganges River between the two neighbouring states. India's primary purpose in undertaking the Farakka Barrage project was to prevent the s i l t i n g and to improve the n a v i g a b i l i t y of the port of Calcutta by div e r t i n g via a feeder canal a quantity of water from the Ganges to flush out the Bhagirathi-Hooghly River, on whose bank the c i t y i s located. Bangladesh maintains that the diversion of water away from western Bangladesh i s having a disastrous effect on i t s agrarian economy. Although the Farakka Barrage was not commissioned before 1975,2 the origins of the dispute go as far back as 1951 when Bangladesh was s t i l l a part of Pakistan. 3 The Pakistan government t r i e d i t s best to prevent India from constructing the Farakka Barrage but was unsuccessful in i t s attempts. When Bangladesh came into being, the onus of negotiating with India f e l l squarely on the shoulders of the new government in Dhaka." While the Bangladesh government was b a s i c a l l y arguing along the l i n e s pursued by Pakistan, there were two important changes which had an important e f f e c t on the ongoing negotiations. The f i r s t was that Pakistan had negotiated with India from a 2 position of equality whereas Bangladesh, being a much weaker country compared with undivided Pakistan and c e r t a i n l y v i s a v i s India, had a much more d i f f i c u l t task to confront. The second important change was that while Pakistan was negotiating with India before the l a t t e r had started actual construction of the barrage, Bangladesh had to accept Farakka as a f a i t accompli. 5 As negotiations went on and both sides acknowledged that there was not enough water to meet their respective needs, the substantive issue shifted from the question of equitable "sharing" to that of "augmentation." Thus, while the dispute originated with the construction and commissioning of the Farakka Barrage by India, i t subsequently centred on how to remedy the s c a r c i t y of water in the Ganges to meet the respective demands of India and Bangladesh. This thesis analyses the e f f o r t s made by Pakistan/Bangladesh to influence India, as the upper r i p a r i a n , 6 to cooperate on the v i t a l question of sharing and augmentation of Ganges waters. The central question t h i s thesis w i l l attempt to answer i s : what are the strategies that Bangladesh, as the lower r i p a r i a n , might employ to extract an equitable solution from i t s preponderant neighbour? Chapter II examines the problem of upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t s from a theoretical standpoint. What potential is there for an equitable solution in disputes l i k e Farakka? If an equitable solution seems unlikely, what options are available to the lower riparian? In order to answer these questions I outline a number of strategies that a downstream country can 3 employ in an e f f o r t to extract an equitable solution from a more powerful upstream country. These strategies are derived from the works of river dispute analysts and international relations t h e o r i s t s . This chapter also discusses the conditions under which certain strategies are l i k e l y to succeed and those where they are l i k e l y to f a i l . In short, I attempt to determine the r e l a t i o n s h i p between certain s t r u c t u r a l c o n d i t i o n s — p a r t i c u l a r l y p o l i t i c a l ones--and the success and f a i l u r e of certain strategies. In Chapters III and IV, I have compiled a comprehensive picture of the entire Farakka Barrage dispute between India and Pakistan/Bangladesh from newspaper accounts, government publications, and a few scholarly works written on the t o p i c . 7 In these two chapters, the strategies adopted by Pakistan/Bangladesh to influence India during the Farakka Barrage dispute are examined in t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l context. In Chapter V, the strategies outlined in Chapter II are re-examined in l i g h t of Pakistan/Bangladesh's actions in the Farakka Barrage dispute and the success or f a i l u r e of each i s analysed. My ultimate objective i s to derive t h e o r e t i c a l conclusions with regard to upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t s in general in the hope that some of these conclusions may be applied to international riparian disputes elsewhere. 4 A. THE GANGES AND ITS BASIN A brief description of the Ganges River and i t s basin w i l l enable us to understand the hydrologic-economic aspects of the dispute. Although the Ganges River or Ganga 8--as i t i s c a l l e d in most of the Indie languages-- i s only the f i f t e e n t h longest r i v e r in A s i a , 9 i t s basin supports a concentration of 300 m i l l i o n people, a population larger than that of any country on earth with the exceptions of India and the People's Republic of China. The river i t s e l f i s 1,557 miles (2,506 km) l o n g . 1 0 It ri s e s in the southern Himalayas on the Indian side of the Tibetan border and follows a southeasterly course before i t empties into the Bay of Bengal, through i t s main d i s t r i b u t a r y , the Padma in Bangladesh. For most of i t s course i t i s a sluggish r i v e r , flowing through one of the most f e r t i l e and densely populated t r a c t s of t e r r i t o r y in the world. The Ganges basin can be divided into three broad d i v i s i o n s — t h e Upper Ganges basin which includes the state of Uttar Pradesh and part of the state of Madhya Pradesh in India; the Middle Ganges basin which includes the states of Bihar and West Bengal in India; and the Lower Ganges Basin or Delta area which f a l l s e n t i r e l y within Bangladesh. In the Upper Ganges basin, the river i s fed by five headstreams--the Bhagirathi, the Alaknanda, the Mandakini, the Dhauli Ganga, and the Pindar. These five streams r i s e in the Uttarkhand d i v i s i o n of the state of Uttar Pradesh. Of these, the two main headstreams are the Alaknanda which r i s e s about t h i r t y miles north of the Himalayan peak of Nanda Devi, and the Bhagirathi, which originates 10,000 F i g u r e 1 5 feet above Sea-level in an ice cave at the foot of the Himalayan gla c i e r known as Gangotri. The true source of the Ganges, however, i s considered to be at Gaumukh, about thirteen miles south of Gangotri. 1 1 After the Alaknanda and the Bhagirathi unite at Devprayag, they form the Ganges' mainstream which cuts through the outer (southern) Himalayas to emerge from the mountains at Rishikesh. The river then flows on to Hardwar, a sacred place for the Hindus. Although there is seasonal variation in the Ganges' flow, i t s volume increases markedly as i t receives more t r i b u t a r i e s and enters a region of heavier r a i n f a l l . From A p r i l to June, the melting Himalayan snows feed the r i v e r , while in the rainy season from July to September, the rain-bearing monsoons cause floods. In the Upper Ganges basin, the p r i n c i p a l right-bank 1 2 t r i b u t a r i e s are the Jumna (Yamuna) and the Tons r i v e r s . The l e f t - b a n k 1 3 t r i b u t a r i e s in t h i s region are the Ramganga, the Gomati, and the Ghagara. In the Middle Ganges basin, the main t r i b u t a r i e s from the Himalayan region to the north are the Gandak, the Burhi Gandak, the Ghugri, and the Kosi. The most important southern tributary i s the Son. In West Bengal, the l a s t Indian state through which the Ganges flows, the Mahananda joins i t from the north. 1* The river then s k i r t s the Rajmahal H i l l s to the south and flows southeast to Farakka, at the apex of the Delta. The westernmost d i s t r i b u t a r y of the Ganges in the Delta area i s the Hooghly, on the east bank of which stands the Indian c i t y of Calcutta. The Hooghly i t s e l f i s joined by two 6 t r i b u t a r i e s flowing in from the west, the Damodar and the Rupnarayan. In Bangladesh, the Ganges is joined by the mighty Brahmaputra (called the Jamuna in that country), near Goalundo Ghat. The combined stream, now c a l l e d the Padma, joins the Meghna River above Chandpur. The waters then flow into the Bay of Bengal through innumerable channels, the largest of which i s known as the Meghna estuary. Apart from the Hooghly and the Meghna, the other d i s t r i b u t a r y streams which form the Ganges delta are: in West Bengal, the Jalangi; and in Bangladesh, the Mathabhanga, the Bhairab, the Kobadak, the Gorai (Madhumati), and the A r i a l Khan. In the Delta region, the Ganges, as well as i t s t r i b u t a r i e s and d i s t r i b u t a r i e s , i s constantly vulnerable to changes in i t s course. Such changes have occurred in comparatively recent times. In 1785, the Brahmaputra flowed past the c i t y of Mymensingh; i t now flows forty miles west of i t before joining the Ganges. 1 5 There are also indications that the Bhagirathi, or one of i t s several branches (Hooghly, Sarasvati, Adi Ganga, or "Tolly's Nullah") was the most important d i s t r i b u t a r y of the Ganges in the seventeenth century. However, i t has been s i l t i n g at least since 1770, when the Damodar, which helped to keep i t clear, shifted i t s mouth 80 miles to the south. 1 6 The lower reaches of th i s l i n e , the Hooghly proper, retain their v i t a l i t y , being fed by streams such as the Rupnarayan and the Damodar. The r i v e r s in the West Bengal area are very sluggish and have been described as dead or dying. L i t t l e water passes down them to the sea. The rivers in the Bangladesh delta region, on 7 the other hand, are broad and active, carrying large quantities of water to the Bay of Bengal. They are also interconnected by innumerable creeks. The Ganges basin contains the largest riv e r system in the subcontinent (see Map-1). As has been mentioned e a r l i e r , the water supply i s dependent partly on the rains brought by the monsoon winds from July to October, as well as on the melting Himalayan snows in the hot season from A p r i l to June. P r e c i p i t a t i o n in the river basin accompanies the southwest monsoon winds, but i s also related to cyclones that originate in the Bay of Bengal between June and October. Only a small amount of r a i n f a l l occurs in December and January. The average annual r a i n f a l l varies from 30 inches at the western end of the basin to over 90 inches in the eastern end. 1 7 The delta region experiences strong cyclonic storms both before the commencement of the monsoon season, from March to May, and at the end of i t , from September to October. Since there i s l i t t l e v ariation in r e l i e f over the entire surface of the Gangetic Plain, the rate of flow of the river i s slow. 1 8 The importance of the Ganges and i t s numerous t r i b u t a r i e s and d i s t r i b u t a r i e s for the inhabitants of the basin cannot be overemphasized. From the beginning of c i v i l i z a t i o n , c a p i t a l c i t i e s of kings and emperors flourished on the banks of this mighty r i v e r . Pataliputra (now Patna), Delhi, Allahabad, and numerous other c i t i e s had sprung up on the banks of the Ganges and thrived as important p o l i t i c a l and commercial centres. Today the r i v e r not only represents the major source of 8 l i v e l i h o o d for the inhabitants of i t s great basin, i t s waters are also held sacred by the Hindu community. It i s believed by Hindus that those who bathe in the Ganges are absolved of a l l sins. The river also provides a constant source of fresh f i s h , a food, which, combined with r i c e , forms the primary n u t r i t i o n for the greater majority of the population in West Bengal and Bangladesh. The constant flooding during the rainy season deposits a r i c h alluvium over the land which makes the Gangetic plain one of the most f e r t i l e t r a c ts of t e r r i t o r y in the world. The overcrowded and a l l u v i a l Gangetic basin, therefore, draws i t s l i f e - b l o o d from the ri v e r i t s e l f and i t s numerous t r i b u t a r i e s and d i s t r i b u t a r i e s . Before P a r t i t i o n 1 9 in 1947, there was never any doubt that the area now forming Bangladesh (East Pakistan u n t i l December 1971) was e n t i t l e d to draw supplies of water from the Ganges (Padma in Bangladesh). H i s t o r i c a l l y , the people of the Gangetic plain had not only enjoyed the benefits of the ri v e r but had also, on occasion, been subject to i t s tremendous wrath. Almost every year, cyclones originating over the Bay of Bengal cause colossal floods a l l over the Ganges basin and these floods claim l i v e s and destroy crops and livestock with alarming r e g u l a r i t y . When the two diff e r e n t states of Pakistan and India were created, therefore, i t was expected that the use of this t r a d i t i o n a l r i v e r would go on as before. When India decided to construct the Farakka Barrage exactly at the apex of the delta, i t was not at a l l surprising that Pakistan raised a cry of protest. 9 B. THE FARAKKA BARRAGE The Farakka Barrage i s situated at la t i t u d e 24 degrees and 45 minutes North and longitude 87 degrees 50 minutes East .on the Ganges River in the d i s t r i c t of Murshidabad in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is about 300 km. north of the c i t y of Calcutta and about 18 km. west of the Bangladesh border. The barrage i t s e l f i s about 2455 metres long and supports on i t s back both a r a i l l i n k and a motor road. Just upstream of the barrage begins a feeder canal which runs 42.6 km. southward to meet the Bhagirathi-Hooghly River just downstream of another barrage (designed to prevent water that s p i l l s over the Farakka Barrage in the monsoon season from entering the Bhagirathi-Hooghly) at Janjipur. There is also a cross regulator across the Bhagirathi-Hooghly just upstream of the feeder canal to control the water entering i t d i r e c t l y when the Ganges floods. The Farakka Barrage also includes several high velocity s l u i c e s , known as s i l t excluders, which are intended to allow s i l t to flow down the Ganges. The barrage was designed so that s i l t -free water w#uld be diverted down the Bhagirathi-Hooghly and the sediment load of the Ganges would be c a r r i e d by the remaining flow in that r i v e r on to Bangladesh and the Bay of Bengal. The canal has the capacity to handle 40,000 cubic feet of water per second ( c u s e c s ) 2 0 and contains locks at both ends to provide navigation from the Ganges through to Calcutta. The Barrage was completed in 1970 and the feeder canal in 1973. The project began i t s f i r s t o f f i c i a l operations on A p r i l 21, 1975. (For a graphic understanding of the Farakka Barrage and the feeder F i g u r e 2 4 10 canal, consult Map-2). C. CONFLICTING INTERESTS OVER FARAKKA India's construction of the Farakka Barrage and i t s subsequent effect on the t o t a l volume of water passing through the Padma into East Pakistan (later Bangladesh) came under heavy c r i t i c i s m not only from Pakistan (and later Bangladesh) but also from other quarters in the regional and the international arena. According to Ishtiaq Hossain: Of the various issues responsible for deteriorating Indo-Bangladesh r e l a t i o n s , construction and commissioning of a dam at Farakka... has perhaps attracted the most attention from the rest of the world. 2 1 This was in large part due to Pakistan's consistent and concerted e f f o r t s to stop the Indian government from starting construction on the project s i t e before the two governments had a chance to discuss the implications. India, however, managed to start negotiations and start construction simultaneously. India has consistently defended i t s move by claiming that i t was an e f f o r t to save the port of Calcutta from s i l t i n g . The Bhagirathi, which had been the p r i n c i p a l d i s t r i b u t a r y of the Ganges u n t i l about two hundred years ago, began to degenerate into a s i l t - l a d e n r i v e r when the Ganges regime began a general eastward s h i f t about that time. When this occurred the Padma assumed the role of main channel and d i s t r i b u t a r y . As a result the Hooghly began to experience an ever increasing s i l t a t i o n problem. Moreover, since the Hooghly is a t i d a l r i v e r , the t i d a l bores began to affe c t the na v i g a b i l i t y of the 11 river by depositing huge amounts of sand. Over the decades, the headwater supply diminished and t h i s overturned the balance between the sea tides and the headwater flow. In other words, as the headwater supply reduced, t i d a l waters began to penetrate more and more inland. There are indications that the B r i t i s h rulers expressed fears about the future of the port of Calcutta as early as 1795. 2 2 Since the closure of t h i s v i t a l port would mean a decrease in the volume of raw materials and a g r i c u l t u r a l goods transported to the mother country, a committee was appointed to inquire into the condition of the Hooghly. 2 3 Thus, the B r i t i s h had been aware as early as 1795 that unless the headwater flow of the Hooghly could be increased through a r t i f i c i a l means, there was a danger that Calcutta port would have to be shut down. At independence in 1947, there i s documented evidence that the Boundary Commission went to the length of v i o l a t i n g the main p r i n c i p l e of d i v i s i o n of t e r r i t o r y between India and P a k i s t a n — majority r e l i g i o n - - i n order to enable India to take suitable measures for the diversion of Ganges waters to the Hooghly. 2* Although Farakka belonged to the Muslim majority d i s t r i c t of Murshidabad, i t was the obvious place where a barrage across the Ganges could achieve t h i s diversion. The Commission decided to award the entire Murshidabad d i s t r i c t to India. According to Sir C y r i l R a d c l i f f e , the chairman: ...to prevent the Hooghly from languishing altogether and ruining the health and industry of Bengal, i t i s absolutely necessary that the headwaters of the 1 2 Hooghly should be under the control of the West Bengal s t a t e . 2 5 Pakistan received the Hindu majority d i s t r i c t of Khulna by way of compensation. The construction of the Farakka Barrage was considered to be the "only technical solution to the problem by the Indians." 2 6 It was projected that by the judicious operation of the Farakka Barrage, i t would be possible not only to prolong the upland supplies into the Hooghly but also to "even out the sharply fluctuating hydrographs in the r i v e r " 2 7 thus counteracting the deteriorating e f f e c t s of the preponderance of the t i d a l flow. Pakistan and subsequently Bangladesh have argued that diversion of waters at Farakka w i l l have disastrous economic e f f e c t s . As negotiations dragged on, the i l l e f f e c t s of Farakka were presented in a more detailed fashion to impress on the Indian government the urgency of the s i t u a t i o n . A summary of Pakistan/Bangladesh's claims are given below. They argued that removal of water from the Ganges/Padma would produce seriously detrimental e f f e c t s on East Bengal's economy by: 1) lowering the water table in Bangladesh's eastern part and thus reducing the moisture content of the s o i l immediately after the monsoons and causing a serious deterioration in the summer output of those high y i e l d r i c e strains whose growth depends on an abundant supply of water; 2) adversely a f f e c t i n g the n a v i g a b i l i t y of the Padma and i t s s p i l l channels, e s p e c i a l l y the Gorai-Madhumati, both by d r a s t i c a l l y lowering or eliminating the water leve l s of these water courses and by causing the Padma River bed to ri s e as a result of the s i l t i n g caused by such reduced flow. Transportation in about 13 1135 km. of major waterways in Bangladesh was expected to be negatively affected as a drop in water level s of up to six feet was anticipated in the dry season; 3) aggravating the monsoon floods in Bangladesh by l i m i t i n g the amount of flood water which would normally drain off into the Bhagirathi-Hooghly and by decreasing through dry season s i l t a t i o n the capacity of the Padma river bed to accommodate the wet season flow; 4) damaging the agriculture of the coastal areas of Khulna, B a r i s a l , and Patuakhali d i s t r i c t s as well as parts of nearby d i s t r i c t s l i k e Jessore and Faridpur by allowing saline water to penetrate deep inland into an area of more than 20,000 square kilometres. The resulting loss of c u l t i v a b l e land would probably reduce the amount of farm employment, further increasing the nation's hardship; 5) decimating the forests in the coastal areas, causing them to become poorer in density and to produce lower qu a l i t y wood. An example are the Sunderban forests in Khulna d i s t r i c t where in addition to the expected loss in d i s t r i c t revenues and the reduced supply of timber for housing and other construction, the changed ecological balance of the forest regions would seriously affect forms of animal l i f e presently residing there; 6) reducing in both qu a l i t y and quantity the water supplied to the urban i n d u s t r i a l centres in Bangladesh's lower delta, thereby hurting their growth, creating d i f f i c u l t y in the disposal of their effluents and r a i s i n g the death rate due to water-borne diseases and the decline in sanitation; 7) decreasing the extraction of food in the Bangladesh delta since fishing would be eliminated as a source of l i v e l i h o o d for thousands of fishermen and dealers. An important source of protein for many 'Bangladeshis would thus be c u r t a i l e d . The expected change in the hydrographic conditions of the Padma's lower reaches would stop the movement of many fresh water f i s h v a r i e t i e s up the r i v e r . In addition, a large part of the water system would go dry in the months between December and May and many other v a r i e t i e s of f i s h and prawn would become land-locked and die; 8) retarding the successful planning or execution (both present and future) of land and water development projects in the area by either severely reducing or making unpredictable the necessary 14 supplies of Padma water. The most prominent example is that of the Ganges-Kobadak project, intended to i r r i g a t e almost two m i l l i o n acres in Kushtia, Jessore, and Khulna d i s t r i c t s . A l l in a l l , i t has been estimated that eight to nine d i s t r i c t s in Bangladesh— containing t h i r t y m i l l i o n people (one-third of the t o t a l population of Bangladesh) and about one quarter of the c u l t i v a b l e land-- w i l l be adversely affected by the Farakka p r o j e c t . 2 8 India has naturally gone to great lengths to refute Bangladesh's claims by maintaining that the l a t t e r ' s technical data are inaccurate or by providing a d i f f e r e n t interpretation of them. A summary of India's responses to Bangladesh's claims is given below: 1) In attempting to refute the basic claim that Bangladesh needs more of the Ganges-Padma water than India i s w i l l i n g to allow, Indian o f f i c i a l s note that whereas the Ganges basin in India i s r e l a t i v e l y a r i d , the delta area in Bangladesh i s always green. They note that Bangladesh's r a i n f a l l averages 190 cm. per year as opposed to 63-127 cm. on the Indian side, and the r a i n f a l l of the wet season i s so great that despite a short, dry season, Bangladesh's subsoil i s not dried out s u f f i c i e n t l y to i n h i b i t the growth of forests. They also contend that monsoon rains are s u f f i c i e n t to saturate the s o i l for at least two months after the rains, u n t i l about the end of December. 2) To Bangladesh's emphasis on an adequate supply of water in the dry months of March, A p r i l , and May, the Indians counter that during that period even with the locks at Farakka being closed, the waterflow of the Ganges-Padma in Bangladesh i s normally superior to that at Farakka. They also claim that there i s a regeneration of almost 20,000 cusecs and therefore i t is unnecessary for India to reduce i t s own meagre allotment. 3) The Indians emphasize that Bangladesh is not lacking in water, but rather overrun with i t , and that i t s agriculture would actually gain by having the flow of water reduced, especially in the summer months when 1 5 floods inundate extensive areas of the Bangladesh countryside. 4) To counter Bangladesh's claims regarding losses to inland navigation, the Indians point out that there has not been previously any organised navigation along the Padma, and that s p i l l channels l i k e the Gorai are seasonal in nature and only navigable during the floods. 5) To Bangladesh's claims about s i l t i n g due to diversion of the Ganges waters at Farakka, the Indians counter that s i l t i n g i s no problem in the dry season because the river i s then r e l a t i v e l y s i l t - f r e e . The Indians also argue that in the rainy months the increased percentage of s i l t in the Bangladesh river system which results from diversion of 40,000 cusecs of s i l t free water at Farakka is i n s i g n i f i c a n t . 6) Regarding s a l i n i t y , the Indians claim that since the t o t a l discharge of water by the r i v e r s Meghna and Brahmaputra, even in the dry months, i s approximately 200,000 cusecs, the problem of seawater intrusion should not occur. The Indians have been s i l e n t on the issue of deleterious e f f e c t s of s a l t water on f i s h , forests, or urban areas. 7) India also f l a t l y denies that the Farakka Barrage w i l l hurt Bangladesh i r r i g a t i o n projects on the grounds that a) the reduction in the flow w i l l be so i n s i g n i f i c a n t as not to be missed, b) the requirements of planned and existing projects are so small as to put no burden on present or future water supplies, and c) the regions's morphology involving f l a t ground, annual floods, and s h i f t i n g r ivers i s impractical for big i r r i g a t i o n schemes. In any event, they suggest an extension of Bangladesh's pumping system should be an alte r n a t i v e or superior source of i r r i g a t i o n . 2 9 Thus India has assembled a variety of technical arguments which in combination attempt to show that no matter how important the Ganges-Padma waters may be to Bangladesh, they are much more v i t a l to India and to projects i t has a l l o t e d them. In fact, when the Farakka Barrage project was s t i l l in the planning stage 16 i t was calculated that besides the preservation of the Bhagirathi-Hooghly and the port of Calcutta, there would also be a number of side benefits. The project would improve Calcutta's water supply, f a c i l i t a t e the drainage of the region, improve communications, and increase the mileage of inland n a v i g a t i o n . 3 0 The p r i n c i p a l c o n f l i c t in the Ganges dispute i s over the dry season flow of the Ganges. The seasonal fluctuation in the flow makes water scarce during the period January through May. In t h i s period, India's r i s i n g needs for water to flush the Hooghly and for i r r i g a t i o n are in c o n f l i c t with Bangladesh's demand for water to maintain the ecology of the Ganges delta and to promote industry, i r r i g a t i o n , and navigation. India as the upper riparian country, has had the power to implement projects on the Ganges to provide for i t s needs. East Pakistan and i t s successor Bangladesh have suffered the consequences of Indian decisions but have had only limited power to influence them. The dispute over sharing of the Ganges is about attempts by Pakistan and Bangladesh to influence Indian p o l i c y . Although the government of Morarji Desai signed a five-year treaty with Bangladesh in November 1977, and t h i s has been renewed for another two years after i t expired in November 1982, the question of sharing and augmentation of Ganges waters i s far from resolved. This thesis attempts to discuss the substantive issues of sharing existing dry season flow and examining alternative methods of augmenting t h i s flow from a bargaining perspective and explores various strategies which could a s s i s t 1 7 Bangladesh in persuading i t s upstream neighbour to cooperate. 18 NOTES 1. Unfortunately, the history of Indo-Bangladesh relations since 1971 presents a dismal picture. A number of issues have not only clouded their relations but have also led to the exchange of f i r e between the two countries' border security forces over disputed t e r r i t o r y . Below is a l i s t of some of the more contentious issues between these two countries: a. Dispute over the maritime belt; b. Indian support for pro-Mujib g u e r r i l l a s ; c. the sharing of Ganges waters; d. disputes over Muhurir Char (an i s l e t on the Muhuri River, the boundary between Bangladesh and the Indian state of Tripura); e. dispute over the Purbasha island in the Bay of Bengal; f. smuggling operations carried on both sides of the border; g. dispute over i l l e g a l border crossings on both sides of the border; and most recently, h. dispute over India's plans to construct a barbed wire fence around the 1700 miles of the Indo-Bangladesh border. 2. The 7000-foot long barrage was completed in 1970 and the 26.5 mile long feeder canal took another four years to complete. The barrage and feeder canal were f i n a l l y commissioned in 1975 following an interim agreement signed between India and Bangladesh on A p r i l 18 1975. 3. When Indian plans to construct a dam at Farakka were made public through Indian press reports, the Pakistan government sent a note of protest to New Delhi. The origins of the Farakka Barrage dispute can be traced to t h i s date. When Pakistan was dismembered in 1971 and Bangladesh achieved independence, the new government in Dhaka pursued the case with India along the l i n e s adopted by the Pakistan government from 1961-1971. 4. Dhaka i s the c a p i t a l c i t y of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. Before November 1982, i t was spelled "Dacca" when i t was o f f i c i a l l y changed by Presidential Order. The new s p e l l i n g i s closer to the phonetic usage and t h i s version has been used throughout the thesis. 5. The construction of the Farakka Barrage was completed in 1970 before Bangladesh had achieved independence (1971). The feeder canal, however, was not completed u n t i l 1973. 6. The word " r i p a r i a n " denotes a country through which a r i v e r flows. In the case of an international r i v e r flowing through two countries, therefore, the upstream country i s c a l l e d the upper r i p a r i a n , and the downstream country, the lower r i p a r i a n . Both countries are c o l l e c t i v e l y referred to as co-riparians. 7. To date, only two major works have been written on the Farakka Barrage dispute. Of these, the only published work has 1 9 been written by B.M. Abbas who was d i r e c t l y involved in negotiations with India over a period of ten years. The following is the bibliographic reference: B.M. Abbas, The  Ganges Water Dispute, (Dhaka: University Publications Limited, 1982). The other is a Ph.D. dis s e r t a t i o n by Ben Crow in the University of Edinburgh in 1980. It i s e n t i t l e d The P o l i t i c s  and Technology of Sharing the Ganges. This d i s s e r t a t i o n has not yet been published. 8. The Ganges River i s c a l l e d the "Ganga" in a l l the Indian languages including Bengali. In Bangladesh where the o f f i c i a l language i s Bengali, people refer to the ri v e r as the Ganga although o f f i c i a l l y the anglic i z e d name has been retained. In this thesis, the name Ganges w i l l be used to avoid confusion. 9. Encyclopaedia Britannica p.879. 10. Ibid. 11. Ibid. 12. In the terminology of f l u v i a l morphology, right-bank t r i b u t a r i e s refer to those which join the mainstream on the right i f one stands with his back to the source and looks downstream. By thi s method, the r i v e r s joining the mainstream on the l e f t are c a l l e d the left-bank t r i b u t a r i e s . 13. See footnote 12. 14. Encyclopaedia Britannica , op. c i t . p.879. 15. Nafis Ahmed, An Economic Geography of Bangladesh ,(New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House, 1 976) , p. 9. ' 16. O.H.K. Spate, A.T.A.. Learmonth, and B.H. Farmer, India,  Pakistan and Ceylon: The Regions, (London: Methuen and Co. Ltd., 1972), p.574. ~ 17. Nafis Ahmed, op. c i t . , p.18. 18. In the delta region of Bangladesh, the average seaward gradient i s fi v e inches per mile. 19. The word " P a r t i t i o n " refers to the creation of two new nations--India and Pakistan--from the single Dominion of India in August 1947. 20. A cusec equals 1 cubic foot per second. In f l u v i a l morphology, a cusec is a measure of the volume of water in cubic feet flowing through a p a r t i c u l a r cross section of a river in one second. 21. Ishtiaq Hossain, "Bangladesh-India Relations: Issues and Problems," Asian Survey, Vol. XXI, No. 11, November 1981, 20 pp.1115-1128. 22. C.J. Mohan, "Problems of Navigable Approaches to the Port of Calcutta," Calcutta Port Annual, 1958, p.192. 23. Jayanta Kumar Ray, "The Farakka Agreement," in International Studies, Vol. 17, (1978): 239. 24. S.K. Nag, "The Study of the Hooghly," Calcutta Port  Annual, 1970, p.159. 25. A report written by C y r i l R a d c l i f f e on the p a r t i t i o n of Bengal. See P a r t i t i o n Proceedings, No. 2, p.49. 26. India. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. India: A  Reference Annual, 1969 p.295 27. Ibid. 28. For a detailed l i s t of Bangladesh's complaints, see Government of Bangladesh, Ministry of Foreign A f f a i r s publication White Paper on the Ganges Water Dispute Dhaka, September 1976. 29. Ibid. See also Jayanta Kumar Ray, op. c i t . 30. "India: A Reference Annual op. c i t . , p.295. 21 I I . INTERNATIONAL RIVER DISPUTES AND BARGAINING STRATEGIES: SOME THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS International river disputes are a common phenomenon in the contemporary world scene. The alarming rate of growth of the world's population has made fresh water a very valuable commodity. The rapid advancement of technology has provided the means to make more e f f i c i e n t use of this v i t a l resource. However, although the use of international fresh waters i s also v i t a l l y important, the d i f f i c u l t y of getting basin states to cooperate makes these waters less readily exploitable than national water resources. P o l i t i c a l boundaries present real obstacles to e f f i c i e n t use and are often more d i f f i c u l t to overcome than physical ones. 1 i t is not at a l l surprising, therefore, that there should be a problem of sharing the waters of an international r i v e r between riparian states. The Farakka Barrage dispute between India and Bangladesh i s primarily a r i v e r dispute between two neighbours. In order to analyse the dispute I aim in t h i s chapter to e l i c i t t heoretical formulations from work done on international r i v e r disputes as well as from l i t e r a t u r e dealing with relations between unequal states. It w i l l soon be clear that in any r i v e r dispute which is i n t e r n a t i o n a l — t h a t is any r i v e r dispute which occurs between two or more sovereign p o l i t i c a l units as opposed to two or more autonomous units within one sovereign state--the chances of an equitable solution depend on a number of factors not a l l of which are hydrologic-economic. The overall state of relations between the co-riparians, the stakes involved for each of them, 22 their general foreign policy objectives, the bargaining techniques they chose to employ and, more importantly, the bargaining chips each holds, may also be important factors in the f i n a l outcome. According to David G. LeMarquand: The complex international p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t y in a basin i s often unrelated to a natural system. Demands on the shared resources d i f f e r between basin countries due to many factors including population growth, economic development, c u l t u r a l practices, foreign policy objectives, and the a v a i l a b i l i t y and a c c e s s i b i l i t y of other domestic water resources. 2 It i s not surprising, therefore, that solutions to international river disputes encompass much more than purely hydrologic-economic issues. Although the l i t e r a t u r e dealing with international r i v e r disputes i s vast and detailed, most of i t i s l e g a l i s t i c . It i s my contention, however, that most solutions to international river disputes are the results of years of s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d planning and lobbying, and strenuous p o l i t i c a l bargaining, both open and secret. The f i n a l outcome i s more a result of short and long term p o l i t i c a l considerations a f f e c t i n g the disputing riparians than i t is of hydrologic-economic considerations. One of the most comprehensive works on international rive r disputes has been written by David G. LeMarquand.3 What sets LeMarquand apart from other authors dealing with international river disputes i s that, while recognising the importance of hydrologic-economic issues, he stresses the point that the f i n a l solution i s the result of p o l i t i c a l considerations. To c l a r i f y the l a t t e r ' s importance, he divides relationships among 2 3 international co-riparians into the following four categories: a) public goods; b) common pool resources; c) integrated development opportunities; and d) upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t . " The f i r s t two relationships are most conducive to cooperation among basin states. A "public goods" relationship exists when a l l states have equal and unrestricted access to the resource, and when none of the states i s able to exploit the resource to the other users' detriment. States' navigation rights represent the closest approximation of a public goods relationship on an international r i v e r . The second relationship, "common pool resources," occurs when two states share a r i v e r or lake as a boundary, but no upstream-downstream relationship is involved. In t h i s instance, use of the common resource by one country may diminish the benefits to the others but may also eventually harm i t s own interests. I f , for example, a l l riparian countries dispose of their effluents in the r i v e r , a l l w i l l suffer from the reduced quality of the water. On the other hand, a l l w i l l benefit from concerted action to reduce the ef f l u e n t s . In th i s category of disputes, the incentives to reach agreement w i l l be quite high because the basin states w i l l benefit through cooperation. Should c o n f l i c t a r i s e in the t h i r d and fourth relationships, the chances of reaching early settlement are much less as one country i s able to receive benefits from the resource without an agreement. In the t h i r d category of 24 "integrated development opportunities," two or more countries are in an upstream-downstream relationship on a r i v e r . An upstream country may decide to build a dam which, while providing benefits to i t s e l f , also brings benefit to a downstream country in certain forms. Flood control i s a good example of such benefit. The upstream country w i l l want to reach an agreement with the downstream country by which the l a t t e r w i l l pay for the benefits received from the upper riparians actions. The main problem here l i e s in c a l c u l a t i n g an "equitable d i v i s i o n of costs and benefits" between the country which undertakes the project and the country which p r o f i t s as a re s u l t . The f i n a l category can also be found where the basin states are in an upstream-downstream relationship. In t h i s case, however, the upstream country uses a river for i t s sole p r o f i t . Its u t i l i s a t i o n does not benefit the downstream country and may well be detrimental to the l a t t e r ' s interests i f , for example, i t makes consumptive use (such as for i r r i g a t i o n ) of the water, diverts i t , pollutes i t excessively, or regulates the flow of the water such that the downstream country's needs cannot be s a t i s f i e d . In such cases, the economic incentives to reach an agreement are extremely low because the upstream state receives maximum benefit by exploiting the river in accordance with only i t s own users' demands. The dispute between India and Bangladesh over sharing of the Ganges waters f a l l s in t h i s last category of hydrologic-economic relationships. LeMarquand's typology i s helpful insofar as i t s p e l l s out 25 which disputes can be solved e a s i l y and which with a greater degree of d i f f i c u l t y . He also states that since even a cursory examination of case studies of upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t s reveals that agreements have been reached, there must be other factors besides hydrologic-economic ones which may persuade the upstream country to cooperate. As an example he c i t e s the case of the United States and Mexico where the U.S. agreed to desalt part of the water i t passes down to Mexico in the Colorado River. 5 As an explanation for these agreements, LeMarquand offers a set of internal and external variables which the decision-makers of the upstream countries have to take into consideration. Internal factors refer to the types of domestic policy-making which may have important repercussions on a r i v e r dispute. These types include bureaucratic, executive, and non-executive approaches to policy formulation. 6 External factors refer generally to a country's foreign policy objectives and, s p e c i f i c a l l y , to such factors as a country's concern about i t s international image, i t s willingness to adhere to the p r i n c i p l e s of international law, i t s willingness to link the riparian dispute with other areas of mutual concern with the co-r i p a r i a n ( s ) , i t s desire for r e c i p r o c i t y , and the value i t places on sovereignty. 7 LeMarquand contends that t h i s cluster of variables acts in certain v a r i a t i o n s for d i f f e r e n t c o n f l i c t s and, depending on the s p e c i f i c s i t u a t i o n , brings about a solution or non-solution. While there can be no doubt about the contribution of 26 LeMarquand's typology of international river disputes and their potential for resolution, his analytic framework i s by no means all-encompassing. To be f a i r , LeMarquand admits this himself; 8 but I want to point out some of the terms and concepts he has used which, I believe, need some elaboration. LeMarquand makes a keen observation when he states that in an upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t , there is no economic incentive for cooperation when an upstream country uses an international r i v e r to the detriment of the downstream country and the l a t t e r has no reciprocal power over the former. 9 The term power is very ambiguous in international p o l i t i c s and to t h i s day nobody has been able to give i t a s a t i s f a c t o r y meaning. One d e f i n i t i o n of power in the international context states that i t i s the general capacity of a state to control the behaviour of o t h e r s . 1 0 Power has certain a t t r i b u t e s : geographical advantage, natural resources, i n d u s t r i a l capacity, m i l i t a r y c a p a b i l i t y , and population usually form the core of "power a t t r i b u t e s . " 1 1 Most authors also recognise, however, that such tangible attributes may not always constitute power. Morgenthau, further, argues that intangible concepts such as national morale which he defines as "the degree of determination with which a nation supports the foreign p o l i c i e s of i t s government in peace and war" are yet another element of power. 1 2 These attributes, however, give the impression that power is a s t a t i c concept. In a r e l a t i o n a l context, power assumes a psychological dimension in that we perceive one country to be more powerful than another. The basis of our perception, however, is based on a comparative 27 assessment of the attributes of power possessed by these countries. Sullivan makes an interesting point when he asks why "one should focus on certain a t t r i b u t e s , certain assets or l i a b i l i t i e s r e l a t i n g to the power of countries," and not on others when making a comparative assessment. 1 3 Power, therefore, is r e l a t i v e and i t is by no means guaranteed that in a s p e c i f i c contest between two countries, the country that i s more "powerful" w i l l automatically be the "winner." Seen in t h i s context, LeMarquand's contention about the upstream country having no economic incentive to negotiate where th i s country i s using an international r i v e r to the detriment of a downstream country (unless that country has reciprocal power over the former) becomes ambiguous. "Power" must include the capacity of the downstream country to negotiate a settlement. It is a r e l a t i v e term: a l l downstream countries do not have equal bargaining power v i s - a - v i s their respective upstream countries in upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t s i t u a t i o n s . Closely related to the concept of unequal bargaining power is the concept of "asymmetric dyads." Asymmetric relationships figure prominently in the works of integration scholars such as Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye. 1" Other scholars such as the group from Carleton University have conducted extensive research on relations between two unequal countries, and s p e c i f i c a l l y , between two unequal neighbours. 1 5 Although their work i s based on Canadian-American relations between the years 1963-1972, their conclusions apply to asymmetric dyadic relations elsewhere: 28 ....(the theory) provides a context for the analysis of s h i f t s in integration and the quest for enhanced autonomy in Canadian-American relationships. (In a broader sense), the history of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r relationship serves as a r i c h i l l u s t r a t i o n of dyadic relations where the subordinate country continues to be attracted to the superordinate one as a result of expected economic gains, while p e r i o d i c a l l y trying to reassert an arm's length r e l a t i o n s h i p with the l a t t e r in order to avoid the perceived p o l i t i c a l costs of increased i n t e g r a t i o n . 1 6 What emerged most c l e a r l y from their analysis was a notable discrepancy between growing Canada-United States economic integration and continuing disi n t e g r a t i o n in the realm of polic y . Surprisingly, however, what their study leaves out i s how s p e c i f i c issues are s e t t l e d . Based on Lemarquand's category of upstream-dowstream c o n f l i c t s and the Carleton group's concept of asymmetric dyads, I aim in t h i s section to outline a set of strategies that a subordinate/downstream state may adopt in seeking a solution to an upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t with a superordinate/upstream country. Before proceeding, there are certain terms which have to be defined to c l a r i f y their meaning. The term "strategy" i s defined as "the science and art of employing the p o l i t i c a l , economic, psychological and m i l i t a r y forces of a nation or a group of nations to afford the maximum support to adopted p o l i c i e s in peace or war." 1 7 Strategy i s also defined as the art of devising or employing plans or stratagems toward a g o a l . 1 8 In other words, strategy involves both the planning and implementation of a state's course of actions in i t s e f f o r t s to achieve a solution to a dispute i t has with another state. 2 9 Strategies may be implemented through peaceful means (e.g. negotiation) or through the conduct of war. Given the r e a l i t i e s of power relations between two unequal states, however, very often the weaker state in a dyad finds that the number of strategies i t can use against i t s preponderant neighbour i s limited. Another important consideration when discussing strategies i s that d i f f e r e n t categories of dispute evoke dif f e r e n t reactions by states in the theory and practice of international r e l a t i o n s . For instance, i t i s not usual for a country to launch war against another country unless the l a t t e r d i r e c t l y threatens the sovereignty of the former in a tangible way. By the same reasoning, international r i v e r disputes between r i p a r i a n states are not usually se t t l e d through violent means. This i s not to say, however, that wars have not been fought over ri p a r i a n r i g h t s . ' 9 Usually, however, strategies adopted by countries are proportionate to the objectives they are intended to achieve. This is substantiated by Hol s t i who contends that international rive r disputes o r d i n a r i l y f a l l into the "middle-range" category of foreign policy objectives of a state thereby implying that two states rarely, i f ever, wage war against each other to s e t t l e an international rive r d i s p u t e . 2 0 In a superordinate-subordinate relationship where the upper riparian i s also the more powerful of the two states, there i s l i t t l e l i k e l i h o o d that the downstream state would achieve a resolution of the riparian dispute by employing strategies which could lead to war. Pursuing a violent strategy against a more powerful country would not only f a i l to achieve i t s objective, 30 the subordinate country may also leave i t s e l f open to pressures in areas which i t considers v i t a l to i t s national s u r v i v a l . Another important factor which must be remembered while discussing strategies is that while the o v e r a l l power configuration generally tends to favour the superordinate/upstream country, how t h i s a f f e c t s the outcome of s p e c i f i c "mid-level" disputes v i s - a - v i s a weaker country is by no means c e r t a i n . According to Keohane and Nye: The translation from c a p a b i l i t i e s to outcomes depends on the p o l i t i c a l process. S k i l l in p o l i t i c a l bargaining a f f e c t s the t r a n s l a t i o n . States with intense preferences and coherent positions w i l l bargain more e f f e c t i v e l y than states constrained by domestic and transnational a c t o r s . 2 1 Therefore, i f the subordinate/downstream country can prepare i t s strategies c a r e f u l l y and bargain e f f e c t i v e l y with i t s preponderant neighbour, i t i s quite possible that i t can achieve an optimal solution to the r i p a r i a n dispute despite the o v e r a l l inequality in their r e l a t i o n s . In an upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t where the upstream country i s using an international r i v e r to the detriment of the downstream country, the status quo s u i t s the interest of the upstream country. The objective of the downstream country i s , therefore, twofold: f i r s t , the subordinate/downstream country has to convince the upstream country that as a result of the u n i l a t e r a l action taken by the l a t t e r on an international r i v e r , the downstream country i s being adversely affected. This i s the f i r s t phase of the dispute. The objective in t h i s phase i s to persuade the superordinate/upstream country to acknowledge that 3 1 a problem indeed e x i s t s . The second phase begins once the superordinate/upstream country acknowledges that there i s a problem and agrees to negotiate with the subordinate/downstream country. The subordinate downstream country has a variety of strategies i t can employ to influence the superordinate/upstream country to cooperate. In order to make the upstream country acknowledge that a problem indeed e x i s t s , the lower riparian may do the following things: 1) It may lodge a formal complaint with the upper riparian state with regard to the l a t t e r ' s u n i l a t e r a l action on an international riv e r emphasising that such action would cause harm to the lower riparian state. This was the case with Pakistan which protested against India's action of developing i r r i g a t i o n systems on the Indus River largely to meet the needs of East Punjab (in India) to the exclusion of West Punjab and Sind (in P a k i s t a n ) . 2 2 Lodging a formal complaint with the upper riparian compels that country to respond in the interest of diplomatic courtesy. It also constitutes an important f i r s t step in the downstream country's o v e r a l l strategy to achieve an optimal solution to the dispute. The primary objective, however, i s to signal i t s concern to the upstream country and persuade i t to negotiate. 2) The subordinate/downstream country may exchange diplomatic notes emphasising the legal rights of lower r i p a r i a n s . 2 3 The objective of t h i s strategy i s to keep channels of communication with the upstream country open. The upstream country usually 32 responds by c i t i n g an international norm or precedent which supports i t s own position in rel a t i o n to the s p e c i f i c dispute. 2* The exchange of diplomatic notes also s i g n i f i e s that the upstream country is w i l l i n g to negotiate. The second phase of the dispute begins when the superordinate/upstream country agrees to negotiate with the subordinate/downstream country. Negotiation i s defined as a diplomatic technique for the peaceful settlement of differences and the advancement of national in t e r e s t s . The objectives of negotiation are accomplished by compromises and accommodations reached through d i r e c t personal contact. Reaching agreement through negotiation implies a willingness on both sides to make mutually acceptable concessions ( quid pro quo ). Ultimatums, threatening speeches, boycotts and walkouts are often related to negotiation and may affect i t s ultimate success or f a i l u r e . S k i l l f u l negotiation involves agreement at the least cost (while leaving the other side r e l a t i v e l y s a t i s f i e d ) to good future r e l a t i o n s . 2 5 The willingness of the superordinate/upstream country to negotiate, however, should not be automatically interpreted as a sincere desire to achieve a solution to the riparian dispute. In fact, i t may agree to negotiate with the intent of procrastination. The upstream country's decision w i l l be influenced by a few important factors. F i r s t , t h i s country w i l l be concerned about i t s image. In the Colorado River dispute between the United States and Mexico, the United States government entered into negotiation with Mexico despite the fact 33 that i t had no economic incentive to do so. The United States f e l t that by pursuing i t s own interest, i t would damage i t s relations with Mexico and i t would project to the rest of Latin America and the t h i r d world the image of a strong powerful country that pursues i t s own national interest heedless of the consequences to i t s poorer neighbours. 2 6 Second, agreement with a neighbour on an international r i v e r scheme may be used to gain concessions on other b i l a t e r a l issues, such as favourable trade arrangements or support for a m u l t i l a t e r a l trade p o l i c y . LeMarquand c a l l s this connection in bargaining of issue areas " l i n k a g e . " 2 7 According to H o l s t i , linkage between policy areas may be t y p i c a l of countries where a high l e v e l of c o n f l i c t is c h a r a c t e r i s t i c . In countries where relations are more routinized and where there i s a t r a d i t i o n of easy communication, such as between the United States and Canada, "issue area i s o l a t i o n " i s more common.28 In the second phase of the dispute, when actual negotiation begins, the subordinate/downstream state can employ certain strategies in order to achieve an optimal solution to the riparian dispute. These strategies can be c l a s s i f i e d into two broad categories: cooperative and coercive. Cooperative strategies are those which are employed by the subordinate/downstream country in a gesture of cooperation and in good f a i t h to achieve i t s objective. As such cooperative strategies may also include responses to queries made by the superordinate/upstream country pertaining to technical or legal aspects of the riparian dispute. Coercive strategies, on the 34 o t h e r hand, a r e t h o s e w h i c h a r e employed by t h e s u b o r d i n a t e / d o w n s t r e a m s t a t e t o put p r e s s u r e on t h e s u p e r o r d i n a t e / u p s t r e a m s t a t e i n o r d e r t o r e s o l v e t h e d i s p u t e . C o e r c i v e s t r a t e g i e s may be imp l e m e n t e d by t h e use of p o s i t i v e o r n e g a t i v e i n d u c e m e n t s . P o s i t i v e i n d u c e m e n t s a r e t h o s e w h i c h a r e i n t h e n a t u r e o f a q u i d p r o quo. I n o t h e r words, t h e downstream c o u n t r y may o f f e r t h e u p s t r e a m c o u n t r y s o m e t h i n g i t wants i n exchange f o r a s o l u t i o n t o t h e r i p a r i a n d i s p u t e . N e g a t i v e i n d u c e m e n t s a r e t h o s e w h i c h w h i c h i n v o l v e r e t a l i a t o r y m e a sures and may i n c l u d e i n t e r v e n t i o n by a s t r o n g e r t h i r d p a r t y i n t o t h e d i s p u t e a t t h e b e h e s t o f t h e s u b o r d i n a t e / d o w n s t r e a m c o u n t r y . The f o l l o w i n g t a b l e l i s t s p r o b a b l e s t r a t e g i e s a s u b o r d i n a t e / d o w n s t r e a m c o u n t r y may a d o p t i n an u p s t r e a m -downstream c o n f l i c t w i t h a p r e p o n d e r a n t n e i g h b o u r . UPSTREAM-DOWNSTREAM CONFLICTS C o o p e r a t i v e S t r a t e g i e s P r e - n e g o t i a t i o n S t a g e 1 . f o r m a l p r o t e s t 2.exchange of d i p l o m a t i c n o t e s N e g o t i a t i o n S t a g e 3 . t a l k s between l e a d e r s 4. j o i n t s u r v e y 5. e x c h a n g e of t e c h n i c a l d a t a 6. p e r s u a d e t h e u p s t r e a m s t a t e t h a t s o l u t i o n i s b e n e f i c i a l f o r l o n g e r t e r m 3 5 C o e r c i v e S t r a t e g i e s I n t r a - i s s u e 7 . p r e s s u r e t o u p g r a d e t a l k s ( i s s u e - a r e a i s o l a t i o n ) 8 . r e t a l i a t i o n ( p r o j e c t h a r m f u l t o u p s t r e a m c o u n t r y P r e s s u r e 9 . i n t e r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n ( r e g i o n a l o r g a n i s a t i o n , U.N., I C J , e t c . ) 10. m u ster s u p p o r t f r o m o t h e r powers ( r e g i o n a l , i n t e r n a t i o n a l ) 11. m o b i l i z e d o m e s t i c and i n t e r n a t i o n a l p u b l i c o p i n i o n E x t r a - i s s u e ( i s s u e - a r e a l i n k a g e ) 1 2 . P o s i t i v e and n e g a t i v e economic s a n c t i o n s B e f o r e a n a l y s i n g t h e s e s t r a t e g i e s , i t would be w o r t h w h i l e t o remember t h a t w h i l e a l l t h e s e s t r a t e g i e s c a n be us e d by t h e s u b o r d i n a t e / d o w n s t r e a m c o u n t r y d u r i n g t h e c o u r s e of t h e d i s p u t e i n d i v i d u a l l y o r i n c e r t a i n c o m b i n a t i o n s , t h e s u c c e s s or f a i l u r e o f t h e i r a c h i e v i n g t h e o b j e c t i v e depends on t h e s t a t e o f r e l a t i o n s between t h e c o - r i p a r i a n s . F o r i n s t a n c e , when t h e r e i s a c l i m a t e of c o n f i d e n c e i n b i l a t e r a l r e l a t i o n s , c o o p e r a t i v e s t r a t e g i e s i n c l u d i n g economic t r a d e o f f s may a c h i e v e an o p t i m a l s o l u t i o n t o t h e d i s p u t e . When, f o r some r e a s o n , r e l a t i o n s a r e c h a r a c t e r i s e d by m u t u a l s u s p i c i o n and h o s t i l t i t y , c o e r c i v e s t r a t e g i e s have a b e t t e r c h a n c e o f s u c c e e d i n g . S i n c e l o d g i n g f o r m a l c o m p l a i n t s and exchange o f d i p l o m a t i c 36 notes have already been discussed, we w i l l start with the t h i r d strategy on our l i s t . A. COOPERATIVE STRATEGIES 3) It i s always always f r u i t f u l for leaders of two states to hold formal or informal talks over a wide range of b i l a t e r a l issues. If the leader of the subordinate/downstream country were to hold talks with his counterpart in the superordinate/upstream country, the river dispute could be treated as one of many "problems." Besides, where there i s a strong commitment by the national leadership to cooperate, the negotiators w i l l have the authority to make compromises necessary to reach agreement, or at least to develop a f l e x i b l e bargaining s t r a t e g y . 2 9 In 1972, President Echeverra's (of Mexico) state v i s i t to Washington and talks with Nixon broke the deadlock on the Colorado s a l i n i t y i s s u e . 3 0 It must be remembered, however, that a breakthrough in negotiations i s possible only when the ri v e r project i s of low or mid-level p r i o r i t y to the superordinate/upstream state. For instance, when President Ayub (of Pakistan) and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru (of India) decided to speed up negotiations over the Farakka Barrage dispute by promoting talks to the ministers' l e v e l , Indian engineers and West Bengal p o l i t i c i a n s to whom the project had a high p r i o r i t y prevented discourse between ministers from both countries for ten y e a r s . 3 1 4) The subordinate/downstream country may suggest joint survey of the international r i v e r in order to ensure e f f i c i e n t joint management of the region's water resources. This constitutes 3 7 the o v e r a l l strategy of the downstream country to create a joint body to ensure equitable d i s t r i b u t i o n of benefits from common r i v e r s . In the Canadian-American case, the International Joint Commission was set up in 1909 under the Canada-United States Boundary Waters T r e a t y . 3 2 Its functions are to approve or reject projects that w i l l a f f e c t the natural l e v e l of boundary waters at the border and, at the request of the two national governments, to conduct investigations that w i l l recommend solutions to water resource and other boundary problems. However, the creation of a joint body does not necessarily ensure smooth negotiation or even proper technical evaluation of available data. In a h o s t i l e s i t u a t i o n , i t i s more l i k e l y that even i f such a jo i n t body were created, representatives of either side would r e f l e c t the opinion of their respective governments. The creation of a joint body, however, is helpful inasmuch as i t lends an i n s t i t u t i o n a l outlook to resolving a riparian dispute. 5) The subordinate/downstream country may offer to exchange technical data pertaining to the p a r t i c u l a r riparian dispute. This i t may do on i t s own i n i t i a t i v e or in response to the superordinate/upstream state's request. An offer to exchange technical data constitutes the downstream state's strategy to continue negotiations on the one hand, and also to dispose of technical problems in an e f f o r t to seek a p o l i t i c a l solution on the other. Most international river disputes are s e t t l e d after years and even decades of n e g o t i a t i o n . 3 3 The delay i s primarily caused by the massive amount of technical data that have to be 38 c o l l e c t e d , produced, scrutinized and evaluated before a solution can be reached. The exchange of technical data, however, can be turned into a double-edged weapon by the superordinate/upstream state i f i t so chooses. Sometimes c o n f l i c t i n g data produced by the two sides can create a deadlock in negotiations. If the upstream country decides to procrastinate, there is a good chance that i t w i l l demand more and more "relevant" data from the downstream state. 6) The subordinate/downstream country may appeal to the upstream country saying that resolving the riparian dispute w i l l in fact be in the long-range interest of the superordinate/upstream country. In many asymmetric dyadic relations around the world, the population in the subordinate/downstream state is in a less favourable economic sit u a t i o n compared with that of the superordinate/upstream country. If these countries are neighbours, as is the case with, say, Mexico and the United States, then people in the subordinate counry l i v i n g near the border of the superordinate country, may be tempted to move to the country of greater economic opportunity. The upstream country o r d i n a r i l y does not want to take in additional population or cope with i l l e g a l immigration. The influx of people could create economic as well as p o l i t i c a l problems for the superordinate country. The negotiators from the downstream country may convince the government of the upstream country that i t s u n i l a t e r a l action on the international r i v e r could only worsen the economic situation in the downstream country. 39 Therefore, an equitable and immediate solution to the problem would also be to the advantage of the upstream country in the long term. 3" B. COERCIVE STRATEGIES This category of strategies may be applied by the subordinate/downstream state within the issue area i t s e l f or outside the issue area. In the case of two states which have a t r a d i t i o n of easy communication, quid pro quo within the issue area is more common whereas between two states where relations are strained extra-issue or issue-area linkage i s practised more often. 3 5 Intra-issue linkage 7) The subordinate/downstream state may put pressure on the superordinate/upstream state to upgrade talks from the l e v e l of bureaucrats to the l e v e l of p o l i t i c a l decision-makers. In order to do this the downstream country may arrange a talk between the leaders of the co-riparian states or may even have to concede some points in i t s negotiations with the upstream state. For instance, i f they are negotiating quantities of flow of an international r i v e r , the downstream country may have to accept a quantity less than the amount i t had o r i g i n a l l y demanded. In the interest of a quick solution which can be found only at the p o l i t i c a l l e v e l , however, t h i s concession i s very minor. 8) The subordinate/downstream state may sometimes go ahead with a project of i t s own with the intent of putting pressure on the upstream state. This of course depends on the two countries and the topography of their t e r r a i n . For instance, i f the 40 downstream country were in a position to b u i l d a reservoir to store the waters of the international river in question and release i t in such a manner as to cause harm to crops by flooding areas upstream, the upstream country might be persuaded to s e t t l e the o r i g i n a l dispute. The reaction of the upstream country w i l l depend on the technical f e a s i b i l i t y of such a project and i t s perception of the determination of the downstream country to see the project through. 9) The subordinate/downstream country may threaten the upstream country by declaring i t s intention to s e t t l e the dispute through a r b i t r a t i o n . Although both parties have to agree to submit to a r b i t r a t i o n , the upstream country may be persuaded to make progress in b i l a t e r a l negotiations once the downstream country raises the question of a r b i t r a t i o n . In a dyadic situation where mutual suspicion and h o s t i l i t y reign supreme, a r b i t r a t i o n may provide a f r u i t f u l method of resolving a riparian dispute. This was how India and Pakistan signed the Indus Waters Treaty in I960. 3 6 10) The downstream country may p o l i t i c i z e the river dispute domestically and create unfavourable opinion against the government of the upstream country. In the interest of maintaining c o r d i a l b i l a t e r a l r e lations and also to preserve the image of a " f r i e n d l y " neighbour, the upstream country may be persuaded to s e t t l e the riparian dispute. However, i f the river project i s of top p r i o r i t y to the upstream country this strategy is l i k e l y to f a i l . 11) The downstream country may create unfavourable opinion 41 i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y against the upstream country by portraying the l a t t e r ' s u n i l a t e r a l action on the international r i v e r as unethical, i l l e g a l and a v i o l a t i o n of human r i g h t s . This can be done by i n t e r n a t i o n a l i z i n g the issue. This, however, is easier said than done. The bringing up of an issue of t h i s type in the General Assembly of the United Nations, for example, involves a long and tedious process of lobbying through several subcommittees. The downstream country can expect to come up against opposition from representatives of the upstream state at a l l stages of i n t e r n a t i o n a l i z i n g the issue. Because of t h i s , the downstream state can never be e n t i r e l y sure of the wording of the f i n a l resolution in the General Assembly even i f the issue comes to a vote. Once i t comes to a vote, i t i s quite possible that a s i g n i f i c a n t number of states may decide to remain uncommitted. These states may not want to antagonize the superordinate. state for a number of reasons. F i r s t , they may sincerely believe that an international r i p a r i a n dispute i s e s s e n t i a l l y a b i l a t e r a l issue and should therefore be resolved through b i l a t e r a l negotiation. Second, by voting in favour of the downstream country they might antagonize the upstream state with which they may have economic and/or p o l i t i c a l r e l a t i o n s . Third, some of these countries may have similar problems with their neighbours where their own positions are equivalent to the superordinate/upstream country. These states do not want, by taking sides in the dispute, to create an international precedent which might la t e r c o n f l i c t with their i n t e r e s t s . And f i n a l l y , i t must be kept in mind that any international 42 organisation operates not on the basis of equality but on the basis of the power wielded by member s t a t e s . 3 7 A l l these factors may combine in favour of the upstream state when the issue i s internationalized. There i s additional problem with i n t e r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n . In the unlikely event that the downstream country gets a favourable vote, most U.N. General Assembly resolutions of this nature are recommendatory rather than obligatory. Therefore, i t i s very l i k e l y that the downstream country may find i t s e l f in the unenviable position of having to resume negotiations with the upstream state after spending months of hard work and money in i t s e f f o r t s to internationalize the issue. Internationalization, therefore, i s a strategy which a downstream state employs in desperation. When there i s no tangible progress in b i l a t e r a l negotiations and the upstream state takes a non-compromising stand, inte r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n may be the only way to break the deadlock. Through int e r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n , the rip a r i a n dispute becomes publicized and may cause some embarrassment to the superordinate/upstream country. For fear of tarnishing i t s international image, the superordinate/upstream country may decide to agree to an optimal solution to the international riv e r dispute. 12) The subordinate/downstream state may also put pressure on the government of the upstream state by approaching the leader of the l a t t e r state through the superpowers. Although there is very l i t t l e p r o bability of the superpowers doing anything on an o f f i c i a l l e v e l , they may informally request the leader of the 4 3 superordinate/downstream country to se t t l e the riparian dispute equitably. The subordinate/downstream state may also put pressure on the superordinate/upstream state by approaching other co-basin states in the region. The superordinate/upstream state may feel threatened i f a l l the states in the region could a l i g n themselves in a formal or even informal organisation. Bangladesh's proposal to create the South Asian Regional Cooperation (SARC), a regional organisation of a l l the states of South Asia, for instance, was viewed as a threat to i t s predominance by India although i t was to be an important member.3 8 The above-mentioned strategies may be used i n d i v i d u a l l y or in combination with others by the subordinate/downstream state to achieve an equitable or at least optimal solution to the ripa r i a n dispute. It must be remembered, however, that the ove r a l l inequality in the relations between the superordinate/upstream country and the subordinate/downstream country precludes the downstream country from pursuing many courses of action. Although the aforementioned strategies may a l l be pursued by the subordinate/downstream country during the dif f e r e n t stages of an upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t , there are times when a part i c u l a r strategy i s the only course of action which i t can pursue. For instance, when there i s no progress in b i l a t e r a l negotiation, in t e r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n may be the only course open to the subordinate country despite the fact that t h i s strategy does not bring about an immediate solution. Also, relations between co-riparians may vary during the course of the 44 dispute for d i f f e r e n t reasons and some strategies may prove useful during pa r t i c u l a r periods and f u t i l e at other times. Therefore, although these strategies are options open to the downstream state for application against a superordinate/upstream country in an upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t , the success or f a i l u r e of each alone or in combination with others depends on the relations between the two states and the p r i o r i t y the superordinate/upstream country places on the river project. The higher the p r i o r i t y placed by the superordinate/upstream country, the more po s i t i v e and/or negative inducements i t has to be offered by the subordinate/downstream country in order to agree to a settlement. The foregoing approach to understanding superordinate/upstream versus subordinate/downstream riparian disputes w i l l now be applied in trying to analyse the negotiating process which was i n i t i a t e d over the Farakka Barrage dispute between India and Bangladesh. The India-Bangladesh dyad is a useful example of two countries in a structural asymmetrical relationship. Negotiators representing Bangladesh (and their Pakistani predecessors before 1971) have time and again been thwarted in their e f f o r t s to persuade India to reach an equitable solution. However, when an interim treaty was signed in 1977 between the governments of India and Bangladesh, there was speculation from neutral quarters that the problem had been f i n a l l y resolved. This was unfortunately not to be because as soon as the treaty expired in November, 1982, a Memorandum of 45 Understanding extended the previous treaty for another two years in the absence of a comprehensive settlement. 3 9 Our task is to explain both the achievement and tenuousness of this agreement and analyse the factors which are obstructing a permanent and equitable solution. We w i l l also analyse the actions taken by Bangladesh in the context of the framework l a i d down in t h i s chapter and speculate on the p o s s i b i l i t y of a permanent and equitable solution with India over sharing of the Ganges waters. 46 NOTES 1. David G. LeMarquand, International Rivers: The P o l i t i c s of  Cooperation, (Vancouver: Westwater Research Centre, 1 977) , p. 1 . 2. Ibid. 3. Ibid. LeMarquand presents an analytic framework and discusses four case studies using his framework to explain each case. The four case studies are : a. The Colorado sa l i n a t i o n problem between the United States and Mexico. b. The Columbia River Treaty signed between the United States and Canada. c. The Skagit Valley and Ross Dam issue between the United States and Canada. d. The Rhine River p o l l u t i o n problem between Switzerland, West Germany, and the Netherlands. 4. Ibid • i p.8. 5. Ibid • t p. 1 0. 6. Ibid • / pp.15-20. 7. Ibid • i pp.12-15. 8. Ibid • i p. 1 9. 9. Ibid • / p. 1 0. 10. K. Analysi s J. H o l s t i 3d. ed., , International P o l i t i c s : A Framework for (Englewood C l i f f s , New Jersey: Prentice-H a l l , Inc., 1977), p.165. 11. Michael P. Sullivan, International Relations: Theories and  Evidence , (Englewood-Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1976), p.159. 12. Hans J. Morgenthau, P o l i t i c s Among Nations: The Struggle  for Power and Peace , 3d. ed., (New York: Al f r e d Knopf, 1965), p.131 . 13. Sullivan, op. c i t ., p.163. 14. Robert 0. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye, Power and  Interdependence: World P o l i t i c s in Transition , (Boston: L i t t l e Brown and Company, 1977). 15. Michael B. Dolan, Brian W. Tomlin, and Harald von Reikhogff, "Integration and Autonomy in Canada-United States Relations, 1963-1972," in Canadian Journal of P o l i t i c a l Science, June 1982, XV:2, pp.331-363. 47 16. Ibid ., pp.332-333. 17. Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English  Language, Unabridged edition, p.2256. 18. Ibid. 19. The best example of an armed c o n f l i c t over an international rive r was the 1967 Middle East war between Israel and Jordan. Although, the war ostensibly occurred over the waters of the River Jordan, i t is clear that there were other basic p o l i t i c a l and r e l i g i o u s reasons. This establishes the c o r r e l a t i o n between the l e v e l of h o s t i l i t y between two states and the chances of armed c o n f l i c t . Hence, as a rule war does not take place between two states over r i p a r i a n r i g h t s . 20. H o l s t i , op. c i t . , pp. 148-151. H o l s t i states that these objectives are generally concerned with s a t i s f y i n g domestic, s o c i a l , and economic demands through international agreements or by maintaining amicable relations with neighbouring countries. 21. Keohane and Nye, op. c i t . , p. 53. 22. J.D. Chapman (ed.), The International River Basin, (Vancouver: University of B r i t i s h Columbia Publications Centre, 1963), pp. 35-36. The Indus Waters Treaty was signed between India and Pakistan in September 1960. The treaty could be negotiated only because both sides agreed to World Bank mediation and intervention. 23. International Law Association. Helsinki Rules on the Uses  of the Waters of International Rivers, (London: The International Law Association, 1966), pp. 8-11. The Helsinki Rules authored by the International Law Association (I LA) in 1966, provide the most important and widely accepted legal guidelines for use in s e t t l i n g international r i v e r disputes. While the Helsinki Rules do not have the force of international law, they have been both applied and c i t e d in international and interstate r i v e r disputes The central underlying p r i n c i p l e i s that each basin state is e n t i t l e d within i t s t e r r i t o r y , to a reasonable and equitable share in the b e n e f i c i a l uses of the waters of an international drainage basin. The downstream country usually finds the "equitable and reasonable" clause of the Helsinki Rules favouring i t s stand on an international r i v e r . 24. F.J. Berber, Rivers in International Law, (New York: Oceania Publications Inc., 1 959) , pp. 14-19. It i s interesting to note that amongst the innumerable volumes on norms and precedents on international r i v e r disputes, there i s almost always a norm or precedent which supports a p a r t i c u l a r state's position in a s p e c i f i c dispute. For instance, in d i r e c t opposition to the Helsinki Rules' "equitable and reasonable apportionment" stands the p r i n c i p l e of "absolute sovereignty" or 48 " f i r s t p r i n c i p l e . " This p r i n c i p l e was f i r s t espoused by American Attorney-General Harmon in 1895 in connection with the dispute with Mexico over the u t i l i s a t i o n of the Rio Grande. Harmon ruled that the U.S. could do whatever i t wanted with the waters of the Rio Grande within U.S. t e r r i t o r y regardless of any possible i l l - e f f e c t s the U.S. action might have on Mexico. The Harmon Doctrine, therefore, supports the upstream country's position in an upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t although in recent times, t h i s rule i s hardly c i t e d by any riparian nation because of i t s i m p e r i a l i s t i c connotation. 25. Jack C. Piano and Roy Olton, The International Relations  Diet ionary, (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc . , 1969), p.218. 26. LeMarquand, op. c i t . , p. 12. 27. Ibid. , p. 13. 28. K.J. H o l s t i and T.A. Levy, " B i l a t e r a l I n stitutions and Transgovernmental Relations between Canada and the United States," in International Organization, 28:4 (1974): 875-901. 29. LeMarquand, op. c i t . , p. 17. 30. Ibid. 31. See Chapter III of t h i s thesis. 32. LeMarquand, op. c i t . , p. 56. 33. The Columbia River Treaty signed between the United States and Canada in 1961 was preceded by more than twenty years of negotiation. The f i v e - year Ganges Waters Treaty signed between India and Bangladesh in November 1977 was preceded by twenty-fi v e years of negotiation and bargaining. 34. K.J. H o l s t i , "Canada and the United States," in Steven L. Spiegel and Kenneth N. Waltz (eds.), C o n f l i c t in World P o l i t i c s , (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Winthrop Publishers Inc., 1971), pT 384. Taking the Canadian-American s i t u a t i o n , H o l s t i maintains that Canadian negotiators frequently emphasise the nature of the Americans' own long-range in t e r e s t s . They appeal to the oppositions' s e l f - i n t e r e s t , but from a time perspective that may be d i f f e r e n t from that of American negotiators. In an upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t , negotiators from the subordinate/downstream country may try a similar bargaining ploy. 35. H o l s t i and Levy, op. c i t . , pp. 875-901. 36. See footnote no. 24. 37. Mark W. Zacher, International C o n f l i c t s and C o l l e c t i v e  Security, 1946-1977 , (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1979). 49 Zacher makes the point that the United Nations i s an i n s t i t u t i o n a l i s e d representation of the world's power brokers and not a global police station as i s commonly supposed. In t h i s sense, therefore, powerful countries hold more sway even in the General Assembly. 38. The concept of South Asian Regional Cooperation was f i r s t proposed in May 1980 by President Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh. It is interesting to note that the idea was floated when Mrs. Gandhi's government threatened to scrap the November 1977 Ganges Waters Treaty. See, Rajendra Sareen, "South Asian Regional Cooperation," in Indian and Foreign Review, 20:20 (August 1-14) pp. 12-15. 39. The Memorandum of Understanding was drawn up c o l l e c t i v e l y by the foreign ministers of Bangladesh and India during Gen. Ershad's v i s i t to new Delhi at the beginning of October, 1982. Although this Memorandum has been c a l l e d a two year extension of the 1977 Treaty, a few important modifications have been made in some of the provisions and the revised version tends to favour India. This would indicate that the problem of water sharing, far from being resolved, is s t i l l very much a disputed issue. 50 I I I . THE NEGOTIATIONS OVER FARAKKA The Farakka Barrage dispute has a thirty-three year history highlighted by over t h i r t y o f f i c i a l b i l a t e r a l meetings since 1960. Negotiations over Farakka can be divided into four d i s t i n c t stages. The f i r s t stage began with Pakistan's protest to the Indian government about the alleged construction of a massive dam across the Ganges, which was reported in the Indian press in 1951, and ended in 1960 when the path was cleared for the f i r s t meeting of technical experts from both countries. The second stage began with the experts' meeting in June 1960 and continued u n t i l the independence of Bangladesh in December 1971. The t h i r d stage spanned about six years beginning with the creation of Bangladesh and lasted u n t i l the signing of the interim treaty in November, 1977 between the Indian and Bangladesh governments. The fourth stage started when negotiators from both sides sat down to redefine the concept of "equitable apportionment" since the 1977 treaty aroused considerable c r i t i c i s m from cert a i n quarters both in Bangladesh and India. Current negotiations over the Farakka issue can also be included in the fourth stage for two important reasons: f i r s t , the 1977 treaty over Farakka was renewed for a period of two years in November 1982, without any important changes having been made; and second, the substance of negotiations s t i l l revolves around the problem of equitable sharing. The fourth stage of negotiations also deals with the larger question of augmentation of the dry season flow of the Ganges. Division of the Farakka negotiations i s not merely an 51 attempt at maintaining chronological order. It shows that during each of these stages negotiators on either side had a d i f f e r e n t order of p r i o r i t i e s — p r i o r i t i e s which were often in sharp c o n f l i c t with those of the other side. A. THE FIRST STAGE: A BARRAGE ACROSS THE GANGES? It is debatable whether or not the exchange of diplomatic notes and l e t t e r s between the governments of India and Pakistan regarding India's plans to construct a barrage across the Ganges qua l i f y as negotiations. There are certain reasons, however, which suggest that the 1951-60 period was the f i r s t stage of negotiations between Pakistan and India over the Farakka Barrage issue. F i r s t , these diplomatic exchanges paved the way for more "meaningful" negotiations between the two countries in the succeeding stages. Second, i t was during t h i s period that the two governments recognised there was a dispute which had to be resolved before the actual construction of the Farakka project could begin. Third, i t was during the 1951-60 period that the Pakistan government suggested a r b i t r a t i o n by a t h i r d party in order to reach a solution. In fact, the 1951-60 period can be c a l l e d the primary stage of the dispute as Pakistan, being the lower r i p a r i a n , managed to persuade India that there was indeed a problem. In 1951 the f i r s t news of India's plans to construct a barrage on the Ganges at Farakka, eleven miles upstream from i t s point of entry into East Pakistan, came to Pakistan's notice through Indian press reports. In a note dated October 19, 1951 Pakistan expressed concern and pointed out that i t should be 52 consulted before any schemes l i k e l y to prejudice i t s v i t a l interests were put into operation. The Indian government replied on May 8, 1952 pointing out that the Ganges Barrage project was only at a preliminary stage and therefore the Pakistan government's fears were "purely hypothetical." The note also suggested cooperation. Pakistan wrote another note to the Indian government in 1952 but this was not replied to u n t i l May 22, 1953. In t h i s reply India repeated the d e s i r a b i l i t y of cooperation adding that the "cooperation would have to be r e c i p r o c a l . " This was a request for information on Pakistan's Ganges-Kobadak i r r i g a t i o n p r o j e c t , 1 a project which would suffer from Farakka water diversion but which, could not influence conditions in India because i t was downstream from India and incapable of causing changes upstream. In 1954, Pakistan furnished India with some d e t a i l s of the Ganges-Kobadak project but no similar information was forthcoming from India on the proposed Farakka Barrage. Instead India merely suggested cooperative steps toward flood control in the Ganges and Brahmaputra basins. In May 1955, the Pakistan government took up t h i s suggestion by proposing a joint survey of the upper reaches of these two r i v e r s . India's reply in February, 1956 advised Pakistan to set up a flood control commission on the model of those set up by India. 2 In 1957, the Pakistan government, frustrated by India's delaying t a c t i c s , proposed a r b i t r a t i o n of the dispute. The s p e c i f i c proposals of the Pakistan government were: 1) A United Nations technical program should be 53 requested to a s s i s t in the development i n the eastern r i v e r system; 2) the p r o j e c t s i n both c o u n t r i e s should be examined j o i n t l y by experts from both c o u n t r i e s before implementation; and 3) the U.N. S e c r e t a r y General should be requested to appoint an engineer to p a r t i c i p a t e i n exp e r t s ' meetings. 3 The P a k i s t a n government's suggestion of i n v o l v i n g the United Nations in the matter hastened the onset of a c t u a l n e g o t i a t i o n s . Although I n d i a r e j e c t e d the s p e c i f i c p r o p o sals put forward by P a k i s t a n , the Indian government r e l u c t a n t l y agreed to a l i m i t e d exchange of t e c h n i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n thereby s e t t i n g the stage f o r a c t u a l n e g o t i a t i o n s in the f u t u r e . In l i n e with t h i s , the Nehru government o f f i c i a l l y n o t i f i e d the Indian parliament of i t s i n t e n t i o n to hol d b i l a t e r a l meetings of a t e c h n i c a l nature with P a k i s t a n . " The f i r s t stage of n e g o t i a t i o n s over Farakka, t h e r e f o r e , was l i m i t e d to the exchange of d i p l o m a t i c notes between the two c o u n t r i e s . While the notes sent by Pak i s t a n r e f l e c t e d some urgency, Indian r e a c t i o n was slow and even r e l u c t a n t . I n d i a f i n a l l y agreed to exchange a l i m i t e d amount of t e c h n i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n but t h i s o c c u r r e d only a f t e r the P a k i s t a n government informed the Indian government of i t s plans to request a United Nations t e c h n i c a l programme to a s s i s t i n the development of the eastern r i v e r system. 54 B. THE SECOND STAGE: NEGOTIATIONS OR DELAYING TACTICS? The f i r s t meeting of technical experts of both countries took place from June 28 to July 3, 1960 at New Delhi. During t h i s meeting India did not supply any information related to the Farakka project; i t supplied only a note on the Teesta project, a barrage to be b u i l t across the Teesta River in the north of West Bengal. The second meeting of technical experts took place at Dhaka between October 1 and 3, 1963 and i t was at t h i s meeting that a "project report for the preservation of the port of Calcutta" was provided for the perusal of the Pakistan government by experts from India. India also provided a record of the Ganges' flows between. 1948 and 1960 and additional information on the Teesta. The t h i r d meeting of experts was also confined to an exchange of data. 5 The fourth meeting of technical experts which took place at Dhaka between December 27, 1961 and January 8, 1962 was "successful" in that both sides expressed the view that considerable progress had been made in the exchange of data. 6 At t h i s point the Indians demanded more data but since most of these were considered irrelevant by Pakistan, the smooth operation of meetings between experts was considerably hindered. By 1963 the Pakistan side requested a f i n a l meeting but when no reply was forthcoming, a reminder was sent by diplomatic note to the Indian government in May, 1965. India eventually re p l i e d in August 1965 agreeing to a fourth meeting of experts. This meeting, however, could not take place before May, 1968 because 55 war had broken out between India and Pakistan in September 1965 and i t took three years for normal diplomatic relations between these countries to be restored. The f i f t h (and as i t turned out, f i n a l ) meeting of technical experts from both countries took place in May, 1968. The two sides could not reach any agreement with the Indian side demanding more technical information and the Pakistan side accusing the Indians of unnecessarily delaying the proceedings. Helmut Kulz describes the atmosphere which pervaded this meeting: . . . i t i s not surprising, after a l l these delays, that the l a s t meeting showed wide divergence of views between the two delegations on almost a l l issues. While the Indian delegation i n s i s t e d on further meetings to exchange data, the Pakistan delegation maintained that enough data had been exchanged and that the problem required immediate tackling at the p o l i t i c a l l e v e l to achieve a solution of the problem acceptable to both countries i f necessary through the mediation of a t h i r d party. 7 The f i v e meetings of technical experts represented an "upgrading" of the talks over the Farakka issue by the Indian government. Though the Pakistan governments wanted to force the issue and "promote" talks to the p o l i t i c a l l e v e l , the Indian side resisted as long as they could. Most observers--both neutral and those from Pakistan-- have suggested that the real reason behind India's reluctance to discuss the issue at the p o l i t i c a l l e v e l was the d i r e c t result of a policy of p r o c r a s t i n a t i o n . 8 The Indian government wanted meaningful negotiation to occur only after the Farakka Barrage was 5 6 completed and operational. This stage of negotiations was also characterized by a conscious e f f o r t by the Pakistan government to discuss the Farakka issue at the p o l i t i c a l l e v e l with the Indian government. President Ayub Khan of Pakistan and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India were in London for the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' conference in March 1961. They met to discuss a number of topics including the Farakka project. Nehru described the discussion some months later in a speech to the Indian parliament. He said that he had suggested to Ayub Khan that the two countries should cooperate over the Farakka project. He also t o l d Ayub Khan: Let us do i t in such a way as to benefit each other... and l e t us decide this at m i n i s t e r i a l l e v e l . 9 He further recounted how they had agreed that there should be a meeting of ministers but that t h i s could only be f r u i t f u l i f the necessary technical data had f i r s t been gathered. Nehru went on to say: I hope that after the next meeting, which i s going to take place f a i r l y soon, both parties would be in possession of these facts. Then the time w i l l come, i f i t i s considered necessary, for ministers on both sides to meet and discuss, that is not to allow matters to be dealt with by o f f i c i a l s who cannot decide t h i n g s . 1 0 Nehru's promise to discuss the Farakka issue at the p o l i t i c a l l e v e l was taken up by Ayub Khan. He sent a l e t t e r to Nehru (dated March 27, 1961) attaching a tentative l i s t of 57 points for discussion at the m i n i s t e r i a l meeting, and a brief history of the case. In t h i s l e t t e r , Ayub Khan also expressed his desire that "such a meeting should be arranged e a r l y . " 1 1 Nehru's reply was somewhat tentative in the sense that i t expressed the hope that the f u l l exchange of data--also from Pakistan's side-- would be completed as soon as possible to "enable the ministers' l e v e l meeting to be held soon." To the East Pakistan Ganges-Kobadak project, a reservation was made that "Pakistan has been proceeding with i t s construction and increasing the scope of the project, without giving us the information, and without consulting us," thereby implying that the demands for t h i s project could not be taken into consideration by I n d i a . 1 2 Ayub Khan's reply (dated May 19, 1961) pointed out that the l i v e s of the people of East Pakistan would be jeopardized i f waters from the Ganges and Teesta rivers were disturbed in any way. He also stated that a m i n i s t e r i a l l e v e l meeting would be appropriate. Nehru's l e t t e r dated July 6, 1961 expressed doubts as to whether the necessary exchange of data would be completed by the fourth meeting of experts. The l e t t e r also made the following general remarks: One more matter to which I must also refer, is the d i s t i n c t i o n you s t i l l seem to make between the rights of the upper and lower riparian in paragraph 7 of your l e t t e r , which implies that the lower riparian can proceed u n i l a t e r a l l y with projects, while the upper riparian should not be free to do so. If t h i s was to be so, i t would enable the lower riparian to create, u n i l a t e r a l l y , h i s t o r i c rights in i t s favour and go on i n f l a t i n g them at i t s discretion thereby completely blocking a l l development and uses of the upper r i p a r i a n . We cannot, obviously accept t h i s point of view, esp e c i a l l y when three-fourths of the length of the Ganges l i e s in Indian t e r r i t o r y , which gives India 58 the p r i o r i t y of interest in th i s r i v e r . 1 3 It i s interesting to note that India had already started construction on the Farakka Barrage at the time these l e t t e r s were exchanged. Pakistan had lodged a formal protest with the Indian government against beginning the construction of the Farakka Barrage without previous agreement between the two countries. The protest was rejected by India in two separate notes dated June 20 and 29, 1961. 1" Understandably, there was no further direct correspondence between the two leaders. The Nehru-Ayub meeting of March 1961 was very important because i t was the only agreement between India and Pakistan concerning the Farakka Barrage, and i t set the pattern for the dispute throughout the 1960s u n t i l Bangladesh was formed in 1971. However, since there was no written agreement,, within a few months of the understanding being reached, there was disagreement over i t s interpretation. This is c l e a r l y i l l u s t r a t e d by the correspondence between the two leaders. In an e f f o r t to reach a solution and r e a l i s i n g that the technical exchanges with India were going nowhere, the Pakistan government decided to internationalize the issue. This course of action was f i r s t made public by Pakistan's foreign minister before the press in Dhaka on December 14, 1967 after he had completed touring the region threatened by the Farakka Barrage. 1 5 The foreign minister stated that "the Farakka Barrage threatens the entire ecological pattern of the delta region of East Pakistan" and that for Pakistan, "the question assumes an 59 importance which transcends purely economic considerations;" Pakistan would approach "the international agencies concerned, i f her e f f o r t s to solve the problem through negotiations did not y i e l d any r e s u l t s within a reasonable time." 1 6 As part of their campaign to bring up the Farakka Barrage issue in the United Nations, the Pakistan government informed the superpowers of the dispute and apparently obtained some support from the Soviet Union. Mr. Kosygin despatched a l e t t e r to Indira Gandhi, who became prime minister in 1966, urging a solution along the l i n e s of the Indus Waters T r e a t y . 1 7 India also p u b l i c l y rejected an offer from the World Bank that i t play a mediatory and c o n c i l i a t o r y role similar to the one i t had played in the negotiations leading up to the Indus Waters T r e a t y . 1 8 However, the foreign minister of Pakistan, Arshad Hussein, raised the question with the World Bank's president while he was. v i s i t i n g the United States to attend the U.N. meetings. A number of conversations were held between the Bank and Hussein, on the one hand, and the Bank and Morarji Desai, then India's foreign minister, on the other. Desai apparently told the Bank that India would be w i l l i n g to consider mediation by the World Bank. 1 9 Nothing further was heard of the proposal. In an interview with Ben Crow, Hussein apparently expressed the feeling that had Ayub not f a l l e n in 1969, the Bank's proposal could probably have been pursued. 2 0 India's actions during t h i s stage of negotiations c e r t a i n l y r e f l e c t t y p i c a l upstream country behaviour where there i s no economic incentive to cooperate with the downstream country and 60 the downstream country holds no reciprocal power over the upstream country. 2 1 To redress the imbalance, however, the Pakistan government followed a r e t a l i a t o r y strategy for a short time. This strategy was neither well planned nor f i n a n c i a l l y feasible at the time. However, the mere mention of i t seemed to make an impression on Indian policy makers. Pakistan's threat to r e t a l i a t e came in the form of plans to construct a barrage on the Ganges downstream of the Farakka Barrage. Work on t h i s project was never started although several consultants' reports had been discussed in several meetings of the two governments. 2 2 The proposed barrage, known simply as the Ganges Barrage, would have been b u i l t in the v i c i n i t y of Hardinge Bridge, in East Pakistan, probably at the off-take of the Gorai-Madhumati River. Its ostensible purpose was to i r r i g a t e huge areas in the west and southwest of East Pakistan. The barrage was also intended to store water for dry season use. The reservoir would have extended into India, almost c e r t a i n l y as far upstream as the Farakka Barrage. This reservoir could have flooded certain areas in India. Understandably, India reacted to t h i s project proposal with a strong protest. K.L. Rao, Indian minister of i r r i g a t i o n and •power, had these comments to make to the Lok Sabha about the project: If (the project is) executed ( i t ) w i l l cause harm to large tracts of t e r r i t o r y belonging to India by way of submersion and erosion, etc. The Government of India have lodged a strong protest with the Government of Pakistan and have urged that no construction should be undertaken on (the) Padma which may injure the upstream area of I n d i a . 2 3 61 There was a subtle irony embedded in Pakistan's proposal. The height of the Ganges Barrage would depend on how much water India agreed to release at Farakka. If India agreed to release very l i t t l e , then the Ganges Barrage would have to store more water, and t h i s might pose a threat to West Bengal in I n d i a . 2 4 Since no work was done on the project, the whole thing may have been planned by the Pakistan authorities merely as a bargaining t o o l . The 1968-71 period during t h i s stage of negotiations over the Farakka Barrage also witnessed an "upgrading" of the l e v e l of t a l k s . The l a s t f i v e meetings held during t h i s period were attended by secretaries (senior c i v i l servants) of the relevant ministries from both countries rather than by technical experts or engineers. In the f i r s t three meetings Pakistan pressed for substantive talks on the framework for a settlement regarding equitable sharing of Ganges waters between the two countries for which purpose adequate data were already available, and also to devise machinery for securing an adequate quantity of water. Pakistan wanted to evolve such a framework for consideration by the two governments at the p o l i t i c a l l e v e l . 2 5 India disagreed on the plea that the data available were s t i l l incomplete and inadequate. In the fourth meeting of secretaries held at Islamabad from February 24 to March 2, 1970 the Pakistan delegation recorded the f i n a l position taken regarding a l l the technical issues and pointed out the f u t i l i t y of further discussion of these issues except in the context of agreed a l l o c a t i o n of water from the 62 Ganges to East P a k i s t a n . 2 6 The f i f t h and last secretaries' meeting was held between July 16 and 21, 1970 in New Delhi. Pakistan's s p e c i f i c recommendations on this occasion were: 1) that the point of delivery of supply to Pakistan of such quantum of water as may be agreed upon w i l l be at Farakka; 2) that constitution of a body of one representative from each of the two countries for ensuring delivery of agreed supplies at Farbakka is acceptable in p r i n c i p l e ; and 3) that a meeting be held in three to six months' time at a l e v e l to be agreed upon by the two governments to consider the . quantity of water to be supplied to Pakistan at Farakka and other unresolved issues r e l a t i n g thereto and to eastern r i v e r s which have been the subject matter of discussion in these series of t a l k s . 2 7 Agreement on the "point of delivery" ended, presumably, the technical argument surrounding regeneration; agreement that the next meeting should discuss water sharing s i g n i f i e d the end of technical exchanges. This can be c a l l e d the turning point in the negotiations in the sense that what Nehru and Ayub had agreed to almost a decade previously was becoming a r e a l i t y . There was agreement in January 1971, at India's suggestion, that another meeting should be held. The new r i g i d i t y of Pakistan's position over the issue, which was published in a pamphlet t i t l e d India's Farakka Barrage and i t s Adverse Consequences on  East Pakistan, and the ensuing struggle for independence by the majority of Bengalees in East Pakistan on which the Indian and Pakistan governments took diametrically opposite stands, created an impasse in the t a l k s . 2 8 With the independence of Bangladesh 63 in December 1971, the onus of negotiating with India f e l l on the nascent Bangladesh government. Any discussion related to t h i s stage of the negotiations over Farakka would be incomplete i f no mention were made of the attempted intervention of the Pugwash movement into the dispute. During the Addis Abbaba conference of the Pugwash movement held in January 1966, the members discussed among other things, development problems in India and Pakistan. The Pugwash group resolved that some organisation, outside of both India and Pakistan, should ident i f y problems common to both nations on which they might work on a cooperative basis. Professor Roger Revelle, director of the Center for Population Studies at Harvard University, offered to provide the services of his research staff to write a prospectus for such a study. It was agreed that there was a need to look in some d e t a i l at the natural resource development of the basins of the Ganges and Brahmaputra r i v e r s . 2 9 Revelle was p a r t i c u l a r l y well q u a l i f i e d for the task because he had directed a large scale desalination programme in West P a k i s t a n . 3 0 The Pugwash i n i t i a t i v e seemed to make some headway i n i t i a l l y when both Ayub Khan of Pakistan and Indira Gandhi of India expressed enthusiasm, but met with a stumbling block when the Indian Prime Minister's o f f i c e refused to meet with the Pugwash team. No explanation for t h i s refusal was offered by the Indian government. However, the team did meet with Ayub Khan. Since preliminary studies of cooperative development of the 6 4 Ganges basin had already been completed, the group continued with a study of the Pakistan portion of the basin, with funding from the World Bank and other international agencies. From this study emerged a concept known as the "Ganges water machine," 3 1 proposal to use a massive system for increasing underground water storage in the Ganges basin and suggesting induced groundwater recharge as a solution. During the dry season, heavy pumping would lower the groundwater table and provide water for i r r i g a t i o n and other uses. In the wet season, various measures would increase the rate of percolation so that the flood waters could be used to recharge the underground reservoirs. By this means, the Harvard researchers estimated that nearly t h i r t y per cent of the annual general flow of the Ganges River could be stored, providing enough water for both India and East Pakistan. Such a proposal, therefore, undermined the basis of the entire Farakka Barrage dispute. This proposal was rejected by the Indian government. There were certa i n people in India, however, who believed that i t had some m e r i t . 3 2 One of the reasons forwarded by the Indian government as a j u s t i f i c a t i o n for i t s rejection was the dubious motives i t saw lying behind offers of massive foreign a i d . Another probable reason was the fact that the Farakka Barrage was almost completed and, at t h i s late stage, the Indian government was not interested in abandoning a project which had been so c a r e f u l l y conceived. 65 C. INDIAN OBSTINACY OR PAKISTANI WEAKNESS? Twenty years of negotiations over the Farakka issue showed no real progress toward a solution. After innumerable diplomatic notes and ten meetings (five at the technical experts' l e v e l and f i v e at the secretaries' l e v e l ) , the year 1971 saw the Farakka Barrage well on i t s way to completion. 3 3 During t h i s period, Indian negotiators took an obstinate stand that largely derived from their assertion that the Ganges was e s s e n t i a l l y an "Indian" rive r as opposed to an international one. Therefore, any "discussion" with Pakistan must be on India's terms. It is interesting to note that although Pakistan missed no opportunity to press for negotiations on the Farakka issue, Indian o f f i c i a l documents refer to these requests as " t a l k s . " Even Prime Minister Nehru, who had shown some in c l i n a t i o n to negotiate with the Pakistan government, was reported to have said at one time that "what India does with India's r i v e r s i s India's business." 3" Its basin includes parts of India, Nepal, Tibet, and Bangladesh. During t h i s stage of negotiations, the 1961 Nehru-Ayub agreement in London was the only discussion by p o l i t i c a l leaders on the topic. However, any j u b i l a t i o n the Pakistan government might have f e l t was short-lived. Soon after t h i s understanding was reached, not only was there disagreement as to i t s interpretation, but the Indian government also started construction on the Farakka Barrage without having reached any formal agreement with the Pakistan government. During the next few years no negotiations took place 66 between the two sides as relations between them deteriorated over many t e r r i t o r i a l i s s u e s . 3 5 In September 1965, war broke out between India and Pakistan and, although i t lasted only a few days, several years elapsed before normal diplomatic relations were restored. During t h i s i n t e r v a l , construction work on the Farakka Barrage continued at f u l l swing. In September 1968, the Pakistan government brought the issue to the General Assembly of the United Nations. Pakistan's position was supported by most members but no pressure was put on I n d i a . 3 6 As a r e s u l t , Pakistan went back to the negotiating table; only this time, the secretaries of both countries were present. This part of the negotiations represents an "upgrading" of talks by one more notch in the diplomatic ladder. There was no actual progress in negotiations, however, because the secretaries from either side r e f l e c t e d the opinions of the respective p o l i t i c a l leaders much as had their technical predecessors. Despite these constraints, some technical points were resolved but only because the negotiators from Pakistan agreed to some of the Indian demands. Whereas u n t i l 1962, Pakistan was trying to impress upon India that a barrage at Farakka would be damaging to the economy of East Pakistan and the general ecology of the area, from 1968 onwards they were negotiating percentages of t o t a l Ganges' flow. Throughout the 1960-1971 period, the Pakistan government employed several bargaining techniques, none of which, unfortunately, could e l i c i t any major concessions from India. F i r s t , Pakistan t r i e d to e l i c i t cooperation from India by 67 emphasising the legal rights of co-riparians whenever one country undertook a project l i k e l y to be p r e j u d i c i a l to the interests of the other. Second, when this t a c t i c got nowhere, Pakistan t r i e d to put p o l i t i c a l pressure on India by talking to Soviet and American l e a d e r s . 3 7 Third, keeping the option of b i l a t e r a l negotiations open, the Pakistan government brought up the issue in the General Assembly of the United Nations. Fourth, hoping to put dir e c t pressure on India, Pakistan raised the question of building a Ganges Barrage which, besides i r r i g a t i n g large parts of western and southwestern East Pakistan, would also have underground reservoirs that could flood parts of West Bengal in India. Why could Pakistan not prevent the- Indians from having their way on the Farakka issue? There are two l o g i c a l explanations. One i s that Pakistan did not care enough about i t s eastern wing and therefore did not advocate i t s position strongly. The other p o s s i b i l i t y seems to be that India, bent on completing the Farakka project, was only s t a l l i n g for time. The Awami League 3 8 tended to give credence to the f i r s t cause. In their election manifesto, they claimed that "the criminal neglect of e a r l i e r governments has allowed the Farakka Barrage to become a f a i t accompli. 3 9 While i t i s c e r t a i n l y true that the Farakka Barrage had become a f a i t accompli, i t i s very doubtful that the Pakistan government had allowed t h i s to happen by doing nothing about i t . The second possible explanation, that there was a deliberate policy of procrastination pursued by India, seems 68 closer to the truth. The constant and ever increasing delay in Indian answers to Pakistan's notes, the evasive nature of a l l Indian statements and the contradictions in some of i t s r e p l i e s to Pakistan, a l l strongly support the view that India's attitude and procedure had -from the beginning been calculated to gain time and establish a f a i t accompli with i t s Farakka project without openly repudiating the p r i n c i p l e of "cooperation."" 0 India's refusal to meet with the team from Harvard which had devised a technically sound way to undermine the basis of the dispute is also i l l u s t r a t i v e of the Indian government's actual intentions. D. THE THIRD STAGE: SOLUTION ON THE HORIZON? This stage of negotiations which started in the early months of 1972, soon after the independence of Bangladesh, and ended with the signing of a treaty over the sharing of the Ganges waters, d i f f e r e d from the two e a r l i e r stages in several respects. F i r s t , the conditions surrounding these negotiations were peaceful and there was no sense of the s t r a i n which had chasacterised negotiations between Pakistan and India. Second, as a dir e c t result of India's and Bangladesh's newly found friendship, negotiators on both sides were more tolerant of each other's views and were w i l l i n g to at least examine the proposals presented by the other side. Third, each, recognising the water needs of the other side, was w i l l i n g to create a joint body"1 which was charged with the task of chalking out an appropriate formula for sharing Ganges waters between the co-riparians. Despite a mutual recognition of each other's needs, 69 however, i t took India and Bangladesh almost six years to agree on a water sharing formula. The dispute, however, did not end with the signing of the November 1977 Treaty embodying such a formula. 4 2 No sooner had the treaty been signed than c r i t i c s from both sides of the border launched scathing verbal and e d i t o r i a l attacks aimed at the signatory governments. A brief history of the events leading up to the signing of the 1977 Treaty between Bangladesh and India w i l l enable us to understand the d i f f e r e n t forces which negotiators on both sides had to contend with before any sort of agreement could be reached. Discussions about outstanding b i l a t e r a l issues including the Farakka Barrage project started from early 1972 and continued for the next two years. Ministers came from India to meet their counterparts in Bangladesh and Bangladesh ministers returned their v i s i t s . B.M. Abbas 4 3 went to New Delhi in January 1972 to talk to K.L. Rao, Indian minister of i r r i g a t i o n and power. On January 24, Abbas told the press that suspicions which had previously hampered the negotiations between India and Pakistan were no longer t h e r e . 4 4 The prime ministers of the two now f r i e n d l y countries met in January, February, and March of 1972. The joint statement issued at the end of the February meeting said: The two Prime Ministers emphasized that the geography of the region provided a natural basis of cooperation...They discussed the problem of flood control, Farakka Barrage and other problems. 4 5 At the conclusion of the prime ministers' meeting in March the treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Peace was signed. This 70 treaty was to be v a l i d for twenty-five years, and s p e c i f i c a l l y included agreement to: make joint studies and take j o i n t action in the f i e l d s of flood control, river basin development, and the development of hydroelectric power and i r r i g a t i o n . " 6 In the discussion among o f f i c i a l s which took place simultaneously with the prime ministers' meetings, the decision was taken to e s t a b l i s h a Joint Rivers Commission."7 Within four months of the independence of Bangladesh, the co-riparian states agreed to e s t a b l i s h a joint body: so that the water resources of the region can be u t i l i s e d on an equitable basis for the mutual benefit of the peoples of the two countries.* 8 The Statute of the Joint Rivers Commission signed in November 1972, included the following provisions: A r t i c l e 4 (i) The Commission sh a l l have the following functions in p a r t i c u l a r : a) to maintain l i a i s o n between the p a r t i c i p a t i n g countries in order to ensure the most e f f e c t i v e joint e f f o r t s in maximizing the benefits from common river systems to both countries... b) to study flood control and i r r i g a t i o n projects so that the water resources of the region can be u t i l i s e d on an equitable basis for the mutual benefit of the peoples of the two countries. ( i i i ) The Commission s h a l l also perform such other functions as the governments may, by mutual agreement, di r e c t i t to do." 9 The Joint Rivers Commission was intended to act as a forum for coopertion in a l l areas of r i v e r development. The Statute l a i d 71 down that each government should appoint to the Joint Rivers Commission a chairman and three members (two of whom should be engineers) and provide adequate s e c r e t a r i a l and supporting s t a f f . The chairmanship of the Commission was to alternate between the two governments in successive years. A r t i c l e 7 of the Statute ruled out public scrutiny of the Joint Rivers Commission's proceedings: A l l meetings s h a l l be closed meetings unless the Commission desires otherwise. The Farakka dispute i s not s p e c i f i c a l l y mentioned in the Commission's terms of reference but the paragraphs from the Statute quoted above gave the governments freedom to refer the topic to the Commission i f they so chose. The f i r s t meeting of the Joint Rivers Commission was held in June 1972, before the Statute had been signed. If anything, t h i s was indicative of the importance attached to river development by both India and Bangladesh and of their desire for mutual cooperation. A press note issued at the end of the f i r s t meeting said: The Commission considered r i v e r development works in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna System in general and w i l l take i t up in d e t a i l in i t s next meeting. 5 0 It i s important to note that while on the surface i t seemed as i f the Farakka dispute was on i t s way to being resolved, Indian statements issued after meetings with Bangladesh o f f i c i a l s avoided any mention of Farakka and referred generally 72 to "river development" in the region. What the Indian government wanted to achieve through the adoption of thi s t a c t i c w i l l become clearer when we analyse Indo-Bangladesh actions in Chapter V of t h i s thesis. In a statement issued by K.L. Rao, Indian minister for i r r i g a t i o n and power, after he met with Khandakar Moshtaque Ahmed, his Bangladesh counterpart, in A p r i l 1972, i t was mentioned that there was complete agreement on power, flood control, and i r r i g a t i o n . Rao also added that Bangladesh's misconceptions about Farakka had been cleared up. On his return from Dhaka, Rao gave more d e t a i l s about the meeting with Khandakar Moshtaque Ahmed. He said that sharing of the water would be se t t l e d at the meeting of the two prime ministers, but that Farakka was no longer a problem. The proportion of water going to each country was yet to be sett l e d , but the doubts and misgivings of Bangladesh had been removed. 5 1 It was not made public what Bangladesh's doubts and misgivings were, or how they were "cleared up." For, when i t came down to actually devising a formula, Bangladesh's and India's position were diametrically opposed. If Rao's statement is to be accepted at face value, one probable explanation can be given for Bangladesh's willingness to discuss broader river problems rather than Farakka: Bangladesh was hoping to convince India of i t s good f a i t h in s e t t l i n g the Farakka issue and other outstanding b i l a t e r a l issues. As i t turned out, however, most issues between these two countries were se t t l e d when Indira Gandhi and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman met in 1974, but not the issue 73 of the Farakka Barrage. In the meantime, events were taking place within India and Bangladesh and in other interested quarters which were to have a bearing on the outcome of this dispute. In August 1972, p o l i t i c a l leaders in West Bengal began lobbying the Indian central government for what they saw as their share of Ganges waters. In the Rajya Sabha (upper house of the Indian parliament), Rao, the minister for i r r i g a t i o n and power, made a statement confirming that the legitimate interests of Bangladesh would be kept in view, and that no arrangement of the operation of the Barrage would a f f e c t that country. The chief minister of West Bengal returned from Delhi with what the press reported as an "agreement" on the operation of the Farakka Barrage. According to thi s "agreement": -the feeder canal of the barrage would be completed by December, 1973; . -for fiv e years after . that 40,000 cusecs could be diverted down the Hooghly and, for the following two years, the diversions would be varied experimentally; -at the end of seven years there would be a review. 5 2 During 1972, the World Bank was maintaining a close watch on river development schemes in Bangladesh. The Bank also employed a well-known consultant to, among other things: •evaluate the water supply picture (of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna basins) and to examine the p o s s i b i l i t y of maintaining or even augmenting the low flows of the r i v e r s . . . (and) to examine the need and p o s s i b i l i t i e s for international cooperation between the countries situated in the river b a s i n s . 5 3 74 The consultant recommended that consideration be given to the establishment under United Nations auspices, of a Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Coordinating Committee, with five member c o u n t r i e s — I n d i a , Bangladesh, Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan. 5" Whatever role the World Bank may have played, i t made no public intervention in the dispute. The Joint Rivers Commission met again in December, 1972. The press were informed that the Commission had: decided to consider a framework for preparation of long term plans for the development of major basins common to India and Bangladesh. The Commission also recommended a programme for joint survey of the River Ganges from Farakka up to the Gorai off-take to enable the planning of development works of mutual in t e r e s t . . . Two groups have been set up for the study of certain r i v e r s in Bangladesh and India, on p o s s i b i l i t i e s of augmenting water discharges in these r i v e r s . The Commission also received basic data on works executed or under execution in the Ganges-Meghna-Brahmaputra ri v e r basin and decided that this should be supplemented f u r t h e r . 5 5 This release indicates that the question of the Farakka Barrage and i t s e f f e c t s were being discussed in the Joint d i v e r s Commission. 5 6 However, i t is not clear whether or not thi s matter was given a high p r i o r i t y . In 1973, several more meetings of the Joint Rivers Commission were held but l i t t l e was published about the subjects they discussed. In July of the same year, Khandakar Moshtaque Ahmed led a Bangladesh delegation to New Delhi. It met with an Indian team led by Sardar Swaran Singh, Indian minister of external a f f a i r s . The Indian team also consisted of two other 75 ministers: D.P. Dhar, minister for planning; and K.L. Rao, minister for i r r i g a t i o n and power. This unannounced "upgrading" of talks over the Farakka Barrage issue by India came as a pleasant surprise to the Bangladesh government. 5 7 However, both sides were slowly r e a l i s i n g that even in an atmosphere of f r i e n d l y b i l a t e r a l relations, the issue could prove d i f f i c u l t to resolve. The meeting reaffirmed that a f i n a l decision on sharing of Ganges waters would be taken when the two prime ministers met. 5 8 The press release issued after the talks belaboured the possible effects the Ganges diversions might have on flooding inside Bangladesh: The discussions dealt mainly with the commissioning of the Farakka Feeder Canal and i t s impact on Bangladesh... the Farakka project might increase the flood intensity in Bangladesh by reducing natural s p i l l discharges in the Bhagirathi. This point was discussed and the Indian side assured the Bangladesh side that the feeder canal and the Jangipur Barrage w i l l be so operated that the Bhagirathi w i l l continue to receive during the monsoon period as much water as before, or more i f possible. It was accepted by the government of India that the Farakka Barrage Project w i l l not increase the flood intensity of the Padma in Bangladesh. There was discussion about the Farakka Barrage Project and i t s impact on both countries. It was agreed that the two sides would meet again and continue the discussions with a view to a r r i v i n g at a solution to the problem. The two sides further agreed that a mutually acceptable solution w i l l be arrived at before operating the barrage. 5 9 This last sentence, though i t provided no basis for a solution, was the f i r s t d e f i n i t e and public commitment by the Indian government that i t would not act u n i l a t e r a l l y . 76 The early months of 1974 were also taken up by other pressing issues mainly concerning the government of Bangladesh but also r e l a t i n g to the subcontinent. The most prominent issue was Bangladesh's attempt to get recognition in the United Nations and acceptance at the Islamic Summit. The People's Republic of China was successfully wielding the threat of veto against Bangladesh's entry in the United Nations. Presumably, mainland China's position r e f l e c t e d an a l l i a n c e with Pakistan which wanted to prevent war crime t r i a l s of 195 high-level prisoners of the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War. 6 0 Indian foreign minister Swaran Singh came to Dhaka in February 1974 at the i n v i t a t i o n of the Bangladesh foreign minister, Dr. Kamal Hossein. There was a long joint communique at the end of t h e i r meeting. The portion relevant to the Farakka Barrage i s given below: Both sides availed of the opportunity to discuss the use of the water resources of the two countries for the common benefit of the peoples of Bangladesh and India. They agreed that to meet th i s objective the Joint Rivers Commission should continue, as a matter of p r i o r i t y , i t s investigation of the development of the water resources of the region. The two Foreign Ministers also discussed the question of the d i s t r i b u t i o n of the waters of the Ganges between India and Bangladesh and the need for an early decision on the matter. They were confident that their discussion on t h i s subject had advanced their common approach for an early solution to this issue. Both the Foreign Ministers agreed that a mutually acceptable solution w i l l be arrived at before operating the Farakka Barrage P r o j e c t . 6 1 Whether t h i s could be c a l l e d progress toward a solution is doubtful. The agreement that a "mutually acceptable" solution 77 must precede operation of the Barrage had f i r s t emerged with almost i d e n t i c a l wording, in Swaran Singh's e a r l i e r discussion with Khandakar Moshtaque Ahmed. That i t was reiterated at the meeting of the two foreign ministers can hardly be c a l l e d progress. There was an indication, however, in t h i s joint communique, that the Joint Rivers Commission was giving the Farakka question p r i o r i t y in i t s discussions. T i l l t h i s point in the dispute, the only positive sign toward a solution was a mutual reassurance that a formula would be worked out before the Farakka Barrage was operational. In March 1974, Khandakar Moshtaque Ahmed was transferred from the Ministry of Water, Power, and Flood Control to the Ministry of Foreign Trade in Bangladesh. There are a number of explanations for t h i s transfer and we can only make educated guesses as to the probable ones. The economy of Bangladesh was taking a turn for the worse. A below average r i c e harvest in the 1973-74 season as a result of massive flooding of the entire rice-growing acreage, an unprecedented increase in the rate of population growth and a staggering i n f l a t i o n rate a l l helped to create a huge d e f i c i t in foreign exchange reserves. Khandakar Moshtaque Ahmed, who was known to be favoured by both the Americans and the Arabs, would be the appropriate person to head the Ministry of Commerce and Foreign Trade to a t t r a c t outside c a p i t a l to redress t h i s imbalance and thus put the new country back on i t s feet. The other probable explanation for Ahmed's transfer was more s i n i s t e r and had a direct bearing on his views toward the Farakka Barrage. The correspondent of the Hindu 78 could not r e s i s t l i n k i n g K.L. Rao's and Ahmed's removal from the i r r i g a t i o n ministries of India and Bangladesh almost simultaneously. K.L. Rao, he wrote, "was known to dig himself deep, in a stance based on old arguments." And Khandakar Moshtaque had a "reputation of being a hard-liner on the Farakka question." The reporter also noted that the transfer of Khandakar Moshtaque Ahmed was giving r i s e to speculation in Dhaka that a new approach to the Farakka question might be adopted. 6 2 As later events were to indicate, the Farakka issue proved to be too important to the v i t a l interests of both countries to be resolved by mere "upgrading" of talks or by the transfer of ministers to other p o r t f o l i o s . Gradually but surely, there was a r e a l i s a t i o n by negotiators and leaders on both sides that agreement on sharing of Ganges waters would be a very tough proposition at best. The two prime ministers f i n a l l y met in May 1974 in the immediate wake of the Simla T r i p a r t i t e Conference between India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. A lot of outstanding b i l a t e r a l issues were successfully r e s o l v e d . 6 3 The exception to these successes was the Farakka Barrage issue. In the joint declaration of May 16, 1974 they agreed that there would not be enough water to meet the needs of both countries: The two Prime Ministers took note of the fact that the Farakka Barrage Project would be commissioned before the end of 1974. They recognised that during the period of minimum flow, there might not be enough water to meet the needs of Calcutta Port and the f u l l requirements of Bangladesh and, therefore, the f a i r weather flow of the Ganga in the lean months would have to be augmented to meet the requirements of both countries. It was agreed that the problem should be 79 approached with understanding so that the interests of both countries are reconciled and the d i f f i c u l t i e s removed in a s p i r i t of friendship and cooperation. It was accordingly decided that the best means of such augmentation through optimum u t i l i s a t i o n of the water resources of the region available to the two countries should be studied by the Joint Rivers Commission. The Commission should make suitable recommendations to meet the requirements of both the countries. It was recognised that i t would take some years to give e f f e c t to the recommendations of the Commission as accepted by the two Governments. In the meantime, the two sides expressed their determination that before the Farakka Project i s commissioned they would a r r i v e at a mutually acceptable a l l o c a t i o n of the water available during the period of minimum flow in the Ganga. 6 * The importance of the prime ministers' meeting l i e s in the fact that i t gave the Joint Rivers Commission a mandate to discuss augmentation of the flow of the Ganges. Unfortunately no forum or method of negotiation was l a i d down for settlement of the more urgent question of how to share the existing dry season flow of the r i v e r . Negotiations on this sharing f i n a l l y took place in February 1975 in New Delhi, between Abdur Rab Serneabat, Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's brother-in-law and the new Bangladesh Minister for Water and Power, and Jagjivan Ram, India's newly appointed Minister for Agriculture and I r r i g a t i o n . However, they made l i t t l e progress in their d i s c u s s i o n s . 6 5 They met again in A p r i l 1975. There was optimism on both sides . and, within two days, an interim "understanding" had been reached. 6 6 Under th i s agreement, India could divert small quantities of water for forty days beginning the 20th of A p r i l . 80 India would receive a fraction of the water i t had o r i g i n a l l y demanded but the agreement constituted an important precedent inasmuch as Bangladesh conceded that India could begin operation of the Barrage. However, too much should not be made of t h i s agreement. The understanding s e t t l e d neither of the outstanding p r i n c i p a l questions of the c o n f l i c t : discussions on both sharing and augmentation were to continue. The government-owned Bangladesh Observer noted: The agreement w i l l not disturb the discussions regarding the a l l o c a t i o n of f a i r weather flows of the Ganges during the lean months as envisaged in the Prime Ministers' declaration of May 1 974. 6 7 The agreement was only an interim one allowing experimental operation of the Farakka Barrage. Joint teams were to observe the effects of the diversions at Farakka, on the Hooghly River and inside Bangladesh. Though th i s understanding constituted a step forward, there were c r i t i c i s m s on both sides of the border. The absence of Serneabat, the Bangladesh minister, from the o f f i c i a l opening of the Farakka Barrage was interpreted as an expression of Bangladesh's misgivings. Moreover, a West Bengal minister was quoted as describing India's share of the water as " d r i b l e t s . . . i n quantities that do not serve our purpose." 6 8 Nevertheless, water started flowing down the newly b u i l t feeder canal into the Bhagirathi and joi n t observation teams set out to observe the effects of these diversions. 81 E. THE QUESTION OF AUGMENTATION While the two ministers were negotiating an interim a l l o c a t i o n of the existing flow, the Joint Rivers Commission was discussing methods of increasing that flow. Although the Commission met monthly from June 1974, i t s discussions came to a s t a n d s t i l l by December. The two teams were advocating two d i f f e r e n t methods of augmenting the flow and "the Joint Rivers Commission could not, therefore, come to any agreed conclusions on the s u b j e c t . " 6 9 Bangladesh proposed that the dry season flow of the Ganges should be augmented by the construction of storage reservoirs on the r i v e r ' s Himalayan t r i b u t a r i e s for release later in the year when water becomes scarce. The Indian team opposed this concept, arguing that a canal to transfer surplus water from the Brahmaputra into the Ganges was a more " r e a l i s t i c " a l t e r n a t i v e . 7 0 The two proposals are discussed in d e t a i l in Chapter IV. On August 15, 1975, Mujib was k i l l e d in a coup d'etat. The last year o«f Mujib's rule had alienated the Awami League from the majority of the population in Bangladesh. It was quite easy for the m i l i t a r y in Bangladesh to take over the reins of power once Mujib was eliminated. Amidst a l l t h i s chaos in the internal p o l i t i c s of the the new born country, the Indians went on div e r t i n g Ganges water at the rate of 40,000 cusecs at Farakka and continued to do so for the remainder of 1975. 7 1 For reasons undetermined, Bangladesh did not protest u n t i l early 1976. 82 Just before the outbreak of renewed, vociferous dispute, representatives of the two sides met in New Delhi to discuss the issue. Representatives of Bangladesh's new president met Mrs. Gandhi, the Indian foreign secretary and other relevant o f f i c i a l s but at the end of the v i s i t only a strained and uninformative statement was r e l e a s e d . 7 2 On January 15, 1976 a Bangladesh protest note started a year of public dispute. Bangladesh alleged that Indian withdrawals at Farakka after the end of the forty-day understanding constituted a breach of the agreement. 7 3 The Indian government responded saying that i t was "surprised and pained" at such propaganda, p a r t i c u l a r l y because i t had been agreed at the previous month's meeting that both sides would r e f r a i n from "hostile propaganda." 7" In February and March, the Bangladesh government protested frequently, in several forums and by a variety of media. During a l l t h i s time, with the low dry season Ganges' flow imminent, Indian withdrawals of Ganges waters were continuing at or near the maximum mark allowed by the Farakka Barrage Project. Simultaneously Bangladesh was suffering from armed attacks along the Indian border. Awami Leaguers and other- elements, opposed to the new regime in Bangladesh, were making intermittent raids into the country. 7 5 Before negotiation on the Farakka issue could resume, there were some preconditions set by both India and Bangladesh which had to be met. Bangladesh's position was that negotiations could st a r t only when the Indian withdrawals stopped. 7 6 India wanted to meet only i f the talks were confined to the sharing of 83 water during the period March 15 to May 15. 7 7 Both sides also made some positive suggestions, even at the height of the dispute. Bangladesh proposed the creation of international commissions for the Ganges and Brahmaputra r i v e r s 7 8 and, toward the end of March, after Bangladesh had relaxed i t s precondition for talks, India announced a concession. Mrs. Gandhi reportedly told the Bangladesh High Commissioner in New Delhi: India is taking steps to keep up the downstream flow at the March 15th l e v e l during the rest of the lean season to the extent possible on the basis of the a v a i l a b i l i t y of waters. It i s now Bangladesh's turn to chose i t s response in a helpful manner to pave the way for restoration of mutual confidence. 7 9 At the same time Mrs. Gandhi told Bangladesh that the offer India had made — for the Joint Rivers Commission to study the eff e c t s of withdrawals on Bangladesh -- remained open. Bangladesh accepted the offer and talks resumed the following month in Dhaka. These were technical talks on a r e s t r i c t e d topic. They were reminiscent of the 1960-1971 period of negotiations between India and Pakistan. India again reasserted i t s former position, saying that before any agreement could be negotiated, technical problems had to be sorted o u t . 8 0 The talks occurred in a period when rel a t i o n s between the subcontinental neighbours were at a low ebb. A few days before the talks were announced, India had protested against two shooting incidents on the border. 8 1 The o f f i c i a l s met for two rounds of discussions, and t r a v e l l e d through southwestern Bangladesh, up the Hooghly River to the Farakka Barrage. Neither side issued d e t a i l s of what they had achieved, but 84 within a few days of the return of the Bangladesh team, B.M. Abbas was quoted as saying that Indian figures for withdrawals from the Ganges did not t a l l y with Bangladesh's measurements. 8 2 In A p r i l 1976, the f i r s t consolidated protest against Indian withdrawals at Farakka was beginning to emerge within Bangladesh. Maulana Abdul Hameed Khan Bhasani, a peasant leader of considerable p o l i t i c a l importance c a l l e d upon the general public in Bangladesh to organise a protest march to condemn the Indian action of u n i l a t e r a l withdrawal of Ganges waters at Farakka. 8 3 The threat was carr i e d out ten days after the end of the t a l k s . Estimates of the size of the march range from hundreds of thousands to half a m i l l i o n people. 8 4 The march was peaceful with Maulana Bhasani at the head. The procession stopped six miles short of the Indian border and there were no unpleasant i n c i d e n t s . 8 5 The importance of this march was symbolic. People in Bangladesh who had only been aware of the Farakka Barrage now r a l l i e d with the Bangladesh government. This incident also indicated to the Indian government that a n t i -Indian feeling could be aroused in Bangladesh i f the government in that country made i t a point to publicize the issue domestically. Soon after this incident, India's foreign secretary, Jagat Mehta, led a "goodwill" mission to Dhaka in mid-June and the public clamour over the dispute died down for almost two months. 8 6 At the beginning of August, however, Bangladesh announced that i t had decided to take i t s case to the United Nations. One f i n a l round of talks was held before the issue was 8 5 raised in the United Nations. Rear Admiral M.H. Khan of Bangladesh led a delegation to New Delhi but no agreement was reached. The disagreement between India and Bangladesh centred on four d i f f e r e n t points: Bangladesh was in favour of augmentation within the Ganges Basin; India did not accept Bangladesh's right to veto upstream withdrawals; there was a difference of opinion as to the length of the dry season; and, India rejected outright any proposal which would include Nepal in talks regarding augmentation. 8 7 F. PROCEEDINGS AT THE UNITED NATIONS Bangladesh's attempt to muster international support during the f i r s t half of 1976 had not been p a r t i c u l a r l y successful--only Beijing and Islamabad had wholehearetedly supported the position advocated by Dhaka. Among the various ways in which a dispute of t h i s nature could be brought up in the United Nations, the Bangladesh government narrowed i t s options down to two. The f i r s t was to include the World Bank in any further negotiations over augmentation. This option was suggested to the Bangladesh government by one of i t s diplomats on secondment to the United Nations. He proposed that: at an appropriate stage of negotiations (Bangladesh) may agree to discuss the Indian proposal for a link canal between the Brahmaputra and the Ganges provided that India agrees to a World Bank role in the r e a l i s a t i o n of a project involving Ganges-Brahmaputra basin development. 8 8 The second option was to bring the whole issue up in the United Nations General Assembly. The Bangladesh government chose the 86 l a t t e r course. In preparation for t h i s , f i r s t Bangladesh and then India published pamphlets setting out their c a s e s . 8 9 In order to raise their grievance successfully, Bangladesh diplomats had to negotiate a course through the preparatory proceedings of the General Assembly: an item had to be included in the agenda of the Assembly; the item then had to be maneuvered into a committee with appropriate concerns; and, f i n a l l y , that committee had to be persuaded to recommend a favourable resolution for the consideration of the General Assembly. In the f i r s t procedural stage India opposed consideration of the dispute but the item was accepted. At the next stage, India pressed for the question to be considered by the Economic Committee rather than by the P o l i t i c a l Committee. Again India was defeated; the item was referred to the Special P o l i t i c a l Committee, in l i n e with Bangladesh's wishes. 9 0 The f i r s t two stages, however, were only preparatory skirmishes. India's representatives were able to recoup their losses in the backstage war which followed. After a postponement, Rear Admiral M.H. Khan put the Bangladesh case to the Special P o l i t i c a l Committee and India's foreign secretary, Jagat Mehta, re p l i e d . At that stage, the public proceedings ceased and there followed what amounted to an embarrassing delay while both parties lobbied and negotiated, through intermediaries, behind the scenes. The Bangladesh resolution was withdrawn and replaced by a consensus statement which had been evolved with the assistance of an ad hoc 87 mediation committee, consisting of representatives of five non-aligned countries: Algeria, Egypt, Guyana, S r i Lanka, and S y r i a . 9 1 There is no doubt that the consensus resolution was a way of saving face. Most of the membership of the General Assembly were w i l l i n g to express their concerns for Bangladesh's p l i g h t . However, i t was quite another matter when i t came to translating t h i s concern into votes. In the backstage war, Bangladesh re a l i s e d that India, as one of the champions of the non-aligned cause, had a l o t of support from a l l over the t h i r d world. While non-aligned countries a l l expressed their sympathies, they were unwilling to take sides in the Assembly. One factor influencing the course taken by Bangladesh was i t s assessment that many of the major powers were themselves, at home, upper riparian states l i k e I n d i a . 9 2 As an attempt, to mobilize support, or to obtain t h i r d party intervention, Bangladesh's action in the U.N. was not very successful. Bangladesh did achieve p u b l i c i t y for i t s case, and the consensus resolution which the General Assembly endorsed did contain one concession to Bangladesh's objective: It i s open to either party to report to the General Assembly at i t s thirty-second session on the progress achieved in the settlement of the problem. 9 3 The next chapter w i l l analyse the negotiations leading up to the five-year agreement reached between India and Bangladesh for sharing the dry season flow of the Ganges in November 1977. 88 NOTES 1. The Ganges Kobadak Project i s a canal i r r i g a t i o n project drawing water from the Ganges at Bheramara, in Kushtia d i s t r i c t . The project was started under the United Nations Technical Assistance Programme in 1951, and the Pakistan government gave i t s approval in 1954. The project has been bogged down both by technical d i f f i c u l t i e s and by the inappropriateness for a g r i c u l t u r e . I r r i g a t i o n only started in the late 1960s. However, unlike some other projects which seemed to have been hurried through in order to es t a b l i s h Pakistan's right to h i s t o r i c usage of the water, the Ganges-Kobadak project was sanctioned prior to the approval of the Farakka Barrage. Its construction was started f i r s t and i t started consuming the Ganges waters before the Farakka diversion. 2. Ben Crow, The P o l i t i c s and Technology of Sharing the Ganges. Unpublished Ph.D. d i s s e r t a t i o n , Edinburgh University, 1980, p.94; Helmut R. Kulz, "Further Water Disputes between India and Pakistan," in The International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Vol. 18, (July 1969): 718-739. 3. Government of Bangladesh. White Paper on the Ganges Water  Dispute, September 1976, p.12. 4. The Indian minister of i r r i g a t i o n and power made the following statement to the Indian Lok Sabha: "...Government of India have agreed to a meeting of experts of India and Pakistan for a limited purpose of discussing procedural.details and arrangement for exchange of information." Lok Sabha Debates, August 25 1959, "Indo-Pakistan talks on the Gangetic Basin," S2, 3_3, Col. 4324. 5. The Hindu, August 6 1960, "Talks on Eastern Rivers." 6. Helmut Kulz, op. c i t . , p.722. 7. Ibid. 8. For neutral perspectives see Ben Crow, op. c i t . ; also Helmut Kulz, op. c i t . For Indian views see Jayanta Kumar Ray, "The Farakka Agreement," in International Studies, Vol. 17, 1978, pp. 235-246; for Pakistan/Bangladesh views see, for example, S.M. Burke, Pakistan's Foreign Pol i c y : A H i s t o r i c a l  Analysis (London: Oxford University Press, 197 3), pp.381 -383. With the exception of most of the Indian writers, both neutral observers and writers from Pakistan/Bangladesh are of the opinion that while the barrage was being constructed, India deliberately put off meaningful negotiations. 9. Lok Sabha Debates, August 16 1961, "International Situation," 32, 56, Cols. 2405-2560. 89 10. Ibid. See also Kulz, op. c i t . , p.723. 11. Ibid. 12. Ibid., pp.723-724. 13. Ibid., p.724. 14. Dawn, Karachi, December 15 1967. 15. Ibid. 16. Kulz, op. c i t . , p.724. 17. Dawn, Karachi, July 16 1968, "India rejects Kosygin's suggestions on Farakka." 18. Only on a very few occasions has India accepted any course other than b i l a t e r a l negotiations for the settlement of disputes. The U.N. mediated in the Kashmir dispute in 1949 but reached an impasse. The World Bank provided c o n c i l i a t i o n and mediation for the Indus dispute, and some broader disputes were sett l e d by an a r b i t r a l tribunal in 1948. 19. It i s interesting that the 1977 Treaty with Bangladesh was signed after Morarji Desai became prime minister of India as the leader of the Janata c o a l i t i o n which defeated Indira Gandhi's Congress Party at the p o l l s e a r l i e r in the same year. 20. Ben Crow, op. c i t . , p.117. 21. David G. LeMarquand, International Rivers: The P o l i t i c s of  Cooperation, (Vancouver: Westwater Research Centre, 1977). p.10. 22. The technical studies were carried out by Tibbett, Abbot, McCarthy, Scratton of the United States and Associated Consultants and Engineers of Karachi, Pakistan. 23. Lok Sabha Debates, March 31 1969, "Construction of a barrage across River Padma by Pakistan," S4, 2_6, Col. 46. 24. Dawn, Karachi, June 11, 15, and 21, 1969, "The truth about Ganges waters." 25. Government of Bangladesh. "White Paper..." op. c i t . , p. 1 3. 26. Ibid. 27. Ibid., p.14. 28. Water Investigations Directorate, EPWAPDA, Dhaka. See also Dawn, June 2 1971, "East wing's water needs for eastern r i v e r s 90 established," in which an aide-memoire sent to India i s published. 29. Harvard University. Center for Population Studies, Bangladesh: Land, Water and Power Studies, F i n a l Report, June 1972, p.1. 30. Revelle had been associated with President Kennedy's technological approach to the solution of a l l manner of problems. See E.B. Skolnikoff, Science, Technology, and  American Foreign Policy, (Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1967), pp.156-157. 31. Roger Revelle and V. Lakshminarayana, "The Ganges Machine," in Science, May 9 1975, pp.611-616. 32. Ben Crow, op. c i t . , p.121. 33. The Barrage i t s e l f was complete but the 26.4 mile feeder canal was not finished u n t i l December 1973. 34. Kulz, op. c i t . , p.724. 35. There were outstanding disputes between India and Pakistan in areas of Kashmir and the Rann of Kutch, bordering the Rajasthan Desert. 36. See Appendix D. for Consensus Statement put on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly. 37. Dawn, Karachi, July 16 1968, "India rejects Kosygin's suggestions on Farakka." Pakistan's foreign minister at the time Arshad Hussein had several talks with Roger Revelle and also the president of the World Bank regarding a m u l t i l a t e r a l approach to Farakka. 38. The Awami League, under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman won 167 out of 169 seats in the National Assembly in Pakistan from East Pakistan in December 1970. Since the Awami League wanted to c a p i t a l i z e on the Farakka issue, i t is unlikely that their views would have re f l e c t e d the actual state of a f f a i r s . As i t turned out, their own attitude toward India regarding the Farakka Barrage was as strong as the Pakistan government's had been after Bangladesh was created. 39. India. Ministry of External A f f a i r s , Bangladesh Documents, "Awami League Manifesto," p.81, undated, New Delhi. 40. Kulz, op. c i t . , pp.734-735. 41. As early as February 1972, the prime ministers of Bangladesh and India met and decided to create the Indo-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission to look into the problem of sharing the water resources of the region. See Appendix A for 91 the Statute of the Joint Rivers Commission for a detailed description of i t s functions and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . 42. Jayanta Kumar Ray, "The Farakka Agreement," in International Studies, Vol. 17, 1978, pp.235-246. In th i s a r t i c l e Professor Ray launches a scathing attack on the Janata Government's policy of trying to befriend Bangladesh by s a c r i f i c i n g the needs of Calcutta and West Bengal. Indira Gandhi had always been against the 1977 Agreement. 43. B.M. Abbas was the alternate leader in the f i r s t f i v e experts' meetings held between India and Pakistan. After the independence of Bangladesh, Abbas became Advisor to the Prime Minister on flood control, i r r i g a t i o n , and power, and, in that capacity was Bangladesh's chief negotiator on the Farakka issue with India. He was also the f i r s t chairman of the Indo-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission. 44. The Hindu, January 23 1972, "Joint Indo-Bangla steps for flood control mooted." Subsequent a r t i c l e s in January 24 and 29 i ssues. 45. Satish Kumar (ed.) Documents on India's Foreign Policy 1972 , (Delhi: Macmillan, 1975). Joint Statement on the talks between the prime ministers on February 8, 1972. 46. Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Peace between the  People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Republic of India, of March 19 1972, A r t i c l e 6. 47. Satish Kumar, op. c i t . 48. Appendix A. 49. Appendix A. 50. Satish Kumar, op. c i t . Press note of June 26 1972. 51. Hindustan Times, May 5 1972, "Eastern Horizons;" also, Keesinqs Contemporary Archives, A p r i l 9-15 1972, p.25822, "Indo-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission." 52. The Times of India, August 2 and 15, 1972, "Farakka w i l l not h i t Bangla's int e r e s t s : Dr. Rao," and "Bengal Chief Minister happy." 53. M. Maasland, Water Development Potentials of the Ganges- Brahmaputra- Meghna River Basins, World Bank Special Project Department, Washington, August 30 1972, (with revisions February 12 1973), p.1. 54. Ibid., p.20. 55. Satish Kumar, op. c i t . Press release of December 13 1972. 92 56. Taking the issues in order: "Major river basins" could apply to the Brahmaputra, to the Ganges, or, stretching the "major" somewhat, to the Teesta. The s c a r c i t y of dry season water i s much less on the Brahmaputra. The l i k e l i h o o d i s that the press release i s primarily r e f e r r i n g to the River Ganges. "Development works of mutual interest" in the stretch of the Ganges referred to could be (1) the Farakka Barrage, (2) the Ganges-Kobadak Project, or (3) the proposed Ganges Barrage. 57. The Times of India, July 13 and 14, 1973. 58. The Times of India, July 19 1973. "Farakka decision l e f t to PMs." 59. Satish Kumar (ed.) Documents of India's Foreign Policy 1973 , (Delhi: Macmillan, 1 9 7 6 7 ^ Press release of July 18 1973. 60. During the independence struggle in Bangladesh from March 25 to December 16, 1971 the Chinese government had always supported the position of the central government in Islamabad. To some people in Bangladesh th i s was a cop-rout and others were perplexed because Mao's philosophy i s f u l l of revolutionary struggles. In the matter of Pakistan versus Bangladesh, the government in Beijing was always c l e a r . In fact the Chinese recognition of Bangladesh came only after Mujib had been assassinated. Also the h o s t i l i t y between China and India is well known. As long as a suitably anti-Indian government prevails in Dhaka, token Chinese support can be counted on. 61. Foreign A f f a i r s Record, February 1974, Vol. XX, p.34, "Indo-Bangladesh Joint Communique," of February 15 1974. 62. The Hindu, March 23 1974, "Indo-Bangla stand on Farakka." (by R. Krishna Moorty from Dhaka). 63. The May meeting in 1974 between Mrs. Gandhi and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is reported to have been very successful. A number of b i l a t e r a l issues were resolved and new areas of cooperation agreed upon. The following is a complete l i s t of things discussed and their r e s u l t : i) many small boundary disputes were settled; i i ) closer trade cooperation was agreed upon; i i i ) both countries pledged to increase exports to meet balanced trade targets set at e a r l i e r t a l k s ; iv) establishment of four joint industries, taking raw materials from one country to labour and machinery in the other, was agreed upon; v) i t was agreed that a joint survey would be c a r r i e d out for a r a i l link to connect Calcutta with Agartala (a d i s t r i c t of India lying to the east of Bangladesh); and vi) protocols were signed making new Indian credits available to Bangladesh. 93 64. Foreign A f f a i r s Record, May 1974, "Indo-Bangladesh Joint Declaration" of May 16 1974, p.55; also, The Hindu, May 17 1974, "India, Bangladesh sign p o l i t i c a l , economic, pacts." 65. Lok Sabha Debates, March 24 1975, S5, Vol. L, 25, Col. 61 . 66. The Hindu, A p r i l 17 1975, "Short-term solution to Ganga waters problem." 67. Bangladesh Observer, A p r i l 19 1975, "Bangladesh w i l l get 44,000 cusecs in lean period." 68. Marcus Franda, "Indo-Bangladesh Relations, " in American  Universities F i e l d s t a f f Reports, South Asia Series, Vol. XIX, 16, September 1975, p.10. 69. Government of Bangladesh. "White Paper..." op. c i t . , p. 1 6. 70. Ibid., pp.14-16. 71. In a statement printed in The Hindu, February 19 1976, "Ganga waters: India refutes Bangla claim," an Indian ministry of external a f f a i r s spokesman wrote: "It i s no secret from any one that the Farakka Barrage has been operating at near or optimum capacity 40,000 cusecs since June 1975." 72. The Statement only indicated that the Indian government was alarmed about Bangladesh's treatment of Hindus in Bangladesh and that Bangladesh had complained of g u e r r i l l a attacks from within India. Foreign A f f a i r s Record, December 1975, "Indo-Bangladesh Joint Statement" of December 8 1975, pp.319-333. 73. Keesing's Contemporary Archives, October 15 1976, "Bangladesh: the Farakka Dispute." 74. Foreign A f f a i r s Record, January 1976, " O f f i c i a l Statement on anti-Indian propaganda in the Bangladesh press," January 10 1976, p.1. 75. Ziaur Rahman, Bangladesh's chief martial law administrator told a Swedish newspaper that: "The Indians have sent several thousand men across the border in the north. They are Bangladesh c i t i z e n s but are equipped and supported by the Indian army." See Crow, op. c i t . , p.402. 76. Bangladesh Observer, March 15 1976, "Talks meaningless unless India stops withdrawal of Ganges water u n i l a t e r a l l y . " 77. Xinhua News Agency, March 16 1976, "Indian precondition for talks on Ganges waters rejected." 94 78. The Hindu, March 19 1976, "Bangla raises extraneous issues for talks on Farakka." 79. The Hindu, March 30 1976, "PM stresses Indo-Bangla amity with the envoy." 80. Foreign A f f a i r s Record, A p r i l 1976, " O f f i c i a l statement of Indo-Bangladesh talks on Ganga waters." of A p r i l 26 1976. 81. Ibid. 82. Bangladesh Observer, May 12 1976, "Indian figures do not t a l l y with actual observations." 83. Bangladesh Observer, A p r i l 19 1976, "Bhasani plans s i l e n t March to Farakka;" see, also, Dawn, A p r i l 20 1976, Bhasani plans peaceful march on Farakka." 84. Dawn, May 17 1976, "Five lakh people start trek to Indian border;" see, also, New York Times, May 17 1976. 85. Foreign A f f a i r s Record, May 1976, " O f f i c i a l Statement of anti-Indian propaganda over Farakka;" see, also, Far Eastern  Economic Reiview, May 28 1976, "Bhasani's march for s u r v i v a l . " 86. Keesing's Contemporary Archives, October 15 1976, "Bangladesh: the Farakka dispute." 87. Foreign A f f a i r s Record, September 1976, " O f f i c i a l Statements on anti-Indian propaganda on Farakka," of September 4 an 10; see, also Bangladesh Observer, September 12 1976, "Absurd Indian ideas thwart Farakka issue." 88. Syed Anwarul Karim, Internationalization of the Ganges  Water Issue with Special Reference to the United Nations on a paper submitted in June 1976, p.39. 89. Government of -«India. Ministry of External A f f a i r s , The  Farakka Barrage, several editions, undated, New Delhi (probably f i r s t published in late September 1976); Government of Bangladesh. Ministry of Foreign A f f a i r s , White Paper on the  Ganges Water Dispute, September 1976. 90. United Nations Document (Summary Record) A/BUR/31/SR.1, pp.7-10 and 13-14, records th i s discussion. 91. Foreign A f f a i r s Record, November 1976, "Foreign Secretary's statement on Farakka issue," pp. 321-328. 92. This account i s based on interviews conducted by Ben Crow with Bangladesh diplomats in New York and with a delegate to the Special P o l i t i c a l Committee who was present when the item was raised. See Crow op. c i t . , p. 407. 95 93. See consensus statement i n Appendix D. 96 IV. THE 1977 BREAKTHROUGH AND ITS AFTERMATH The discussion of the Farakka issue in the General Assembly of the United Nations neither hastened the process of negotiation between India and Bangladesh nor offered any new formula for a quick solution. Although there were many in Bangladesh who f e l t that their government's bluff had been c a l l e d , almost eight years after the fact i t seems that some sort of progress was achieved. 1 F i r s t , i f in t e r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of the issue had been the Bangladesh government's intention, t h i s was achieved in some measure. More states became aware of the Farakka Barrage issue and the respective stand taken by the disputants. Second, the fact that Bangladesh brought up the issue in the U.N. General Assembly against the express wishes of India must have embarrassed the l a t t e r country. Third, the fact that the treaty was signed between India and Bangladesh just one year after the issue was raised in the U.N. indicates that the Bangladesh move had paid some dividends. However, too much should not be made of Bangladesh's U.N. strategy because during the same period, the Indian domestic p o l i t i c a l scene underwent several important changes which undoubtedly had an effect on the outcome of the Farakka question. At the end of 1976, Emergency Rule in India came to an end. In the general elections of March 1977, Morarji Desai at the head of the Janata c o a l i t i o n was voted into power by an overwhelming majority. While the importance of the domestic p o l i t i c a l change should not be overrated, 2 i t i s interesting to note that within nine months of the Janata Party's coming to 97 power in New Delhi, a treaty over sharing.the waters of the Ganges was signed between India and Bangladesh. This chapter examines the process by which the 1977 Treaty emerged, discusses some of the l i m i t a t i o n s of the treaty, and records the progress of discussions about increasing the Ganges' dry season flow. It i s argued that while the Janata government's "softer" stand on Farakka helped reach agreement, i t was by no means the only or the most important reason. Bangladesh played a very c r u c i a l role in a r r i v i n g at the terms of the treaty by putting the right amount of pressure at the right time on the Indian government. The approach Bangladesh used once i t became certain that the Janata government was w i l l i n g to reach agreement was that of "maximizing benefits and minimizing costs." In the 1977 Treaty both India and Bangladesh agreed in p r i n c i p l e that there was not enough water flowing through the Farakka Barrage in the dry season. Both parties concluded that the dry season flow of the Ganges would have to be augmented. The last section of this chapter deals with the problem of augmentation of the dry season flow of the Ganges and analyses the stands taken by Bangladesh and India on t h i s question. A. PRELUDE TO THE GANGES WATERS TREATY Representatives of India and Bangladesh met in December, 1976 but no progress was made. There was one important difference from previous meetings, however. This meeting was headed by Vice Admiral M.H. Khan who was then the navy chief of Bangladesh and, on the Indian side Jagjivan Ram, India's new 98 agriculture minister headed their delegation. Although the substantive issues were s t i l l the same, the meeting between important p o l i t i c a l leaders of both countries raised the hopes of many in Bangladesh that a solution was in sight. This was unfortunately not to be for some time yet because the meeting between these two leaders was adjourned, resumed, adjourned again and then resumed again in New Delhi before being broken off altogether. Reports indicate that the discussion was focussed on the important issue of water sharing. One report says that India offered Bangladesh "more than hal f " the dry season flow but Bangladesh was not w i l l i n g to accept India's diversion of more than 15,000 cusecs. 3 After the New Delhi meeting ended, the Indian government announced that the talks had ended without agreement. A Bangladesh government spokesman, however, elaborated on the deadlock in the following words: The negotiations were not successful because the Indian side f a i l e d to recognise the urgency of the situation and the serious adverse effects on Bangladesh of the continuous withdrawals of Ganges water at Farakka, especially with the onset of the dry season since November." The d e t a i l s of the talks, described a month later in the Far  Eastern Economic Review, reveal that the Bangladesh delegation was snubbed for Indian domestic p o l i t i c a l reasons. Two scheduled meetings were unceremoniously cancelled to the chagrin of M.H. Khan who was leading the Bangladesh delegation. Before the Bangladesh team l e f t for home, however, Jagjivan Ram and the head of India's policy planning d i v i s i o n , G. Parthasarathy, c a l l e d on Admiral Khan to t e l l him "off the record" that the 99 Indian government could not i n i t i a t e any new move on i t s own, and could not consider any proposal presented by Bangladesh because, "such a move would have serious adverse e f f e c t s on the Congress Party's election chances, e s p e c i a l l y in West Bengal." 5 Cancellation of scheduled meetings with the Bangladesh delegation may also have been India's way of showing displeasure with Bangladesh's move in the United Nations. It was almost as i f India was t e l l i n g i t s subordinate neighbour that in t e r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n would not help Banglasdesh's cause in any way. Although negotiations were broken off and the p o s s i b i l i t y of an immediate settlement seemed remote, neither side used the breakdown of negotiations to generate propaganda. The Bangladesh government knew f u l l well that to blame the breakdown of talks on the Indians would draw domestic attention to the limi t a t i o n s of the U.N. r e s o l u t i o n . 6 The Indians for their part, were content to keep a low p r o f i l e since the status quo suited their own inte r e s t s . During the early months of 1977, President Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh paid state v i s i t s to the People's Republic of China and Iran. During these v i s i t s , the Bangladesh president t r i e d to gain international support for his country's stand on the Farakka issue. He was successful in extracting declarations of support from Chinese leaders in January 1977.7 After the f a i l u r e of M.H. Khan's v i s i t to New Delhi, Zia v i s i t e d Iran but the Shah t a c t f u l l y avoided making any commitment, saying that he hoped the two nations would be able to s e t t l e their 100 d i f f e r e n c e s . 8 Bangladesh could therefore muster only limited international support for i t s stand on Farakka in the early months of 1977. In the words of Ben Crow: Bangladesh could muster the support of only a few f r i e n d l y nations. Amongst the more powerful, only China was w i l l i n g to make public declarations of support and, since China and India and not resolved the differences which had caused the 1962 war, that support could not be readily converted into pressure on the Government of India. 9 Bangladesh's position in the negotiations seemed to take a propitious turn at t h i s point. In March 1977, Mrs. Gandhi's faction of the Congress Party was defeated at the p o l l s by the Janata c o a l i t i o n headed by Morarji Desai. The new government in New Delhi was pledged to a policy of "good-neighbourliness." 1 0 Although Indira's Congress government had also been committed to a similar policy, any manifestation of good-neighbourliness was noticeably absent in India's relations with Bangladesh espe c i a l l y after the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in August, 1975. 1 1 The Janata government, on the other hand, had sought tangible results from i t s policy of "good-neighbourliness" right from i t s inception. Some concessions were made on both sides and, within weeks of the Indian el e c t i o n , negotiations were resumed once more. Jagjivan Ram, who was now the Janata government's defence minister, headed the Indian delegation to Dhaka in A p r i l . It was a dramatic occasion by most accounts but when i t came to actual negotiations, there was more drama than agreement. The following report from the Far Eastern Economic Review records 101 the events immediately after the meeting of A p r i l 15, 1977: In a rare i f not unprecendented outburst of rage India's Babuji Jagjivan Ram shouted at pressmen, waiting at the state guest house here (in Dhaka), "Take i t from me, nothing has been s e t t l e d . . . " And half an hour later at the a i r p o r t , while Khan and Ram remained behind closed doors in the VIP lounge, Jagat Mehta (India's foreign secretary) read out a one-sentence statement to newsmen: "An understanding has been reached the d e t a i l s of which are to be worked out at a meeting of the o f f i c i a l s of the two governments to be held in Delhi as soon as p o s s i b l e . " 1 2 When Mehta was asked to elaborate, however, he replied that they should not ask him any more questions in the "interest of Indo-Bangladesh f r i e n d s h i p . " 1 3 It seems that some sort of agreement was reached, however, and that India had made a concession on the quantity of water to be given Bangladesh in the d r i e s t ten-day period of the year. Although the d e t a i l s of this "understanding" have never been aut h o r i t a t i v e l y published, they can be tentatively pieced together from what diff e r e n t parties t o l d the newspapers at the t ime. In January, the Indian delegation had been w i l l i n g to concede that the withdrawals at Farakka in the d r i e s t periods might be reduced to 25,000-27,000 cusecs. One newspaper report covering the A p r i l round of discussions suggested that the figure of 20,500 cusecs, to be withdrawn by India during the dr i e s t period, was agreed upon by both s i d e s . 1 " Since t h i s is the quantity sp e c i f i e d in the treaty signed the following November, i t seems probable that t h i s report was correct. If that i s the case, then the Indian delegation had conceded 1 02 between 4,500 to 7,000 cusecs, whilst Bangladesh had given away only 500 to 3,500 cusecs. 1 5 The other important concession made by India involves the length of the dry period. E a r l i e r , India had i n s i s t e d on a lean season, the period of lowest Ganges flow defined by them as the period from mid-March to mid-May, whereas Bangladesh had wanted a seven-month, November to May, dry season. In the November 1977 Treaty, a five-month period of sharing, from January to May, was agreed upon. Certain issues, however, remained unresolved in the so-c a l l e d understanding of A p r i l . The most important issue in t h i s category was the d i v i s i o n of water between the two countries throughout the remainder of the five-month period. The long-term problem of augmentation of the Ganges' flow also remained unresolved. The question of augmentation was raised in subsequent meetings between B.M. Abbas of Bangladesh and Jagat Mehta of India in New Delhi. Bangladesh proposed third-party technical help to plan projects but India rejected t h i s proposal. The meeting therefore ran into a deadlock. It i s quite possible that the impasse was reached because of contradictory views presented by both parties with regard to increasing dry season flow of the Ganges. 1 6 The deadlock was f i n a l l y broken by agreement in p r i n c i p l e that both countries' proposals would be studied at a l a t e r meeting. 1 7 One report states that the f i r s t meeting between Jagat Mehta and B.M. Abbas was postponed because agreement would have prejudiced the forthcoming 103 l e g i s l a t i v e assembly elections in West Bengal. 1 8 There are reports that Bangladesh was trying to extract a promise from the Indian government not to encourage g u e r r i l l a operations into Bangladesh t e r r i t o r y from bases in I n d i a . 1 9 In i t s negotiations with India over the Farakka issue, the Bangladesh government had t i e d in the issue of g u e r r i l l a attacks. In June 1977, the Commonwealth Conference once again provided an opportunity for President Zia and Prime Minister Desai to meet in London informally. At t h i s meeting Desai agreed to "see that no shelter was given to criminal elements from across the border, whatever might have taken place under the previous regime." 2 0 From t h i s point onward, a degree of confidence was restored in negotiations over the Farakka issue. India had now made two concessions from Bangladesh's point of view: f i r s t , the quantity of water to be released to Bangladesh during the five-month period was acceptable and, second, the Indian government promised to prevent further g u e r r i l l a attacks into Bangladesh t e r r i t o r y . Bangladesh, viewing India's concessions as a sign of willingness to reach a solution over Farakka, decided to put forward i t s own proposal regarding the long-term augmentation question, suggesting that in any future discussion the People's Republic of China and Nepal should also be i n c l u d e d . 2 1 Jagat Mehta and B.M. Abbas met in Dhaka in August. During t h i s meeting the differences between the two sides were, according to the o f f i c i a l statement, "narrowed down."22 Other accounts, however, were less sanguine. Bangladesh was 1 04 apparently s t i c k i n g to i t s case that long-term development programmes were not a matter for b i l a t e r a l , but for q u a d r i l a t e r a l d i s c u s s i o n . 2 3 Despite the fact that consensus had not been reached on a l l aspects of the Farakka issue, there were indications that the Indian government was preparing for a settlement. Jagjivan Ram v i s i t e d West Bengal and told the Merchant Chamber of Commerce that " i t would not be f a i r to flood Bangladesh during the monsoons and leave i t dry in the summer months when i t too needs water." 2" West Bengal leaders were not convinced and lobbied the Central government, demanding the maximum diversion at Farakka, but to no apparent e f f e c t . 2 5 It was clear from Jagjivan Ram's statement that Desai's government was ready to put i t s policy of "good-neighbourliness" into operation. Talks between India and Bangladesh resumed in September when B.M. Abbas led a Bangladesh delegation to New Delhi. It was at , th i s stage that the Bangladesh government, envisaging a treaty in the future, decided to extract the maximum benefit from India. Early in September, Prime Minister Desai r e f e r r i n g to the A p r i l meeting between Jagjivan Ram and B.M. Abbas, said that agreement had been reached. Bangladesh, however, sharply rebutted t h i s statement, saying that i t was only a verbal understanding. 2 6 By mid-month the talks reached a snag because of Bangladesh's insistence on including China and Nepal in future discussions over the long-term question of augmentation. India, of course would have nothing to do with t h i s proposal. The reasons behind India's refusal are l u c i d l y explained in this 1 05 e d i t o r i a l by G.K. Reddy in The Hindu : India cannot a f f o r d to let Nepal l i n e up with Bangladesh and to look to China for inspiration...And whatever King Birendra's (of Nepal) f i x a t i o n , India has to display a l l possible patience and imagination in making him r e a l i s e in his own way where Nepal's own interests l i e in the g e o p o l i t i c s of the subcont inent. 2 7 Toward the end of the month, there were hints that a summit meeting between Zia and Desai would be necessary before agreement could be reached. The main d e t a i l s of an agreement had been achieved but the real hurdle was a lingering suspicion of each other's basic i n t e n t i o n s . 2 8 As i t turned out., however, the summit was not required. Talks were held up for a while because Desai was in the south of India and Zia was v i s i t i n g in Egypt. Upon their return, the P o l i t i c a l A f f a i r s Committee of the Indian cabinet met, and B.M. Abbas shuttled backwards and forwards between New Delhi and Dhaka, 2 9 receiving f i n a l instructions on what would and would not be acceptable to Bangladesh. Since verbal agreement had already been reached on a) setting the d i v i s i o n for the leanest ten-day period; b) a five-month, January to May, dry season; and c) the p r i n c i p l e that the long-term development should be studied and therefore set aside for the time being, the only unresolved question that remained was how to divide the water between the two countries during the remaining fourteen ten-day periods of the fiv e months. In the A p r i l understanding, agreement had only been reached on how much water each country would receive during the period A p r i l 21 to A p r i l 30, t h i s period being the driest s p e l l . 106 The five-month dry period was divided into f i f t e e n ten-day periods and agreement had not yet been reached on how much water India and Bangladesh would receive in the remaining fourteen ten-day periods. The f i n a l problem seems to have been on a choice between a linear d i s t r i b u t i o n of the flow or an asymmetric d i v i s i o n . 3 0 A linear d i v i s i o n would have presumably given Bangladesh f i v e -eighths of the Ganges' flow for the whole of the five-month period of sharing. An asymmetric d i v i s i o n , on the other hand, would give India an increasing proportion of the flow. From Bangladesh's standpoint, an asymmetric d i v i s i o n which meant that India would receive an increasing proportion of water after A p r i l 30 was an acceptable a l t e r n a t i v e . However, Bangladesh accepted t h i s only when Desai had agreed to meet Bangladesh on an extended period of s h a r i n g . 3 1 In the early morning of September 30, 1977, the agreement was i n i t i a l l e d . The Ganges Waters Treaty (text in Appendix B) was signed on November 5, by M.H. Khan of Bangladesh and S u r j i t Singh Barnala, the new Indian Minister of Agriculture. B. THE GANGES WATERS TREATY: ITS LIMITATIONS AND IMPLICATIONS The Ganges Waters Treaty consists of three parts and f i f t e e n a r t i c l e s . The f i r s t part consisting of seven a r t i c l e s describes in d e t a i l arrangements for the sharing of waters of the Ganges at Farakka. The second part consisting of four a r t i c l e s addresses the important issue of long-term arrangements for increasing the dry season flow of the Ganges. The f i n a l part containing four a r t i c l e s deals with c l a r i f i c a t i o n of the 107 terms of the treaty and also sets down a time l i m i t for future discussions. While the treaty i t s e l f implied success for the Bangladesh government, there were some a r t i c l e s within the document which especially protected i t s int e r e s t s . A r t i c l e II ( i i ) of the treaty, for instance, states: ...Provided further that i f during a p a r t i c u l a r ten-day period, the Ganga flows at Farakka come down to such a l e v e l that the share of Bangladesh i s lower than 80 per cent of the (agreed share), the release of waters to Bangladesh during that ten-day period s h a l l not f a l l below 80 per cent of the (agreed s h a r e ) . 3 2 This was the "safeguard" clause requested by the Bangladesh government (and assured by the Janata government) to ensure that continued upstream withdrawals would not dip into whatever share of the waters was allocated to Bangladesh. The Bangladesh government was well aware that the waters reaching the Farakka Barrage (in West Bengal) where d i v i s i o n of the waters would take place would dwindle as i r r i g a t i o n was extended in India. This clause would guarantee Bangladesh's share during the driest ten days at the end of A p r i l at 27,-600 cusecs, 80 per cent, that i s , of 34,500 cusecs. 3 3 The Indo-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) was empowered under A r t i c l e IX of the treaty to produce schemes for augmentation and propose a solution which would be "economical and f e a s i b l e . " The treaty further provided that the JRC would have to submit i t s recommendations to both governments within the f i r s t three years of the treaty's duration. If Bangladesh had any doubts about India's s i n c e r i t y , A r t i c l e XII, which 1 0 8 stated that the "quantum of water agreed to be released to Bangladesh at Farakka... s h a l l not be reduced," provided some measure of assurance. At f i r s t glance, the 1977 treaty seems to have resolved an h i s t o r i c dispute over the sharing of Ganges waters between India and Bangladesh. On closer scrutiny, however, i t becomes clear that t h i s treaty only solved the immediate problem of sharing the e x i s t i n g flow. To resolve the more complicated issue of augmentation, the treaty only established negotiating procedures and a deadline for discussions. The five-year time l i m i t during which the treaty would be e f f e c t i v e also indicates that while this temporary solution was acceptable to both sides, i t was in no way the most e f f i c i e n t way to manage the water resources of the Ganges. By signing the treaty both India and Bangladesh signalled their mutual desire for a solution, while simultaneously recognising that a long-range solution would require hard bargaining as before because of the r i s i n g needs of the population on both sides of the border. In the words of a lawyer, the treaty was a pactum de contrabendo or an agreement to conclude a later f i n a l agreement. 3 4 The treaty, therefore, cannot be interpreted as an ideal agreement for the development of an international r i v e r . It i s the product of i t s h i s t o r i c a l circumstances, the disputes which forced the two countries to enter into an agreement. These circumstances dictated that negotiation should concentrate only on one aspect of the development of the r i v e r , augmentation of the dry season flow. Future t r e a t i e s may be required to resolve 109 disputes a r i s i n g from other aspects of riverine development. 3 5 C. NEGOTIATION OVER THE QUESTION OF AUGMENTATION Although negotiations started immediately after the signing of the Ganges Waters Treaty, the meetings continued only intermittently and l i t t l e progress was made. During 1978 and 1979, most of the discussions between representatives of India and Bangladesh centred on procedural issues. There were no meaningful examinations of the a l t e r n a t i v e augmentation schemes. In several meetings of the Indo-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) during the 1978-1979 period, no achievements were announced. In late 1977, President Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh v i s i t e d India. During his v i s i t i t was decided.that the JRC would be upgraded to include the relevant ministers from each government. 3 6 By virtue of t h i s decision, the JRC was transformed from a purely technical body with only recommending powers, to a p o l i t i c a l and technical commission with "greater" powers. The upgrading of the JRC by mutual agreement i s an indication that both governments recognised that the technical and p o l i t i c a l aspects of increasing the Ganges flow were intertwined. It i s only ir o n i c that this "upgrading" had no influence whatsoever on the JRC's e f f i c i e n c y — t h e new m i n i s t e r i a l - l e v e l commission made no more progress than i t s predecessor. 110 D. THE INDIAN PROPOSAL FOR AUGMENTATION In March 1978, the governments of India and Bangladesh exchanged what can be c a l l e d formal proposals for the augmentation of the dry season flow of the Ganges. It i s important to be familiar with the d e t a i l s of these proposals because they represent not only the respective p o l i t i c a l views of the two governments but the technical aspects of these schemes have remained the cornerstone of each side's bargaining strategy. The Indian proposal i s e n t i t l e d Proposal for  Augmentation of the dry season flow of the Ganga. Henceforth, this document w i l l be referred to as the Indian Proposal for convenience. The Indian Proposal contains a detailed description of how the augmentation of the Ganges' flow can be effected. The Indian plan b a s i c a l l y involves the construction of a barrage across the Brahmaputra and a canal to take water from that river to the Ganges at Farakka. At a la t e r stage India intends to construct three storage reservoirs in the eastern f o o t h i l l s of the Himalayas to supplement the dry season flow of the Brahmaputra. The whole project includes f i v e separate structures and the estimated cost at 1978 prices would be about six b i l l i o n U.S. d o l l a r s . 3 7 The Proposal also offers the following arguments to j u s t i f y the Indian plan for augmentation: 1) Shortage in the Ganges Basin cannot be overcome by schemes within that basin; 2) a l l feasible reservoir s i t e s within the Ganges cannot store enough water for the combined needs of India and Bangladesh; Figure 3 111 3) the needs of Indian drought areas outside the Ganges basin must be considered, and since the Ganges is the nearest source of the water any plan to augment the Ganges flow should also be able to meet the needs of these areas; 4) there i s unused water available in the Brahmaputra and the Meghna river basins at times of the year when shortages in the Ganges are most acute. The following is a brief description of the Indian Proposal and the function of each component: The Brahmaputra Barrage The Indians propose to construct a barrage across the River Brahmaputra at Jogighapa, in Assam, about 70 miles downstream of the state's c a p i t a l , Gauhati. The length of t h i s barrage would be approximately 1.5 miles and the structure would be similar to the one at Farakka. The purpose of the barrage is to raise the ri v e r l e v e l so that water w i l l flow by gravity into a canal. The Canal Indian planners project a 200 mile-long canal which w i l l transport the water to the Ganges at a point just upstream of the Farakka Barrage. The Indian Proposal suggests that t h i s Ganges-Brahmaputra canal should have a capacity of 100,000 cusecs, and a depth of 30 f e e t . 3 8 In this case the width of the waterway would be nearly 900 f e e t . 3 9 According to Indian estimates, the canal would occupy 20,000 acres of land in Bangladesh and about 44,950 acres in India. The Dams at Dihang, Subansiri, and Tipaimukh The River Brahmaputra i s c a l l e d the Dihang as i t turns south from China to India. It f a l l s through a distance of 7,500 1 1 2 feet in 200 miles. The hydroelectric potential i s , therefore, considerable." 0 The Indian government proposes to build a rock-f i l l dam at a s i t e 25 miles north of the Assam p l a i n . The dam w i l l be 80 feet high, 1.5 miles long, resting on hard, jointed basalt foundations. The estimated gross storage capacity of thi s dam w i l l be about 26.5 m i l l i o n acre feet (MAF). The l i v e storage of the reservoir would be 17.2 MAF, and a hydroelectric power generator b u i l t at the dam would provide 7,500 MW (at 60% load f a c t o r ) . The Indian government estimates that t h i s reservoir alone could store enough water to augment the dry season flow of the Brahmaputra from 60,000 to 120,000 cusecs. However, the reservoir would flood an area of 137 square miles in the midst of which l i e s the Indian town of Along. The Indian Proposal suggests that the second dam would be b u i l t on the River Subansiri, which i s the f i r s t major tributary to join the Brahmaputra on the plains of Assam. This dam would be a 700 feet high r o c k - f i l l dam to be b u i l t at a gorge 40 miles north of the Assam town of North Lakhimpur. The reservoir behind the dam would be able to store an estimated 7.5 MAF of water and t h i s could augment the dry season flow of the Brahmaputra by about 25,000 cusecs. About 1,800 MW of e l e c t r i c i t y would be generated by th i s dam. When operational, however, the dam would flood 41 square miles of t e r r i t o r y and a large v i l l a g e c a l l e d Daparijo in India would be flooded. According to the Indian Proposal, the t h i r d dam would be constructed at a place c a l l e d Tipaimukh on the River Barak. This would be a much smaller one compared with the other two and 113 would provide a l i v e storage of 6 MAF and 600 MW of hydroelectric power. The Indian Proposal also states that flooding in the Bangladesh d i s t r i c t s of Dhaka and Sylhet along with Kochar in India could be prevented." 1 A number of potential reservoir s i t e s are also mentioned but no detailed descriptions are provided. Level-Crossings The projected Ganges-Brahmaputra link canal crosses a series of r i v e r s in northwestern Bangladesh and could disrupt the north-south flow of natural drainage. In p a r t i c u l a r , the canal crosses the River Teesta at a point northwest of the d i s t r i c t of Rangpur in Bangladesh. Anticipating objections from Bangladesh on t h i s point, the Indian Proposal j u s t i f i e s i t s position in.the following way: For major r i v e r s i t would be more convenient to have l e v e l crossings which would permit navigation also along the r i v e r s being negotiated." 2 A four-way river canal junction, similar to a road junction, i s envisaged for the Teesta crossing and also possibly elsewhere. This would be a major engineering project, possibly the largest in the world. Indian engineers believe that such a l e v e l -crossing could be operated with one barrage across the river and one regulator at the o u t f a l l of the canal." 3 1 1 4 E. THE BANGLADESH PROPOSAL FOR AUGMENTATION The Bangladesh government's proposal for augmentation i s c a l l e d Proposal for the Augmentation of the Dry Season Flow of  the Ganges. It w i l l be c a l l e d the Bangladesh Proposal henceforth for convenience. The main thrust of the Bangladesh argument rests on the premise that there is enough water in the Ganges basin to meet the needs of the three countries (including Nepal). The Bangladesh Proposal i d e n t i f i e s a t o t a l of 83 reservoir s i t e s of which 52 are located in India and the remaining 31 in Nepal. This document is considerably weaker in technical d e t a i l compared with the Indian Proposal. There are no d e t a i l s of the design of the proposed reservoirs, their operating procedures, or the cost of these reservoirs. The Bangladesh Proposal, however, presents an estimate of the additional dry season flow which could be generated i f a l l these reservoirs are b u i l t . Bangladesh planners concentrate on twelve major reservoirs in Nepal on the three main trans-Himalayan systems: the Karnali, the Gandaki, and the Kosi r i v e r systems. The Bangladesh proposal implies that Nepal should be included in any future discussions on the question of augmentation. The Proposal also implies that the water stored in the projected reservoirs in Nepal should be allocated for the needs of Calcutta port in India and of western Bangladesh. It is i n t e r e s t i n g to note that u n t i l now, development of these reservoirs in Nepal was a subject of discussion between India and Nepal. Indian had offered to finance the construction of some of these reservoirs and buy hydroelectric power from Nepal. ' j V j > V . i v w 7fc^>;y H M ^ A ^ 7 V ii • ,1 • S j yy s / i / / N / A f \ ..•> s / i s M A 0 / H T / A .<v. ,- / ^ ' - ^c t L /^ ,C\\'7\Vv y.-V \ ^ y ' x i MAP SHOWING THE BANGLADESH , ^ 0 ^ ^ - ' * " PROPOSAL ON AUGMENTATION OF GANGES FLOWS^ «\ - . y j 'S / ' V •~,J L K J L. 0 0) U 0 U 1 M S 0 1 F i g u r e 4 115 The Bangladesh proposal further estimates the t o t a l amount of flow generated from Indian and Nepalese reservoirs at an additional 310,000 cusecs. This could be made available during the dry season to meet the needs of the three countries. This estimate constitutes the crux of the Bangladesh proposal. F. THE CHRONOLOGY OF NEGOTIATIONS OVER AUGMENTATION Despite the exchange of detailed proposals for al t e r n a t i v e projects to augment the Ganges' flow, negotiations did not proceed beyond this preparatory stage. The reason for t h i s was that the important question of whether two countries, or three, or more, are v i t a l l y concerned in the augmentation of the Ganges. U n t i l t h i s v i t a l p o l i t i c a l question could be resolved, the chances of reaching a consensus on the technical question of augmentation were v i r t u a l l y n i l . The Indian government has consistently argued that the question of augmentation of the Ganges i s a b i l a t e r a l concern, to be discussed by Bangladesh and India. The view is embodied in the 1977 Treaty which makes no provision for the involvement of other governments. The Bangladesh government, however, has actually i n s i s t e d that the interests of Nepal cannot be ignored. Nepal i s situated in the Ganges basin, i t s r i v e r s contribute most of the dry season flow of the Ganges and Bangladesh's proposal for augmenting the Ganges would be carried out mostly within Nepalese t e r r i t o r y . For these reasons, Bangladesh argues, Nepal must be a party to the negotiation of augmentation. In May 1979, the t h i r d meeting of the Indo-Bangladesh Joint 1 1 6 Rivers Commission (JRC) after the 1977 Treaty had been signed, the Indian side conceded that the Nepalese government would be "approached." This s l i g h t concession was made because of prime m i n i s t e r i a l intervention. Just prior to the JRC meeting Prime Minister Morarji Desai had v i s i t e d Bangladesh and suggested that Nepal be approached. However, the concession was made by India on the understanding that i t did not prejudice the "basic b i l a t e r a l character of the negotiations of the augmentation of the f l o w . " 4 4 The exact status which the Nepalese government might have in the negotiations was not pu b l i c l y c l a r i f i e d . Judging from India's actions even today, i t becomes clear that the Indian government never envisaged a formal t r i l a t e r a l commission. This ambiguous concession from India was not acceptable to the Bangladesh government. It i s quite natural, therefore, that there was no agreement to commence surveys of the a l t e r n a t i v e schemes for augmenting the dry season flow of the Ganges. India's insistence on b i l a t e r a l i s m on the issue i s c l e a r l y i l l u s t r a t e d by reference to the response given to a t h i r d party intervention which was made in January 1978. In a speech to the Indian parliament, President Carter of the United States offered assistance for the development of the region's r i v e r s . 4 5 Two days later the Prime Minister of B r i t a i n , James Callaghan, made a similar o f f e r in Bangladesh. 4 6 The interventions were welcomed in Dhaka but rebuffed in New Delhi. Nothing more has been heard of them since. With the return of Mrs. Gandhi as prime minister in 117 January 1980, the Indian attitude seems to have become non-compromising. During Mrs. Gandhi's election campaign, she gave notice that the fence-mending agreements made by the Janata government should be undone."7 In subsequent months, the focus of Indian concern moved from the question of augmentation back to the short-term sharing of the existing dry season flow. President Ziaur Rahman v i s i t e d New Delhi in February 1980 to address a U.N. conference. During t h i s v i s i t he took the opportunity to meet Mrs. Gandhi to discuss the question of augmentation. The following report quoted from the Hindu i s a good indication of the change in Indian attitude: The new government's policy toward neighboring countries i s to continue to s t r i v e for a consolidation of relations with them in mutual interest. (But) the Indian view is that one-sided concessions do not lead to l a s t i n g friendship, but only end up by d i s t o r t i n g the relationship and doing more harm in the long run in the long run. So i t i s necessary to aspire to a certain.degree of r e c i p r o c i t y to give both sides an abiding stake in the preservation of equally b e n e f i c i a l r e l a t i o n s . " 8 The new position can be interpreted in two ways. F i r s t , i t i s quite possible that the new government was not w i l l i n g to accept the short-term sharing of the flow negotiated by i t s predecessor. Second, by bringing up the question of sharing existing dry season flow, the Indian government may have been trying to put pressure to Bangladesh to accept the Indian proposal for augmentation. In my opinion the l a t t e r seems to have been the case. In the March meeting of the JRC, the new Indian i r r i g a t i o n minister, Kedar Pandey (who had previously been the i r r i g a t i o n 1 18 minister for the state of West Bengal) warned that India would invoke her right to review the Treaty in November i f no progress were made in investigating augmentation proposals." 9 However, when he was questioned later in the Lok Sabha, the minister did say that since i t was a b i l a t e r a l agreement, they would stand by i t . 5 0 That the Indian threat to scrap the treaty was a ploy aimed at getting Bangladesh's acquiescence on the matter of the Inedian proposal for dry season augmentation i s further i l l u s t r a t e d by G.K. Reddy's report on the minister's statement in The Hindu : The Minister... i s missing no opportunity to do some plain speaking to Bangladesh on the Ganga waters problem. He has been sounding a note of warning, presumably with the prior lknowledge of his senior Cabinet colleagues, that the 1977 Farakka agreement, in i t s present form, w i l l have to be scrapped i f Bangladesh continued to drag i t s feet over the question of augmentation of the flow during the dry season." 5 1 During most of March and A p r i l of 1980, the Farakka issue became polarized. Bangladesh in s i s t e d on Nepal's p a r t i c i p a t i o n in any discussion over the question of augmentation and India threatened to scrap the 1977 Treaty unless the Bangladesh government relented. The following report in the Times of India is a r e f l e c t i o n of the Indian government's displeasure over Bangladesh's policy to include Nepal in discussions of augmentation: ..Instead of cooperating with t h i s country (India) in making the agreement work in right earnest, Bangladesh has persisted in a negative and d i l a t o r y attitude which amounts, for a l l p r a c t i c a l purposes, to a 1 19 refusal to implement some c r u c i a l clauses of the agreement. For instance, a commitment to formulate a long-term plan to augment the flow of the Ganga is as much a part of the agreement as the provision for a guaranteed minimum supply of the Ganga waters to Bangladesh during the lean months for aperiod of five years..For i f no progress could be made in the long-term plan within the spe c i f i e d time-frame, India w i l l have no option but to ask for the scrapping of the five-year formula for water sharing during next year's review of the 1977 agreement which has also been s p e c i f i c a l l y provided for in the accord i t s e l f . " 5 2 After the 17th meeting of the JRC in New Delhi which took place between February 27-29, an o f f i c i a l of the Indian external a f f a i r s ministry issued the following statement: Whether i t i s the issue of the augmentation of the flow of the Ganga or the sharing of the Teesta waters or indeed the question of the waters of any of the common r i v e r s , the true meaning and significance of the interim Farakka accord must not be distorted or else the future of thi s agreement might be jeopardized. 5 3 The Indian government was attempting to show that Bangladesh had reneged from i t s position as signatory to the 1977 Treaty and therefore there was no reason for the Indian government to observe the Treaty anymore. The Indian position of not agreeing to include Nepal in discussions was defended on the grounds that India did not l i k e "a m u l t i l a t e r a l approach to a b i l a t e r a l i s s u e . " 5 " Relations between India and Bangladesh deteriorated once again during most of 1980 and 1981. The fee l i n g of trust that had been restored by Desai's government was now replaced by mutual suspicion. Under these circumstances, i t i s not unusual that Bangladesh adopted an ambiguous negotiating strategy -- a 1 20 strategy which involved displaying a keen interest in finding a long-term solution and yet not budging from i t s insistence on t r i l a t e r a l involvement. Bangladesh's strategy i s described accurately by Inder Malhotra in the Times of India : In a l l fairness i t must be recognised that not only does the Farakka issue af f e c t the l i v e s of mi l l i o n s of people in Bangladesh, i t i s also a highly emotive question in that country. Moreover, a l l the complexes a r i s i n g from the close proximity between India and Bangladesh and the di s p a r i t y in their sizes come into play whenever Dhaka takes up the Ganga water problem with Delhi. A curiously ambivalent negotiating strategy i s the r e s u l t . On the one hand, Bangladesh pleads for magnanimity and generosity from i t s bigger neighbour: on the other i t attempts overtly and covertly to internationalize the purely b i l a t e r a l i s s u e. 5 5 The Indian government was c l e a r l y unimpressed with Dhaka's s t a l l i n g t a c t i c s . Through o f f i c i a l statements and press releases, New Delhi made i t clear that i f Bangladesh did not agree to the Indian proposal of long-term augmentation, India might have to consider the option of scrapping the Treaty altogether. Sensing the central government's uncompromising attitude toward Bangladesh, the government of the state of West Bengal wasted no time in i t s attempts to pledge i t s support for the Indian position. The West Bengal assembly unanimously adopted two resolutions requesting the Union government to try to modify the Indo-Bangladesh Ganga waters agreement to ensure a minimum of 4 0 , 0 0 0 cusecs of water in the Hooghly in the leanest part of the year and to take necessary conservation steps to maintain and improve n a v i g a b i l i t y of that r i v e r . 5 6 The 18th meeting of the JRC was held in New Delhi in A p r i l . 121 Although Jamaluddin Ahmed, Bangladesh's Deputy Premier (Deputy Prime Minister) and leader of i t s delegation to the New Delhi talks, said that the talks were " f r i e n d l y , " no solution had been actually reached. In fact, the two positions were in such sharp c o n f l i c t that the two sides had not been able to agree even on the minutes of the meeting. 5 7 Inder Malhotra reflected the Indian atti t u d e : Only those out of touch with r e a l i t y could have been surprised by the f a i l u r e of the latest round of Farakka talks between t h i s country (India) and Bangladesh. The divergence between the approaches of the two sides has been so great that to look for a meeting ground between them i s l i k e expecting two p a r a l l e l l i n e s to meet. For once the Joint Rivers Commission appointed under the Farakka accord, signed by the Janata government in November 1977 has even dispensed with the formality of recording the two sides' agreement to disagree. And although another meeting of the JRC in Dhaka has been mooted, i t i s clear that the deadlock cannot be broken at the technical l e v e l at which the Commission functions. A way out of the impasse can only be forced at the highest p o l i t i c a l l e v e l . 5 8 Malhotra's main point i s s i g n i f i c a n t : the technical nature of the JRC made i t a l l the more d i f f i c u l t to find a solution which is e s s e n t i a l l y p o l i t i c a l . The Bangladesh government had t r i e d to include Nepal in discussions of augmentation by r e f e r r i n g to Morarji Desai's willingness to "approach" Nepal in 1979. It was revealed later that the former Indian defence minster, Jagjivan Ram, at the time of signing the treaty had also exchanged with his Bangladesh counterpart a " c o n f i d e n t i a l " l e t t e r . In t h i s l e t t e r , i t seems Mr. Ram had affirmed that in discussing the long-term arrangements to augment the Ganges' flow, the two countries need 122 not exclude Nepal. 5 9 According to one report, Bangladesh was trying to treat t h i s l e t t e r as an integral part of the 1977 understanding. 6 0 The 19th JRC meeting was held during July 8-11, 1980. While this meeting also f a i l e d to bring about any change in the Indian and Bangladesh positions, the j o i n t statement issued at the end stated that " i t had been agreed to continue the discussions at the JRC, and where necessary, at other levels a l s o . " 6 1 The Dhaka meeting also decided that the 20th meeting of the JRC would be held in New Delhi at the end of August. It was also decided that t h i s would be followed by a meeting of the two foreign ministers, P.V. Narashima Rao and Shamsul Hague of Bangladesh. It was hoped that a l l the d e t a i l s could be worked out by the 20th JRC meeting and during the foreign ministers meeting so that the f i n a l decision could be taken during the summit, meeting between Mrs. Gandhi and Ziaur Rahman in September in New D e l h i . 6 2 As i t turned out , however, the 20th meeting of the JRC was held on August 30, a f t e r the foreign ministers' meeting. This indicates that both sides had presumably re a l i s e d that such a meeting would be pointless unless the basic issues were sorted out at a higher l e v e l . The Indian external a f f a i r s minister Narashima Rao and the Bangladesh foreign minister Shamsul Haque met in Dhaka on August 16-17 to discuss a number of b i l a t e r a l issues. The issue of long-term augmentation of the Ganges' flow figured prominently in their t a l k s . The joint statement issued at the end of t h e i r talks stated: 1 23 India and Bangladesh should continue their e f f o r t s to maintain a climate of mutual trust and understanding and further consolidate and strengthen the fr i e n d l y relations between them. 6 3 Regarding Farakka, the joint statement contained the by now inevitable l i n e : E f f o r t s should be i n t e n s i f i e d to find a mutually acceptable solution at an early date to the problem of the long-term augmentation of the dry season flow of the Ganga at Farakka. 6" In other words, the Farakka issue was s t i l l as far from being resolved as ever. It was clear that both sides were exercising great r e s t r a i n t and both sides were aware that negotiations had to continue i f a solution was to be reached. The 20th session of the Indo-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) was held in New Delhi but, to no one's surprise, i t did not make any progress. The joint statement issued at the end of the New Delhi talks stated that i t was decided to hold the next meeting of the JRC in Dhaka very early "with a view to make a renewed attempt to submit i t s recommendations concerning the augmentation of the dry season flow of the Ganges within the time l i m i t s p e c i f i e d in the agreement." 6 5 The date of the review was due in two months on November 5, 1980. It was extremely unlikely that the agreement over the augmentation question could be reached in two months where every previous meeting of the JRC had f a i l e d to produce any r e s u l t s . Meanwhile, the domestic p o l i t i c a l situations in both Bangladesh 1 24 and India had taken a turn for the worse. Mrs. Gandhi was preoccupied with the v o l a t i l e situation in Assam and Ziaur Rahman was more concerned about the opposition he was facing from members of the Awami League because the economy " had deteriorated. The next round of talk s over the augmentation question could not be held before November 5 in Dhaka. The talks were in the nature of a review as provided for by the 1977 Treaty. The Indian delegation was headed by Mr. Kedar Pandey who reported that in the l a s t dry season the port of Calcutta received only 10,000 to 12,000 cusecs and t h i s situation could not continue any longer. He also said that India had agreed to the 1977 formula for sharing existing dry season flow in the hope that Bangladesh would agree to the Indian proposal of a link canal through Bangladesh t e r r i t o r y thereby joining the Ganges and Brahmaputra R i v e r s . 6 6 Kazi Anwarul Huque, the Bangladesh Minister for Power, Water Resources, and Flood Control, responded to the Indian minister's statement by saying that Bangladesh had to be s a t i s f i e d with only 34,000 cusecs for the la s t three years during the lean season whereas h i s t o r i c usage has never been below 44,000 cusecs. 6 7 The review of the 1977 Treaty, therefore, achieved nothing in terms of solving the augmentation problem but was confined to "considering the impact, implementation, and progress of the 1977 agreement." 6 8 The Bangladesh government was trying i t s best, meanwhile, to interest Nepal in taking a more vocal role in the a f f a i r s of the region in general and e s p e c i a l l y , regarding j o i n t management 125 of the eastern r i v e r s . President Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh v i s i t e d Nepal in an e f f o r t to secure i t s commitment to a formal stand on river development issues. The Nepalese government apparently succeeded in getting a t a c t i c a l postponement of a formal stance in the dispute, but agreed that the Ganges was an international river and as such discussions over the augmentation of i t s dry season flow should include a l l the co-basin s t a t e s . 6 3 The government of India looked at t h i s courtship with suspicion. There was a report in the Times of India on A p r i l 13 which stated that o f f i c i a l s in New Delhi saw these moves by Dhaka as a conscious attempt to subvert the policy consistently followed by India with i t s neighbours—that a l l b i l a t e r a l problems between neighbours should be solved b i l a t e r a l l y . 7 0 The same report also stated that the Indian government was inclined to view the Bangladesh campaign as nothing short of an "unfriendly a c t . " 7 1 The question of augmentation of the dry season flow of the Ganges was s t i l l not decided. By May.1981, both Bangladesh and India r e a l i s e d that concessions would have to be. made on both sides i f the deadlock were to be broken. Bangladesh was trying to broaden the scope of the discussions by including a broad range of issues of mutual concern to both countries. On May 3, 1981 Mr. Muchkund Dubey, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, announced in Calcutta that a high-level Indo-Bangladesh meeting to discuss the entire range of b i l a t e r a l issues would be held s h o r t l y . 7 2 The meeting, however, could not take place for a long time. 1 26 During the month of May, Indo-Bangladesh relations reached a new low over the question of ownership of a new island which had sprung up at the mouth of the Hariabhanga River in the Bay of Bengal. The island, known as New Moore in India and South Talpatty in Bangladesh was formed by deposits of sediment carr i e d down by the River Hariabhanga. As soon as the island emerged, the Indian government sent a naval ship and raised the Indian f l a g . Because the island was so close to the Indian border, the Bangladesh government suggested a j o i n t survey to ve r i f y ownership. The idea was c a t e g o r i c a l l y rejected by the Indian government. Answering questions in the Rajya Sabha (India's Upper House), Indian external a f f a i r s minister Mr. Narashima Rao said: India's t i t l e to New Moore island i s c l e a r . The question of joint survey requested by Bangladesh is premature and not relevant at p r e s e n t . 7 3 The talks on augmentation were once again interrupted by an unexpected event. President Ziaur Rahman was assassinated on May 31, 1981 while he was v i s i t i n g the c i t y of Chittagong in Bangladesh. 7" Justice Abdus Sattar, who had been Zia's Vice-President was declared the new president of Bangladesh. In the ensuing general elections of November 1981, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) under Justice Sattar was once again voted to power. Sattar could only rule for a few months, however, because on March 25, 1982 Lieutenant General H.M. Ershad, Bangladesh's army chief declared martial law throughout the country. 7 5 Although Ershad made some important changes in 1 27 the domestic sphere, the Chief Martial Law Administrator's o f f i c e issued a d i r e c t i v e to the effect that Bangladesh's foreign policy would remain unchanged. Indo-Bangladesh relations improved under Ershad's leadership. After Mujib had been assassinated in August 1975, the Indian government had viewed the Bangladesh leadership with suspicion. Zia's growing t i e s with the Muslim world and his constant wooing of Nepal and the other smaller countries in the subcontinent did not find favour in India. Besides, A.Z.M. Obaidullah Khan, Ershad's advisor on agriculture had indicated to an Indian j o u r n a l i s t that the m i l i t a r y rulers were anxious to solve the Farakka Barrage issue with I n d i a . 7 6 The next round of talks were held in Dhaka during August 27-31, 1982. The Bangladesh delegation was led by A.Z.M. Obaidullah Khan who had by now become Minister of Agriculture for the m i l i t a r y government. The Indian delegation was led by Mr. Kedar Pandey, Union Minister for I r r i g a t i o n . The joint press release issued at the end of the talks stated that the two sides "achieved a greater measure of understanding on the elements to be taken into consideration for finding an equitable s o l u t i o n . " 7 7 While not a great deal can be read from this press release, i t was clear that the two sides had decided to continue in their e f f o r t s to find a mutually acceptable solution and also agreed to meet as often as necessary at appropriate l e v e l s . 128 G. A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING Further negotiations between representatives of India and Bangladesh had cleared the way for a formal understanding to be drawn up on a number of issues. In early October 1982, Gen. Ershad paid his f i r s t o f f i c i a l v i s i t to India. During his v i s i t , Mr. P.V. Narashima Rao, Indian External A f f a i r s Minister . and Mr. A.R. Shams-ud-Doha, Bangladesh Foreign Minister, drew up a Memorandum of Understanding which was reported as a two-year extension of the Farakka agreement of 1 977. 7 8 This, however", i s e s s e n t i a l l y a misrepresentation. During the October v i s i t , Mrs. Gandhi and Gen. Ershad discussed the 1977 agreement on Farakka and agreed that the agreement had not proved suitable for finding a sati s f a c t o r y and durable s o l u t i o n . 7 9 On that basis, the 1977 agreement was agreed to be extended for another two years with the understanding that the Indo-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) would undertake and complete technical and f e a s i b i l i t y studies within 18 months of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding to augment the flow of water and ensure equitable sharing between the two countries. What the joint press release did not say i s that the new understanding omits the 80 per cent clause which guaranteed Bangladesh's share during the dri e s t ten days at the end of A p r i l at 27,600 cusecs. 8 0 The Gandhi-Ershad Memorandum of  Understanding has a clause which d i r e c t s the JRC "to ensure that a f u l l and f i n a l agreement i s arrived a t . " 8 1 The Memorandum of Understanding i s an understanding which favours the interests of India over those of Bangladesh. 129 Without the 80 per cent "safeguard" clause, any arrangements to divide the Ganges waters at Farakka are, from the Bangladesh perspective, increasingly i r r e l e v a n t . At current rates of i r r i g a t i o n expansion in India, there might not be enough water in Farakka during the next decade or s o . 8 2 Thus the f i r s t function of the 1977 Treaty — that of sharing the existing flow --. . w i l l remain unchanged but there w i l l be one important difference: whereas the 1977 Treaty guaranteed Bangladesh a steady supply of water, the Gandhi-Ershad Memorandum promises only a share of a dwindling supply. This w i l l not matter only i f the flow in the Ganges does not f a l l seriously below average during the next two dry seasons and the two countries can reach an agreement over augmentation by that time. Since past discussions have proved intractable we can assume that future discussions w i l l prove to be every b i t as d i f f i c u l t . The second function of the 1977 Treaty was to establish procedures for negotiations of augmentation. The new Memorandum  of Understanding s i g n i f i c a n t l y modifies the circumstances in which the negotiations w i l l take place. The JRC was asked to study alternative augmentation proposals and make i t s recommendations to the two governments within three years. It was unfortunate that neither side accepted the other's position with the result that no surveys could be conducted. In the Memorandum of Understanding, the JRC has been directed "to ensure that a f u l l and f i n a l agreement is arrived a t . " 8 3 Nepal w i l l not be involved in discussions and the nature of the clause indicates that the economic and technical aspects w i l l be 130 discussed, eschewing the p o l i t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s . 8 " On both the obstacles which prevented progress in the past, Bangladesh has been overruled: the link canal is to be considered, ignoring i t s p o l i t i c a l implications; the Bangladesh scheme w i l l be studied but without the involvement of Nepal. The Memorandum of Understanding, therefore, is not a continuation of the 1977 Treaty but a new agreement which heavily favours the Indian side. In terms of content, the new understanding i s as much concerned with the hydrologic-economic aspects of river development as the previous one, and both r e l i g i o u s l y avoid p o l i t i c a l solutions. As long as the continuing p o l i t i c a l issues involved are not recognised and sorted out, the understanding over augmentation has l i t t l e chance of success. o 131 NOTES 1. This is especially true when one considers that for almost twenty-six years the two sides had been negotiating without any r e s u l t s . Bangladesh's bringing the issue up in the U.N. in September 1976, and Desai's assuming the reins of power in New Delhi in March 1977, occurred within the space of a few months, therefore complicating the c o r r e l a t i o n of the two events to the actual signing of the treaty in November, 1977. It is c l e a r , however, that bringing up the issue in the United Nations helped the Bangladesh government regain i t s confidence and play i t s cards c a r e f u l l y in the negotiations. 2. Foreign policy is said to be a ra t i o n a l continuum evolved over decades by various governments and also through the interaction of d i f f e r e n t government departments. Therefore, although the thrust of policy might change with a change in government, the actual process of policy formulation remains the the same. It i s quite unlikely for governments to make a 180 degree turn from an e x i s t i n g pattern, e s p e c i a l l y on a substantive issue. 3. The Hindu, January 24 1977, "No accord on Ganga: Bangla team leaves." 4. Holiday, January 30 1977, "After talks what?" 5. Far Eastern Economic Review, March 4 1977, "Talks meet a watery grave." 6. A similar argument i s made in Holiday, January 23 1977, "What prospect f o r , t a l k s . " 7. Dawn, January 10 1977, "China-Bangladesh r e l a t i o n s , " and March 19 1977, "Bangladesh f u l l y prepared to uphold i t s sovereignty." 8. Dawn, March 12, 1977, "Bangladesh chief explains Farakka issue to Shahanshah of Iran." 9. Ben Crow, The P o l i t i c s and Technology of Sharing the Ganges, unpublished Ph.D. d i s s e r t a t i o n , University of Edinburgh, 1980, pp.169-170. 10. The Janata Party manifesto, Both Bread and Liberty, says: "The Party w i l l s t r i v e to resolve such outstanding issues as remain with some of i t s neighbours and w i l l consciously promote a good neighbour pol i c y . " (p.25). 11. Ever since Mujibur Rahman was assassinated on August 15, 1975 the Indian government became unsure of how the new m i l i t a r y government in Dhaka would react to Indian paternalism. One of the better known freedom fi g h t e r s , a certain Kader "Tiger" 1 32 Siddiky along with his followers refused to accept the new government and in a bid to put up violent opposition to the new regime in Dhaka crossed over to Indian t e r r i t o r y . Here his band of men were given shelter and protection. Occasionally, Kader Siddiky and his troops would enter Bangladesh and raid and plunder the border areas. The government of Bangladesh requested the Congress government to put a stop to Siddiky's a c t i v i t i e s and hand him over to Banhgladesh. The Indian government did not comply. 12. Far Eastern Economic Review, May 6 1977, "As you were at the Ganges Talks." 13. Ibid. 14. The negotiations concentrated on the flow during the period A p r i l 21-30, the ten days of lowest flow, and there was agreement that the t o t a l flow in t h i s period should be taken as 55,000 cusecs, the 75% a v a i l a b i l i t y value. The d e t a i l s of this period come from: 1) Financial Times, A p r i l 27 1977, "Ganges water agreement near." 2) The Hindu, A p r i l 15 1977, "Jagjivan to decide other issues besides Farakka." 3) The Hindu, A p r i l 20 1977, "Concessions to Bangla over Ganga waters." 4) The Hindu, A p r i l 26 1977, "Bengal Minister c r i t i c i s e s Farakka accord." 15. Ibid. 16. Bangladesh. White Paper on the Ganges Water Dispute, Dhaka, September 1976. 17. The Hindu, May 11 1977, "Farakka talks hinge on techno-economic aspects," by G.K. Reddy. 18. Dawn May 12 1977, "Indo-Bd talks on Ganges waters f a i l . " 19. The Hindu, A p r i l 15 1977, "Jagjivan to discuss other issues besides Farakka;" see, also, footnote #11. 20. The Hindu, June 11 1977, "Zia happy over t a l k s . " 21. The Hindu, July 16 1977, "Farakka: India's thinking on a long term solution." 22. Foreign A f f a i r s Record, August 6 1977, "Talks on Farakka." 23. The Hindu, August 9 1977, "Farakka talks made l i t t l e headway," by G.K. Reddy. 24. The Hindu, August 30 1977, "India may se t t l e for less water 1 33 with Dhaka." 25. The Hindu, September 15 1977, "Farakka water: Bengal team's plea to centre." 26. The Hindu, September 5 1977, "Only a limited accord on Farakka, says Bangladesh." 27. The Hindu, September 16 1977, "India, Bangla d r i f t i n g apart?" by G.K. Reddy. 28. The Hindu, September 25 1977, "Summit on Farakka Possible?" by G.K. Reddy. 29. On the morning of September 28, a f u l l meeting of Zia's Council of Advisors was discussing the f i n a l instructions to be given to B.M. Abbas before he returned to Delhi. They were interrupted by the news that a hijacked Japan Air Lines plane was asking permission to land in Dhaka. See, Sunday, Delhi, October 1977, "The coup coupland." In the subsequent chaos caused by the hijack, two rebellions were attempted, one in Dhaka and the other in Bogra. Neither succeeded and though a few people were k i l l e d in the attempts, several hundred people were executed l a t e r . Despite a l l t h i s , the instructions were given to B.M. Abbas and he got back to New Delhi in time to i n i t i a l the treaty on September 30, 1977. 30. The Hindu, September 28 1977, "Farakka: Dhaka summons Abbas for fresh briefing,"and The Hindu, September 30 1977, "Agreement of Farakka," by G.K. Reddy. 31. Ibid. 32. Indo-Bangladesh Agreement on Sharing of Ganga Waters at  Farakka , A r t i c l e l I ( i i ) , See Appendix B. 33. Ben Crow, "Appropriating the Brahmaputra," in Economic and  P o l i t i c a l Weekly, December 25 1982, p.2097. <• 34. Hassan, in Harvard International Law Journal, 19:2, (1978): 717. 35. Ben Crow, op. c i t . , The P o l i t i c s . . . , p.177. 36. The Hindu, December 20 1977, "Zia's f r u i t f u l talks with P.M." 37. India. Ministry of Agriculture and I r r i g a t i o n , Department of I r r i g a t i o n , Proposal for augmentation of the dry season flow  of the Ganga, New Delhi, March 1978, p.83. 1 b i l l i o n equals 1,000,000,000 in the American t r a d i t i o n . 38. Ibid. , p.68. 134 39. The depth and discharge are given, the slope appears to be similar to that of the Farakka Barrage feeder canal. The cross sectional area and width can therefore be calculated. 40. Maasland has calculated that the power potential of the unregulated minimum flow in t h i s region i s 30 GW at 60% load factor. Water development potentials of the Ganges-Brahmaputra- Meghna basins, World Bank, Washington, 1973, p.20. 41. Indian Proposal, op. c i t . , p.8. 42. Ibid. , p.67. 43. Ben Crow, op. c i t . , The P o l i t i c s . . . , p.304. 44. The Hindu, May 13 1979, "India's gesture to Bangla." 45. USIA, Delhi, "Toward our common goals: texts of remarks and  speeches," Delhi, 1978, p.18. 46. The Hindu, January 7 1978, "Callaghan gets warm welcome." 47. The Economist, December 8 1979, "Back to Indira Raj." 48. The Hindu International E d i t i o n , February 2 1980, "Bangla President Cordial talks in Delhi." 49. The Hindu International Edition, March 8 1980, "Delay t a c t i c s won't do Bangla t o l d . " 50. The Hindu International E d i t i o n , March 29 1980, "Ganga Waters accord: minister blames Janata government." 51. The Hindu International E d i t i o n , March 29 1980, "Farakka: India warns Bangladesh." 52. Times of India, March 1 1980, "Delhi-Dhaka talks adjourned." 53. Times of India, March 4 1980, "Bangla statement i s incorrect and unfair." 54. Ibid. 55. Times of India, January 15 1981, "Farakka and i t s F a l l -out," by Inder Malhotra. 56. Times of India, A p r i l 8 1980, "Review of Farakka urged." 57. Times of India, May 1 1980, "Farakka and i t s F a l l - o u t , " by Inder Malhotra. 58. Ibid. 1 35 59. Ibid. 60. Ibid. 61. Times of India, summit." July 12 1980, "Ganga waters issue goes to 62. Ibid. 63. Times of India, i l l e g a l entry." August 19 1980, "Delhi-Dhaka to stop 64. Ibid. 65. Times of India, rive r waters issue." September 2 1980, "Bangladesh obdurate on 66. Times of India, November 7 1980, "Dhaka talks extended: India suggests long-term pact on Ganga." 67. Ibid. 68. Times of India, November 9 1980, "Talks on Ganga waters in Delhi next week." 69. Bangladesh Times, May 16 1981, "India takes stubborn stand on Ganges: B i t t e r campaign launched against Bangladesh." 70. Ibid. 71 . Ibid. 72. Bangladesh Times, May 4 1981, "High-level Indo-Bangla meet shortly." 73. Bangladesh Times, May 9 1981, "India rejects joint survey proposal on South Talpatty." 74. Ziaur Rahman was assassinated in a plot to overthrow him led by Maj.-Gen. Abul Manzur. The coup attempt was unsuccessful. A l l those involved were executed and Zia's President Justice Abdus Sattar took over as President of Bangladesh. 75. Lieutenant General H.M. Ershad was the army chief at the time Zia was assassinated. He was the one responsible for sending army detachments to Chittagong to subdue the mutineers and punish the o f f i c e r s responsible. When Sattar was elected President in the general elections of November 1982, the armed forces under the leadership of Ershad demanded that they should have a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l position in the ru l i n g of Bangladesh. Justice Sattar refused and the armed forces took over power on March 25, 1982 in a bloodless coup ostensibly to fight the corruption practised by the p o l i t i c i a n s who had been in power 1 36 and which, according to the army, had eroded the very fabric of society in Bangladesh. 76. Times of India, A p r i l 18 1982, "Coup to avoid bloodbath," by Anthony Mascarenhas, st a f f correspondent of the Sunday Times, London, in a special to the Sunday Review to the Times of India. 77. Times of India, September 1 1982, "Farakka talks end on hopeful note." 78. Times of India, October 8 1982, "Farakka accord to be scrapped." 79. Ibid. 80. Ben Crow, op. c i t . , "Appropriating the...," p.2097. 81. Ibid. , p.2098. 82. Ibid. , p.2097. 83. Ibid. , p.2098. 84. Ibid. 1 37 V. ASYMMETRIC DYADS AND UPSTREAM-DOWNSTREAM CONFLICTS The Farakka Barrage dispute between India and Pakistan/Bangladesh provides scholars with a useful study of an upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t over an international r i v e r . Over the t h i r t y odd years that the dispute has been going on, the c o n f l i c t has evolved through many stages. This chapter analyses the strategies adopted by Pakistan/Bangladesh as the lower riparian state in i t s attempt to influence India in negotiating an equitable and long-range solution throughout the dif f e r e n t stages in the Farakka Barrage dispute. My central argument has been that an equitable and long-range solution has not been reached so far because of the inherent inequality in the ove r a l l relations between India and Bangladesh. In any ripa r i a n dispute between two neighbours, there are bound to be hydrologic-economic issues which have to be settled before an agreement can be reached. However, an analysis of case studies dealing with international riparian disputes reveals that the f i n a l outcome depends on other factors as well. The overal l state of relations between the co-riparians, the stakes involved for each of them, their general foreign policy objectives, the bargaining techniques they choose to employ and, more importantly, the bargaining resources each commands, may also be important factors in the f i n a l outcome. In other words, the f i n a l solution i s more a result of short and long term p o l i t i c a l considerations a f f e c t i n g the disputing co-riparians than i t i s of purely hydrologic-economic considerations. The f i r s t factor which i s important in determining the 138 r e l a t i v e ease or d i f f i c u l t y with which an international riparian dispute can be se t t l e d between two countries i s their r e l a t i v e position v i s - a - v i s an international r i v e r . According to LeMarquand, relationships among international co-riparians can be divided into four categories. 1 Of these, the disputes most d i f f i c u l t to resolve are the ones he c a l l s "upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t s . " In t h i s category, the upstream country uses a river for i t s sole p r o f i t . Its u t i l i s a t i o n does not benefit the downstream country and may well be detrimental to the l a t t e r ' s interest i f , for example, i t makes consumptive use (such as for i r r i g a t i o n ) of the water, diverts i t , pollutes i t excessively or regulates the flow of the water such that the downstream country's needs cannot be s a t i s f i e d . In such cases, the economic incentives to reach agreement are extremely low because the upstream state receives maximum benefit by exploiting the river in accordance with only i t s own user's demands. The Farakka Barrage dispute between India and Bangladesh f a l l s in this l a s t category of international r i v e r disputes. In an upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t , there i s very l i t t l e the lower r i p a r i a n can do unless t h i s country has reciprocal power over the upper r i p a r i a n . 2 By reciprocal power I mean whether or not the lower riparian possesses the capacity to influence the upper rip a r i a n to cooperate. The superordinate-subordinate r e l a t i o n s h i p between India and Bangladesh can be f r u i t f u l l y analysed using the conceptual apparatus of a group of scholars from Carleton U n i v e r s i t y . 3 According to them, in an asymmetric-dyadic relationship (their terminology for two 1 39 countries in an unequal r e l a t i o n s h i p ) , the subordinate country although economically dependent on the superordinate country t r i e s to maintain an arm's length r e l a t i o n s h i p with i t s superordinate partner in order to avoid the perceived p o l i t i c a l costs of increased integration." Translated into an upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t s i t u a t i o n where the upper r i p a r i a n is also the superordinate state, the downstream country i s in a very vulnerable position. However, even in- such situations agreements have been reached. 5 The subordinate/downstream country can attempt to engage the superordinate/upstream country in negotiations over the riparian dispute. How successful the downstream country.will be depends on the s p e c i f i c c o n f l i c t and the nature of relations between two co-riparians. However, with a prudent application of the strategies outlined in Chapter II, subordinate/downstream countries may be able to persuade superordinate/upstream countries to cooperate. Getting the superordinate/upstream country to cooperate does not assure an equitable solution but i t . i s my contention that by i n i t i a t i n g negotiations, the subordinate/downstream country can maximize i t s chances of winning concessions from the superordinate/upstream country. In the f i n a l analysis, however, i t i s the superordinate/upstream country which has the upper hand. 1 40 A. THE FIVE STAGES OF THE FARAKKA BARRAGE DISPUTE The Farakka Barrage dispute has not remained s t a t i c over the t h i r t y odd years that i t has been going on. Based on the nature of the o v e r a l l pattern of power relations between the co-riparians, the dispute has evolved through five stages. Each stage had i t s own particular character which, to a large extent, influenced the bargaining style adopted by each r i p a r i a n . The c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of the dispute into stages helps us to analyse the actions and reactions of the disputants in an h i s t o r i c a l context. It also saves us, as p o l i t i c a l analysts, from committing ourselves to a s i m p l i s t i c analysis of the strategies used by Pakistan/Bangladesh as the lower riparian state. While the strategies employed by Pakistan/Bangladesh were very instrumental in persuading India to cooperate, their success or f a i l u r e at pa r t i c u l a r periods of the Farakka Barrage dispute depended to a great extent on the changing pattern of power relations between the superordinate/upstream and the subordinate/downstream state. The following analysis of the powevr relationship which existed between India and Pakistan/Bangladesh during the five stages of the Farakka Barrage dispute w i l l c l a r i f y the structural context of the dispute and also enable us to appreciate the importance of certain strategies a subordinate/downstream state may use to achieve a solution to an upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t . a. The Exchange of Diplomatic Notes: The f i r s t stage of the Farakka Barrage dispute spanned a period of nine years. As 141 mentioned e a r l i e r , i t began on October 19, 1951 with a formal complaint lodged by Pakistan with the government of India regarding the l a t t e r ' s plans to construct the Farakka Barrage across the Ganges a few miles from the East Pakistan border. It ended in June i960 with the f i r s t meeting of technical experts from both countries. Relations between India and Pakistan were "diplomatically correct" which i s another way of saying that although diplomatic channels were open, relations were less than f r i e n d l y . In terms of power, Pakistan and India were roughly equal with India having a s l i g h t edge owing to i t s larger population and greater land area. As co-riparians on a number of major international r i v e r s , such as the Indus, the Ganges, and the Brahmaputra, India was in an advantageous position by virtue of being the upper r i p a r i a n . During t h i s stage of the Farakka dispute, both countries were newly independent and therefore mostly occupied with domestic reconstruction and development. They were very wary of each other especially since they had fought a small scale war over the disputed Kashmir area in 1948.6 During t h i s preparatory stage Pakistan simply wanted to get India to acknowledge that a problem existed, and, in order to do t h i s , Pakistan formally protested about the alleged construction of the Farakka Barrage. Pakistan was quite persistent in the sense that when no reply was forthcoming from India, Pakistan sent reminders. 7 The Pakistan government's e f f o r t s paid off because after a while the Indian government agreed to cooperate with Pakistan on a reciprocal basis. However, although Pakistan 1 42 supplied the Indians with information on the Ganges-Kobadak project, the Indians withheld any information pertaining to the Farakka project. India did agree to exchange a limited amount of technical information with Pakistan but t h i s concession came only after plans for the Farakka project were f i n a l i z e d and the Indian parliament had approved i t . b. Wallowing in Technical Data: The second stage of the Farakka Barrage dispute began with the f i r s t experts' meeting in June 1960 and lasted u n t i l the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971. Relations between India and Pakistan deteriorated during this decade to such an extent that they engaged in war three times: f i r s t in May 1965, then in September 1965, and f i n a l l y in December 1971.8 This last confrontation dismembered Pakistan and what used to be East Pakistan became the independent state of Bangladesh. A comparative power assessment of India and Pakistan during this period would recognise a rough balance between the two u n t i l Pakistan was s p l i t up. India gained some stature in the international system because of i t s o r i g i n a t i n g , along with Egypt and Yugoslavia, the concept and practice of non-alignment. 9 On the other side, Pakistan was integrated into the American system of a l l i a n c e s and became a member of the Central and South East Asian Treaty Organisations (CENTO and SEATO). 1 0 The two wars between India and Pakistan proved that neither's economy could sustain a long, drawn-out confrontation. India's border c o n f l i c t with the People's Republic of China in 1962 exposed India's v u l n e r a b i l i t y . 1 1 However, the border 143 confrontations with China only increased India's determination to strengthen and modernize i t s armed forces. This i t proceeded to do with Soviet and American h e l p . 1 2 Despite attempts by both India and Pakistan to achieve superiority, both sides were about equal in m i l i t a r y c a p a b i l i t i e s . Negotiations over the Farakka issue started between experts from both countries. The substantive technical issues that were discussed included an assessment of the needs of Calcutta port and East Pakistan. In order to f i n d out how much water would be available during d i f f e r e n t months of the year, surveys of discharge measurements had to be c a r r i e d out along d i f f e r e n t points of the Ganges. By the fourth experts' meeting which ended on January 8, 1962 considerable progress was made in the exchange of d a t a . 1 3 However, further progress could not be made because of India's demand for more and more data. During t h i s stage, there was a d e f i n i t e s h i f t in the focus of the dispute. In the f i r s t stage Pakitstan's e f f o r t s were unsuccessfully directed toward stopping India from building the Farakka Barrage without being consulted f i r s t . Once construction on the Farakka project was underway, the focus of the dispute (from Pakistan's standpoint) shifted to an equitable a l l o c a t i o n of the Ganges' flow. The question of a l l o c a t i o n spurred technical exchanges. Despite Pakistan's frustrations with these so-called technical meetings, i t had no choice but to follow India's lead. The presence of the Farakka Barrage across East Pakistan's western border had changed the focus of discussions from an argument over a " p r i n c i p l e " to an argument 144 over "sharing." Had India not in s i s t e d on more and more data during this stage and allowed p o l i t i c a l exchanges to take place, i t i s quite probable that representatives from India and Pakistan could have hammered out an agreement which would have ensured e f f i c i e n t j o i n t management of Ganges waters. However, that was never India's intention. It is not surprising that the Indian government was unwilling to decide anything u n t i l the Farakka Barrage was complete and operational. c. P a t e r n a l i s t i c Embrace; The t h i r d stage of the Farakka Barrage dispute spanned more than four years beginning with the creation of Bangladesh in December 1971 and ending with the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in August 1975. Negotiations over the Farakka assumed a new dimension in l i g h t of the changed circumstances in the subcontinent. The dismemberment of Pakistan not only weakened that country, i t also established Indian predominance in the subcontinent. Bangladesh, now an independent but p o l i t i c a l l y weak country, was negotiating with a stronger more confident India. The conditions surrounding these negotiations were peaceful and i n i t i a l l y there was no sense of the s t r a i n that had characterized negotiations between India and Pakistan. Within four months of Bangladesh's independence, the two governments decided to create a joint body in order that "the water resources of the region could be u t i l i s e d on an equitable basis for the mutual benefit of the peoples of the two countries." 1" This joint body was c a l l e d the Indo-Bangladesh 145 Joint Rivers Commission (JRC). Negotiations over the Farakka issue went ahead at f u l l speed. Besides regular sessions of the JRC, the Indian government surprised Bangladesh leaders by proposing m i n i s t e r i a l l e v e l meetings. 1 5 This generosity on India's part had a l o t to do with the state of the Farakka Barrage and the feeder canal. The Barrage had been completed in 1970 but the feeder canal would not be ready u n t i l late 1973. 1 6 j It was in India's interest to resolve the issue at t h i s point. The Indians wanted to push a solution through during the Indira-Mujib summit held in New Delhi in May 1974. As i t turned out, many issues were set t l e d during the summit but not the issue of the Farakka Barrage. 1 7 The lack of progress over the Farakka issue can be explained by the fact that during the f i r s t few years of Bangladesh's existence, Bangladesh's leaders f e l t very grateful to Mrs. Gandhi's government for lending active support during the c i v i l war. Bangladesh leaders f e l t that i t would be inappropriate to d i f f e r with India on most b i l a t e r a l issues. There c e r t a i n l y were differences of opinion between the two countries, but Bangladesh's leaders thought i t more prudent to emphasize good relations rather than focus on the differences they had with India. There were also reports that Sheikh Mujib was naive enough to accept India's views as to how much water Bangladesh a c t u a l l y needed during the dry season. 1 8 However, since the j o i n t statement issued af t e r the Indira-Mujib summit of 1974 contained only a statement of p r i n c i p l e s rather than an actual agreement, Mujib obviously had his own doubts. 1 9 1 46 While Bangladesh was following a policy of cooperation with India, India reciprocated in a way which sometimes resembled paternalism. Indian leaders believed that they would have a much easier time dealing with Bangladesh negotiators than they had with delegations from Pakistan. This proved to be d i f f i c u l t because Bangladesh's chief negotiator, B.M. Abbas, had also been a key member of previous Pakistan d e l e g a t i o n s . 2 0 This stage of the dispute also saw an interim agreement signed between India and Bangladesh so that India could operate the now completed Farakka Barrage and the feeder canal on an experimental b a s i s . 2 1 It is clear that Bangladesh had certain misgivings about th i s agreement, but for reasons yet unclear chose not to make too much of i t . On the augmentation issue, however, Bangladesh took a tougher stand. Because Bangladesh was t o t a l l y opposed to the Indian proposal for augmentation, JRC deliberations came to a s t a n d s t i l l by December 1974. The assassination of Mujibur Rahman in August 1975 brought an end to t h i s stage of the Farakka dispute. The Farakka Barrage was operating under an interim agreement. The foeus of the discussions had now shi f t e d from the question of sharing to the question of augmentation. d. From H o s t i l i t y to Compromise; Relations between India and Bangladesh deteriorated during t h i s stage of the Farakka Barrage dispute. India's i n i t i a t i v e s and Bangladesh's responses were in some ways reminiscent of the second stage of the dispute. The events of August 1975 (Mujib's assassination and 1 47 i t s aftermath) were interpreted by India as manifestations of anti-Indian sentiments, and attempts by Bangladesh to establish diplomatic relations with Pakistan, China, and Saudi Arabia as anti-Indian moves. There was an attempt in Dhaka to kidnap the Indian High Commissioner on November 26, 1975. These events brought the relationship between these two countries to an a l l -time low. Not w i l l i n g to accept the situation in Bangladesh, India began to mount a massive propaganda campaign against the new rulers in Bangladesh and there were also reports of attacks on outposts along the Mymensingh-Meghalaya border from the Indian s i d e . 2 2 During a l l th i s time, India continued i t s u n i l a t e r a l withdrawal of Ganges waters at Farakka. On January 15, 1976 a Bangladesh protest note started a year of public dispute. Bangladesh alleged that Indian withdrawals at Farakka at the end of the forty-day agreement constituted a breach of the existing understanding. 2 3 Meanwhile, within Bangladesh, public outcry against Indian attacks and u n i l a t e r a l withdrawal of Ganges waters reached a crescendo. Hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshis took part in a protest march organised by Maulana Bhasani, a famous nonagenarian n a t i o n a l i s t leader. 2" It is interesting to note that while Bangladesh authorities took no steps to stop the protest march, they assured India that Bangladesh border forces would not permit a c o n f r o n t a t i o n . 2 5 This was the Bangladesh government's way of demonstrating to India that the whole country was united against India in the fight for their water 148 r i g h t s . It is reported that the protest march kept Indian border security forces on the a l e r t . 2 6 Meanwhile, the effects of Indian withdrawals could be f e l t for the f i r s t time. Bangladesh pressed for negotiations and, although they were resumed, India went back to i t s old bargaining strategy of requesting an exchange of data. India's delaying t a c t i c s on the Farakka issue and i t s general non-compromising attitude on other matters of b i l a t e r a l concern prompted Bangladesh to take the matter to the United Nations. As discussed in Chapter II I , however, the Bangladesh strategy of inter n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n did not pay immediate dividends. The impasse in talks was not broken u n t i l Morarji Desai was elected Prime Minister of India in March 1977. With the Janata government in power Indo-Bangladesh relations improved considerably. With a certain degree of harmony restored in relations, b i l a t e r a l negotiations over the Farakka dispute made some progress in the ensuing months. Undeterred by the lukewarm reception i t received in the General Assembly, Bangladesh s t i l l proceeded to approach international agencies for moral and p o l i t i c a l support. 2 7 During t h i s stage of the dispute, Bangladesh tackled negotiations a d r o i t l y . Once the Bangladesh government sensed India's willingness to s e t t l e the dispute, i t chose to include other issues in negotiations for maximum benefit. As i t turned out, the November 1977 agreement between India and Bangladesh favoured Bangladesh at least with regard to dry season share of the Ganges' f l o w . 2 8 In June 1977, Ziaur Rahman was able to get a 1 49 promise from Morarji Desai in London to the effect that the Indian government would not give shelter to g u e r r i l l a s in Indian t e r r i t o r y . 2 9 On the question of augmentation, both sides agreed to consider each other's proposals within the next three years and charged the JRC with the task. From 1977 to early 1980, the JRC deliberations proved f u t i l e because neither India nor Bangladesh would budge from their positions on the question of augmentat ion. This stage of the dispute reveals an interesting aspect of upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t between a superordinate/upstream country and a subordinate/downstream country. Sometimes domestic p o l i t i c a l changes within the upstream country can improve the chances of the downstream country to negotiate a settlement. However, too much should not be made of thi s because the upstream country i s not l i k e l y to agree to anything that might be detrimental to i t s in t e r e s t s . A l l changes l i k e these can do i s create "windows of opportunity." If the downstream country is prudent, i t can take advantage of the opportunities, just as Bangladesh did. e. Stalemate or Indian Victory? The f i f t h and current stage of the dispute began in January 1980 with Mrs. Gandhi's re-election as Indian prime minister. Throughout th i s current stage of the dispute, the focus has primarily been on the augmentat ion of the dry season flow of the Ganges. Although the question of augmentation was repeatedly discussed by the JRC in i t s meetings during 1977, 1978, and 1979, there was no progress. 1 50 It was only after January 1980 that the Farakka dispute assumed a blatantly p o l i t i c a l colour. Throughout th i s thesis i t has been argued that the non-solution of the dispute has been largely the result of the d i f f e r i n g p o l i t i c a l objectives of India and Bangladesh. Both countries d i l i g e n t l y t r i e d to underplay the p o l i t i c a l nature of the dispute but were not always successful. In the current stage of the dispute, p o l i t i c a l objectives are more prominent than in the previous stages. The f i f t h and current stage of the dispute i s in many ways an important reminder to r i v e r dispute analysts and students of asymmetric dyads that the fates are in favour of the predominant country in the dyad. With Mrs. Gandhi's return to power, India's attitude became t o t a l l y non-compromising. India not only expressed i t s regrets over the stalemate on the question of augmentation, i t also raised the question of negotiating the sharing aspect which, according to India, have heavily favoured Bangladesh. 3 0 India blames Bangladesh for the lack of progress over the augmentation question. To be f a i r , the winter of 1980 proved to be dri e r than usual. As a r e s u l t , there was not enough water for Bangladesh and India. Because Bangladesh received i t s f a i r share of water under the eighty per cent clause, there was very l i t t l e water l e f t for use in West Bengal. When the Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Mrs. Gandhi and Lt. General Ershad (Bangladesh's new m i l i t a r y leader) in November 1982, India refused to allow the inclusion of the eighty per cent clause. Therefore, although the 151 Memorandum of Understanding has been hailed as an extension of the 1977 Agreement for another two years, i t is actually a two-year formula for sharing the dry season Ganges' flow with no guarantees for Bangladesh. This means that as i r r i g a t i o n and other a g r i c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s are extended in West Bengal, Bangladesh w i l l be l e f t with a dwindling share of Ganges waters. The Memorandum of Understanding also s p e c i f i c a l l y leaves out Nepal from consultations. This means that Bangladesh's proposals for augmentation w i l l be very hard to r e a l i z e . Bangladesh has not budged from i t s position over the augmentation question . The Memorandum of Understanding i s due to expire in a few months. It i s only a question of time before India can reassert i t s predominance in thi s regard. B. THE FARAKKA BARRAGE; THE ARCHETYPE OF AN UPSTREAM-DOWNSTREAM  CONFLICT The Farakka barrage dispute i s e s s e n t i a l l y a rip a r i a n dispute between two neighbours. The origi n s of the dispute can be traced as far back as 1951 when Pakistan, quoting Indian press reports, lodged a formal protest with the government of India regarding the l a t t e r ' s construction of a barrage across the Ganges River about 11 miles from the East Pakistan border. 3 1 The protest note started a dispute between India and Pakistan and t h i s continued u n t i l 1971 when East Pakistan seceded from Pakistan and became the independent state of Bangladesh. Since 1971, the Farakka Barrage dispute continued between India and Bangladesh, and although an interim agreement was signed in 1 52 November 1977, the dispute resurfaced again because t h i s agreement had f a i l e d to resolve a l l the issues associated with the Farakka Barrage. To date, the agreement of 1977 between India and Bangladesh which embodies years of negotiations (starting from the Pakistan era) provides the only guiding formula for sharing of Ganges waters between these two c o u n t r i e s . 3 2 However, there i s increasing d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n with the terms of t h i s agreement on both sides and, unless a comprehensive settlement i s reached soon, i t is quite l i k e l y that Bangladesh as the subordinate/downstream country w i l l be denied even the share of Ganges waters i t received as of 1977. The Farakka Barrage dispute involves two d i f f e r e n t issues which have to be s a t i s f a c t o r i l y resolved before a comprehensive settlement can be reached. The f i r s t issue involves the sharing of the Ganges' flow during the dry season when the flow i s lowest and cannot meet the needs of both countries. The 1977 agreement resolved t h i s issue but only for the duration of the treaty which ended on November 5, 1982. In the absence of any progress in discussions between representatives from both countries during the time the treaty was in force, a Memorandum  of Understanding between the leaders of both countries was signed to extend the 1977 agreement for two more years. The second issue involves the question of augmentation of the dry season flow of the Ganges in order to meet the increasing needs of both Bangladesh and India. Both India and Bangladesh have proposed alternative schemes for augmentation but each i s v i o l e n t l y opposed to the other's scheme for p o l i t i c a l reasons. 153 Bangladesh proposed the construction of 81 reservoirs of which 23 would be in Nepal on the Ganges basin. These reservoirs would store water during the monsoons for release later during the dry season. Because some of these reservoirs would be in Nepal, that country, according to Bangladesh, should also be included in future discussions on augmentation. In fact, an attempt to include Nepal and other interested states constitutes an important strategy for Bangladesh to achieve an equitable or at least optimal solution to the Farakka Barrage dispute. India, meanwhile, has proposed construction of a barrage across the River Brahmaputra on i t s t e r r i t o r y just outside the Bangladesh border. A canal would be constructed just upstream of t h i s barrage to link the Brahmaputra River with the Ganges just upstream of the Farakka Barrage. Part of the link canal would have to pass through Bangladesh t e r r i t o r y . The additional flow of the Brahmaputra would e f f e c t i v e l y augment the dry season flow of the Ganges for both countries. Today, after the expiry of the 1977 agreement, the issues of sharing and augmentat ion are both being re-examined. It seems that India, being the upstream/superordinate country i s winning the b a t t l e . But Bangladesh i s not about to give up without a f i g h t . The important question i s how long can Bangladesh withstand India's pressure, keeping in mind the fact that the more time i t takes to reach a comprehensive settlement, the more economic adversities Bangladesh has to suffer in i t s southwestern region. 1 54 C. STRATEGIES ADOPTED BY PAKISTAN/BANGLADESH In an upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t , the downstream country has very few options available with which to induce the upper riparian to cooperate. In Chapter II, I have shown that although a l e g a l i s t i c approach does not usually help in resolving a r i p a r i a n dispute, c i t i n g international norms and precedents which support the lower riparian's stand in a p a r t i c u l a r dispute usually forms a basis for discussions with the upper r i p a r i a n . 3 3 Pakistan c i t e d the Helsinki Rules' well publicized p r i n c i p l e of "equitable and reasonable apportionment" to get India's attention. Once the upstream country agrees to negotiate, the downstream country can adopt a number of bargaining strategies in order to reach an equitable solution to the riparian dispute. In the case of the Farakka Barrage dispute, Pakistan/Bangladesh adopted the following strategies in an e f f o r t to f i n d a solution to the dispute: Formal protest and exchange of diplomatic notes; Talks between leaders; Cooperat ion; Technical exchange; Pressure to upgrade ta l k s ; Attempts to involve t h i r d parties; The threat of r e t a l i a t i o n . Internationalization; Issue-area linkage; 1 55 10) Mobilize domestic and international public opinion. 3 4 Although these strategies were not employed at one time nor necessarily in the order given above, they were c l e a r l y d i s c e r n i b l e in Pakistan/Bangladesh's actions once India had conceded to hold ta l k s . Formal protest and exchange of diplomatic notes During the period preceding actual negotiation with India, Pakistan's objective was to make India acknowledge that a barrage at Farakka would be detrimental to the interests of East Pakistan. To thi s end, Pakistan lodged a formal protest with the Indian government expressing concern about India's proposed barrage at Farakka. Pakistan pointed out that i t should be consulted before any project or scheme l i k e l y to prejudice i t s v i t a l interests was put into operation. While India t r i e d to reassure Pakistan saying that the project was only at a preliminary stage, the l a t t e r kept on sending notes requesting cooperation. To keep the matter moving, the Pakistan government followed up on i t s diplomatic notes with reminders every time India delayed sending i t s r e p l i e s . The strategy of lodging a formal protest and following i t up with diplomatic notes was partly successful inasmuch as India was persuaded to maintain a steady correspondence with Pakistan. However, when i t came to actual information of a technical nature pertaining to the Farakka Barrage project, the Indians were s i l e n t . Pakistan was also in a peculiar position. It could press the Indians only so much since construction work had 156 not started on the project s i t e at that point. To move the matter forward, Pakistan suggested a r b i t r a t i o n in 1957. 3 5 This move by Pakistan prompted the Indian government to agree to di r e c t negotiation. India agreed to exchange a limited amount of technical data with Pakistan. Pakistan's objective to enter into d i r e c t negotiation with India, therefore, was achieved by a combination of lodging a formal protest, exchanging diplomatic notes and suggesting a r b i t r a t i o n . There were certain reasons why these strategies succeeded in compelling India to agree to di r e c t negotiation. F i r s t , at that point of the dispute, India was worried that third-party intervention might result in an injunction which could prevent construction work at the barrage s i t e . Second, by agreeing to negotiate, India was actually conceding nothing to Pakistan. On the contrary, the exchange of technical data could work in India's favour since i t could get information regarding certain projects in East Pakistan. Third, and most importantly, the exchange of technical data would give India the time to go ahead with the construction of the Farakka Barrage without any danger of the work being stopped. In January 1976, the Bangladesh government also lodged a formal protest with India, a l l e g i n g that Indian withdrawals at Farakka aft e r the end of the "forty-day understanding" constituted a breach of the agreement. 3 6 Unfortunately, however, although Bangladesh protested frequently in several fora and by a variety of media, Indian withdrawals at Farakka continued at or near the maximum mark allowed by the project. In thi s case, 1 5 7 the lodging of a formal protest was more an act of desperation on the part of Bangladesh rather than a well-planned strategy. It i s not surprising that India did not respond favourably. Relations between India and Bangladesh were at an a l l - t i m e low. Both sides were complaining of shooting incidents across th e i r common border. 3 7 Second, negotiations could not resume because. Bangladesh had set some preconditions which were unacceptable to India. Third, with the onset of the dry-season, the flow at Farakka would be considerably reduced and since India was already withdrawing water the status quo suited i t s interest. Fourth, the assassination of Sheikh in Bangladesh came as a shock to Mrs. Gandhi and she wanted to show her displeasure to the new regime in Bangladesh by taking a tough stand on the Farakka issue. Talks between leaders During various points in the Farakka Barrage dispute, Pakistan/Bangladesh arranged talks between leaders of the co-riparian states in an e f f o r t to either speed up negotiations or to clear up some contentious point. President Ayub and Prime Minister Nehru met in London in 1961 during the Commonwealth heads of state conference. These two leaders met informally to discuss a number of b i l a t e r a l issues including the issue of the Farakka Barrage. It was agreed by the two leaders that Pakistan and India would cooperate on the Farakka Barrage project and the decision to a l l o c a t e shares of the Ganges' flow would be taken at the m i n i s t e r i a l l e v e l . 3 8 Unfortunately, however, Nehru later c l a r i f i e d the Indian position by saying that ministers' l e v e l 158 meetings could take place only after the technical issues were sorted out. Although the Nehru-Ayub "understanding" of 1961 did not reap immediate benefits for Pakistan, i t did set the formula for future negotiation between the co-riparians: p o l i t i c a l discussion would follow technical discussion by experts. In discussions of augmentation of dry season flow of the Ganges, no progress could be made because Bangladesh and India did not see eye to eye. Bangladesh wanted Nepal to be included in these discussions but India disagreed. This impasse was broken by dir e c t intervention from Prime Minister Desai who suggested that Nepal could be "approached." In t h i s instance, dir e c t intervention by a leader resolved a contentious point for the time being so that negotiations could proceed smoothly. 3 9 President Zia was in New Delhi in February 1980 to address a U.N. conference. Since discussions of augmentation were making no progress, he met Mrs.' Gandhi to discuss t h i s problem with her. This time, however, the tete-a-tete between the two leaders did not clear anything up. The f a i l u r e of direct personal contact between leaders of the co-riparian states in the last instance can be explained in the following way. Mrs. Gandhi had severely c r i t i c i s e d the five-year Ganges Waters Treaty during her election campaign. It was well nigh impossible for her to change her tune just a few months after being elected to the o f f i c e of Prime Minister. The other important reason for the f a i l u r e of the Zia-Gandhi meeting was that Zia's suggestion to include Nepal in discussions was a dir e c t attack on the Indian policy of b i l a t e r a l i s m in dealing 159 with i t s neighbours." 0 Therefore, meetings between leaders can only achieve p a r t i a l success. On matters of national p r i o r i t y , d i r e c t personal contact between leaders of d i f f e r e n t states i s not l i k e l y to resolve anything. In late 1977, President Zia during a v i s i t to India persuaded Morarji Desai to upgrade the Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) to include ministers from both governments." 1 By virtue of th i s decision, the JRC was transformed from a purely technical body with only recommending powers to a p o l i t i c a l and technical body with "greater" powers. In this instance, an informal meeting between Zia and Desai changed the nature of the JRC. It was now represented by p o l i t i c a l decision-makers, something Bangladesh had wanted for many years. Meetings between leaders can always help clear up l i t t l e problems.. Where there i s a strong commitment by the national leadership to cooperate, the negotiators w i l l have the authority to make the compromises necessary to reach agreement, or at least develop a f l e x i b l e bargaining strategy." 2  Cooperation At various times during the Farakka Barrage dispute, both Pakistan and Bangladesh followed a strategy of cooperation with India with mixed re s u l t s . A cooperative strategy was adopted because Pakistan/Bangladesh hoped that this would convince India of their s i n c e r i t y . They proposed that the co-riparians work j o i n t l y to manage their common water resources e f f i c i e n t l y . Pakistan, for instance, suggested in 1961 that the two countries should consider constructing a j o i n t barrage. The 160 southwestern region of East Pakistan could be i r r i g a t e d by gravity channels fed from a barrage across the Ganges. A potential s i t e existed at Lalgola which would have put the barrage equally in India and East Pakistan. If the barrage were sat i s f a c t o r y from an engineering standpoint, the project would have substantial economic advantages for both East Pakistan and India. The expensive Bhagirathi-Hooghly feeder canal would have been unnecessary and Pakistan could have made a substantial contribution to the cost of the barrage i t s e l f . 4 3 This strategy was t o t a l l y unsuccessful because India had already begun construction on the Farakka s i t e . Besides, Pakistan's offer was not taken seriously by the Indians who, perhaps r i g h t l y , considered t h i s to be a ploy on Pakistan's part to delay the construction of the barrage at Farakka. In early 1972, Bangladesh suggested the creation of a joint body which would act as a technical and advisory body to the two governments for developing the water resources of common r i v e r s . 4 4 India agreed at once to the suggestion and the Indo-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) was formed in March 1972. 4 5 India agreed with Bangladesh because i t had no objections to creating a joint body which would have only recommendatory powers and would be manned primarily by technical experts from both countries. India also had another interest in the creation of such a body. In the Statute of the JRC, nowhere is there any mention of the Farakka Barrage. It was a body created to "carry out a comprehensive survey of the ri v e r system shared by the two countries." This meant that within the scope 161 of the JRC's a c t i v i t i e s would be included the Brahmaputra and Meghna basins, along with the Ganges, the Teesta, and other shared r i v e r s . Judging from India's proposal for augmentation, which was f i r s t mentioned in 1974, (the Ganges-Brahmaputra link canal), Bangladesh's proposal to create a joint body was also in India's in t e r e s t . Bangladesh, on the other hand, made the proposal in good f a i t h in order to effect a prompt solution to the Farakka Barrage issue. Moreover, the suggestion was made at a time when Indo-Bangladesh relations were at their best and the Awami League government in Dhaka had not yet gotten over feeling grateful to New Delhi for the support i t had given Bangladesh's l i b e r a t i o n during the c i v i l war less than a year previously. Technical Exchange Throughout the negotiations over the Farakka Barrage issue, there were times when talks were completely broken off between India and Pakistan/Bangladesh. When negotiations were resumed, the exchange of technical information about the barrage and other projects in both countries were always an important s t a r t i n g point for both sides. Negotiations over the Farakka issue broke down completely just before the 1965 war between Pakistan and India and were not resumed u n t i l 1968. When the two sides met in New Delhi in 1968, they exchanged technical data." 6 After Mujib's death in August 1975, negotiations broke down for almost a year. During thi s period, India u n i l a t e r a l l y continued to withdraw large quantities of water from the Ganges. When negotiations resumed in early 1976, technical talks formed the basis of discussions 1 62 between the Indian and Bangladesh delegations. Thus technical exchange constituted an important strategy for the downstream country to restart negotiations after a period of stalemate. Technical exchange also had i t s substantive aspects. In order to determine how much water would be required for Calcutta port and how much for projects in Bangladesh, two things had to be calculated f i r s t : 1) basic discharge measurements of the Ganges, and 2) project descriptions to assess water needs of projects downstream of Farakka. It i s very interesting to note that although these discussions were "technical," each side's interpretation of technical data was influenced by p o l i t i c a l considerations." 7 Thus technical exchange assumed an important role at the star t or resumption of negotiations because of i t s alleged "objective" nature. Technical exchange, however, helped India to put off meaningful p o l i t i c a l negotiation as long as possible. Pressure to Upgrade Talks Throughout the negotiations over the Farakka dispute with India, Pakistan/Bangladesh put pressure on India to upgrade talks from the technical experts' level to the p o l i t i c a l decision-makers' l e v e l . The lower riparian's strategy of attempting to convince the upper riparian to upgrade talks to the p o l i t i c a l l e v e l was the di r e c t result of two considerations. F i r s t , Pakistan/Bangladesh f e l t that India was using the excuse of technical exchange to put off serious negotiation. Second, even when the technical problems were sorted out, i t was only the p o l i t i c a l decision-makers from both countries who were 1 63 capable of making the substantive decisions. By putting pressure on India to upgrade t a l k s , Pakistan (and l a t e r , Bangladesh) wanted to bring about a quick solution to the Farakka dispute. The Nehru-Ayub "agreement" of 1961 did lay down the foundations of m i n i s t e r i a l l e v e l meetings between the two co-r i p a r i a n s . " 8 However, India l a t e r c l a r i f i e d i t s position, claiming that Nehru had agreed to m i n i s t e r i a l l e v e l meetings only after a l l the technical aspects of the dispute were sorted out. For instance, Pakistan pressed for m i n i s t e r i a l meetings in November 1962 and May 1963 to move the matter forward, but India refused to comply. It was only after September 1968 when Pakistan raised the issue in the United Nations General Assembly that India agreed to upgrade talks to the secretaries' (senior c i v i l servants') l e v e l . The strategy to upgrade talks was largely unsuccessful because India was not intimidated. India agreed to raise the lev e l of talks only when i t suited i t s interests. For instance, India raised the le v e l of the talks to the m i n i s t e r i a l l e v e l in 1972 without being requested to do so by Bangladesh. The reason was that the Farakka Barrage was nearing completion and i t was in India's interests to reach a solution so that the barrage could go into operation as soon as construction was completed. Attempts to Involve Third Parties In an attempt to hasten a solution to the Farakka c r i s i s , both Pakistan and Bangladesh attempted to involve t h i r d parties on several occasions. The rationale behind t h i s p o l i cy was 1 64 simple: a non-partisan t h i r d party (be i t a state or an international organisation) would presumably bring an objective approach to the Farakka dispute. A mediated settlement, therefore, would be i n f i n i t e l y more equitable than a b i l a t e r a l l y negotiated one. The only task that remained was to persuade India to agree to t h i r d party involvement. This proved to be easier said than done. India repeatedly i n s i s t e d that the Farakka Barrage dispute was e s s e n t i a l l y a b i l a t e r a l problem and, therefore, a solution could only be the result of b i l a t e r a l , not m u l t i l a t e r a l , discussion. As early as 1957, Pakistan suggested a r b i t r a t i o n in the dispute. India c a t e g o r i c a l l y rejected Pakistan's s p e c i f i c proposals but agreed that the two countries could exchange technical information on common r i v e r s . The lower riparian's strategy to involve t h i r d parties in the dispute also had a secondary motive. The suggestion to involve t h i r d parties sometimes resulted in progress being made in b i l a t e r a l negotiations with India. Pakistan's suggestion of a r b i t r a t i o n promoted b i l a t e r a l consultation from an indire c t exchange of diplomatic notes with India to a dire c t exchange of technical information with that country. One of the cornerstones of Bangladesh's position on the question of augmentation has been to involve t h i r d parties in discussions. Bangladesh's proposal for augmentation includes storage reservoirs in India and Nepal which can, t h e o r e t i c a l l y , store enough water to maintain the Ganges' flow during the dry season. By attempting to include Nepal in discussions, 165 Bangladesh wants to increase i t s bargaining power. Since India is the lower riparian v i s - a - v i s Nepal, i t wants to deal with that country on a b i l a t e r a l basis to extract maximum concessions. India knows that in a t r i l a t e r a l discussion, i t w i l l have to give Bangladesh the same advantage that i t receives from Nepal as the lower riparian state. India's refusal to include Nepal in discussions of augmentation also stems from broader and more basic p o l i t i c a l objectives. As the predominant power in South Asia, India believes that i t can gain maximum benefit from the other states in the region in i t s dealings with them by adopting a policy of "divide and rule." If the smaller states in the region were allowed to act in concert, India might lose some of the advantage i t now enjoys. Bangladesh's strategy to include Nepal in discussions has not succeeded so far and is l i k e l y to f a i l in the future because i t goes against one of India's cardinal p o l i c i e s - - t h a t of dealing with neighbours on a b i l a t e r a l basis. Bangladesh has also t r i e d to put pressure on India by approaching China. While Bangladesh was able to get Chinese declarations of support over i t s stand on the Farakka issue, this was not apparently enough to intimidate India." 9 Considering the state of Sino-Indian relations over the past two decades, th i s i s hardly surprising. Crow sums up the situation appropriately in the following words: Bangladesh could muster the support of only a few f r i e n d l y nations. Amongst the more powerful, only China was w i l l i n g to make public declarations of support and, since China and India had not resolved the differences which had caused the 1962 war, that 166 support could not be readily converted into pressure on the Government of I n d i a . 5 0 Pakistan/Bangladesh also t r i e d to put pressure on India through the superpowers. In 1968, the Pakistan government requested the Soviet Union to bring pressure to bear on India to s e t t l e the Farakka dispute equitably and quickly. Alexei Kosygin, the then Soviet premier, sent a l e t t e r to Indira Gandhi urging a solution on the l i n e s of the Indus Waters Tre a t y . 5 1 In 1978, President Carter, in a speech to the Indian parliament, offered assistance for the development of the region's r i v e r s . 5 2 A few days l a t e r , Prime Minister Callaghan of B r i t a i n made a similar offer in Bangladesh. 5 3 New Delhi simply ignored these "requests." Bangladesh's strategy to involve t h i r d parties has so far produced no positive r e s u l t s . Clearly, India views i t s policy of b i l a t e r a l i s m with i t s neighbours as based on an important p r i n c i p l e . It is not surprising, therefore, that t h i s country w i l l not be intimidated by other major powers, be they regional or international. Pakistan/Bangladesh's strategy to involve t h i r d parties in the dispute was at best a "calculated r i s k . " It never produced the desired result of India agreeing to t h i r d party mediation. On occasion, i t accelerated the b i l a t e r a l negotiating process. On other occasions, this strategy triggered a h o s t i l e reaction from India to the extent that the Indian government almost cut off the b i l a t e r a l negotiating process. 5" 1 67 Threat of Retaliation According to LeMarquand, in an upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t the upstream country has no economic incentive to cooperate with the downstream country unless the l a t t e r has reciprocal power over the former. 5 5 The concept of reciprocal power has been c l a r i f i e d in Chapter I I . One way in which the downstream country can e l i c i t cooperation from the upstream country i s by s i g n a l l i n g to the l a t t e r i t s intention of going ahead with a project of i t s own which could have adverse e f f e c t s in the upstream country. The Pakistan government, having t r i e d everything else, followed a r e t a l i a t o r y strategy for a while in an e f f o r t to make India cooperate on the Farakka Barrage issue. The threat was issued in the form of passing on plans to India according to which Pakistan would construct a barrage on the Ganges in East Pakistan t e r r i t o r y . This barrage was known simply as the "Ganges Barrage." This barrage, aside from i r r i g a t i n g huge areas in East Pakistan would also store water for dry season use. Because of the location of t h i s reservoir, i t would be possible to flood huge areas in West Bengal (India). The very mention of t h i s project caused considerable alarm in New Delhi. K.L. Rao, the Indian minister of i r r i g a t i o n and power, expressed his apprehensions in the Lok Sabha (Indian parliament) about the project. He said that i f the project were implemented, i t would cause harm to large t r a c t s of t e r r i t o r y within India by submerging and eroding these a r e a s . 5 6 There was a subtle irony embedded in Pakistan's scheme. The Ganges Barrage of East Pakistan could act as a lever on 1 68 India. If India were unwilling to release to East Pakistan a s u f f i c i e n t supply of Ganges waters, East Pakistan would have to opt for a higher barrage. The proposed barrage would have to be raised by 10 feet (from 45 to 55 feet above sea-level) and t h i s would force India to put high marginal embankments along both banks of Indian parts of the Ganges. 5 7 The threat i m p l i c i t to India in East Pakistan's construction of the Ganges Barrage was clear. As i t turned out, there was some progress in the negotiations after the presentation of East Pakistan's Ganges Barrage project to India. Pakistan was extremely fortunate to be in a position to threaten India with a project of i t s own. If Pakistan had pursued th i s strategy with a l i t t l e more determination, i t is quite l i k e l y that India would have been forced to s e t t l e the Farakka dispute amicably. It i s quite possible that the domestic turmoil Pakistan was going through, at the time prevented that country from concentrating i t s undivided attention to the Farakka Barrage d i s p u t e . 5 8 The situation presented to Pakistan in i t s proposed Ganges Barrage project is quite unique and t h i s was perhaps the only time during the Farakka Barrage dispute that Pakistan had "reciprocal power" over India. It i s unfortunate that owing to domestic p o l i t i c a l problems and f i n a n c i a l constraints, Pakistan was not able to take f u l l advantage of the opportunity. Internationalization Internationalization involves the taking of a disputed issue to a regional or an international organisation by one or 169 more of the disputants with an aim to reach a solution. In case of "mid-level" disputes, i n t e r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n normally occurs when relations between the disputants have deteriorated considerably. In a superordinate-subordinate relationship, the subordinate state may internationalize an issue to create unfavourable international opinion against the superordinate country thereby putting indirect pressure on i t to resolve the issue. With regard to international riparian disputes, however, the chances of resolution are not good. The reasons for thi s have been discussed in d e t a i l in Chapter I I . During the course of the Farakka Barrage dispute, the issue was taken to the United Nations General Assembly on two separate occasions. In September 1968, Pakistan f i r s t took the issue to the United Nations. It presented a strong case based on the Helsinki Rules' p r i n c i p l e of "equitable and reasonable apportionment." 5 9 Pakistan also emphasised the rights of lower riparian states and urged the international body to put pressure on India to cooperate in order that a f a i r l y quick and equitable solution could be reached. The Indian government defended the charges l e v e l l e d against i t by claiming that Pakistan's accusations were not in the least j u s t i f i e d . India also explained the importance of the Farakka Barrage project in the rejuvenation of the port of Calcutta. Pakistan's strategy succeeded only insofar as subsequent b i l a t e r a l negotiations were elevated from the l e v e l of technical experts to the le v e l of senior c i v i l servants. It must be remembered that in 1968 Indo-Pakistan r i v a l r y was well known to 1 70 the rest of the world. Since India and Pakistan had taken opposite stands on almost a l l issues they voted on in the General Assembly, the international community mistook Farakka to be one of those "excuses" focussing on which these two states could hurl polemics at each other. Moreover, Pakistan's assessment of the damages that would be caused to East Pakistan were believed to have been exaggerated. In any case, at that point these damages were hypothetical since the Farakka Barrage was a long way from completion. Bangladesh took the issue to the United Nations in 1976. This was a year after the death of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. India continued to withdraw water u n i l a t e r a l l y even after the expiry of the forty-day "agreement." 6 0 In t h i s instance, i n t e r n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of the issue by Bangladesh represented a l a s t ditch e f f o r t to stop India from withdrawing water u n i l a t e r a l l y . India was suitably embarrassed and lobbied hard to prevent the issue from being raised in the General Assembly. India even invited Bangladesh to New Delhi on the eve of the General Assembly session to hold b i l a t e r a l talks on Farakka. 6 1 This was a t a c t i c a l move by India to dissipate the force behind Bangladesh's request to the United Nations. Despite India's attempts to f o i l Bangladesh's move, the l a t t e r managed to include the item in the agenda of the General Assembly. The f i n a l wording of the resolution, however, was very mild and only requested both parties to hold b i l a t e r a l negotiations at the m i n i s t e r i a l level.(See Appendix D for text of the r e s o l u t i o n ) . There i s no doubt that the Bangladesh move caused 171 considerable embarrassment to India. It i s also very interesting to note that the interim Ganges Waters Treaty was signed only fourteen months after the Bangladesh move to internationalize the issue. As has been mentioned before, too much should not be made of the strategy. It i s clear, however, that Bangladesh being a subordinate/downstream country could gain the sympathy of other states in similar s i t u a t i o n s . Although the o v e r a l l support in terms votes favoured Bangladesh s l i g h t l y , the resolution had only recommending powers. Issue-area Linkage It i s important for Bangladesh policy makers to remember that Bangladesh can resort to issue-area l i n k a g e . 6 2 This means that Bangladesh can offer concessions to India in other areas where India has shown interest. The success or f a i l u r e of t h i s strategy w i l l depend on the kind of p r i o r i t y India places on the Brahmaputra link canal. There can be other issues which can be linked to a Farakka settlement. For example, India has offered to buy natural gas from Bangladesh on a number of occasions. At one time, Zia agreed to s e l l natural gas to India, but the Bangladesh government reversed i t s decision after India's f o r c i b l e occupation of a disputed island on the Bay of Bengal. 6 3 India has also shown interest in developing railway communications with Bangladesh. India wants to construct a r a i l l i n k from Agartala in the eastern extremity of India to Calcutta in West Bengal through Bangladesh. For fear of providing a mi l i t a r y access into Bangladesh, the Bangladesh government has never agreed to the proposal. 172 These are two areas which could be reopened and a tradeoff might be made with India. S e l l i n g natural gas to India would in fact benefit Bangladesh as well beacause i t has huge untapped resources of thi s commodity, mostly in Comilla and Sylhet d i s t r i c t s in Bangladesh. The proposed railway link would cut the distance from Agartala to Calcutta by a thousand miles. Bangladesh would also gain an improved railway communication network. It i s up to the policy-makers in Dhaka to reopen these negotiations and link i t to the Farakka issue. India might be interested. Since Farakka diversions are causing so much hardship to the people of southwestern Bangladesh, they have been forced to move elsewhere. Some of them have even crossed over to India in search of better economic opportunities. Whatever, the reason for t h i s migration, the fact that at least a m i l l i o n Bangladesh nationals have crossed over to India since 1971 i s accurate. 6* India i s already attempting to prevent t h i s influx by building a barbed-wire fence around the entire 1700 miles of the Indo-Bangladesh border. Dhaka could try to convince New Delhi that t h i s i s f u t i l e and that i t is in the long-range interest of India not to impoverish Bangladesh. 6 5 In the f i n a l analysis, India's o v e r a l l superiority with regard to m i l i t a r y and economic c a p a b i l i t i e s gives i t the edge in negotiations with Bangladesh. But i f Bangladesh refuses to allow a link canal to be b u i l t through i t s t e r r i t o r y , there i s nothing India can do short of using m i l i t a r y force. So far, i t seems unlikely that India w i l l do t h i s . Meanwhile, the pressure 1 7 3 on the government of Bangladesh to augment the dry season flow of the Ganges is intensifying because as i r r i g a t i o n needs in India increase Bangladesh's share w i l l decrease. With no agreed solution to this struggle for a scarce resource in sight, the desperation of mil l i o n s in both countries may escalate the Farakka Barrage dispute into a c o n f l i c t of major proportions. Despite rigorous bargaining by both Pakistan and Bangladesh with India over the Farakka Barrage issue, an equitable solution has not been reached even today. There were times when negotiations between the two co-riparians showed some progress. This progress, however, was more the result of Indian u n i l a t e r a l concession than i t was of any conscious bargaining strategy that Pakistan/Bangladesh followed at the time. In an asymmetric dyadic situation where the upstream country is also the superordinate power, i t i s quite unlikely that the downstream country can achieve much in the way of results i t desires. The over a l l power relationship i s t i l t e d too heavily in favour of the upstream country for the downstream country to have much room to maneuver. 174 NOTES 1. David G. LeMarquand, International Rivers: The P o l i t i c s of  Cooperation, (Vancouver: Westwater Research Centre, 1977), p.8. LeMarquand i d e n t i f i e s four following relationships between co-rip a r i a n s : a) public goods; b) common pool resources; c) integrated development opportunities; and d) upstream-downstream c o n f l i c t . For a detailed description of the four categories, see Chapter 11. 2. Ibid. , p. 1 0. 3. Michael Dolan, Brian Tomlin, and Harald von Reikhoff, "Integration and Autonomy in Canada-United Relations," in Canadian Journal of P o l i t i c a l Science, June 1982, XV:2, pp.331-363. 4. Ibid. , pp.332-333. 5. The United States agreed to desalt part of the water i t passes on to Mexico in the Colorado River despite having no economic incentive to cooperate as the superordinate/upstream country. See LeMarquand, op. c i t . , p.10. 6. For a better understanding of the Kashmir problem, see S.M. Burke, Pakistan's Foreign Policy: An H i s t o r i c a l Analysis, (London: Oxford University Press, 1973), pp.21 -46. 7. B.M. Abbas, The Ganges Water Dispute, (Dhaka: University Press Limited, 1982), p.19. 8. In May 1965, India and Pakistan fought a war over the disputed Rann of Kutch t e r r i t o r y on the Indo-Pakistan border. This was followed by a bigger war over Kashmir in September 1965. The f i n a l war which decided India's predominance beyond question was fought in December 1971 over East Pakistan. Pakistan troops suffered a resounding defeat at the hands of the Indian armed forces on December 16, 1971. Bangladesh was created and a new balance of power established in the subcontinent. For a detailed analysis of the f i r s t two Indo-Pakistan wars, see Burke, op. c i t . , pp.318-357. 9. The concept of non-alignment f i r s t gained currency in 1961 during the Belgrade conference as the middle-of-the-road policy in international p o l i t i c s . The foundations of the movement were l a i d six years e a r l i e r in the Bandung conference (Indonesia). The origins of the movement i s credited to Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, and Josef Broz Tito of Yugoslavia. . I n i t i a l l y , however, non-alignment was viewed as a ve i l e d form of pro-Sovietism. 10. Pakistan joined the Baghdad pact on September 23, 1955. In August 1959, the name of the organisation was changed to the 175 Central Treaty Organisation. Although the U.S. had cancassed for the Baghdad Pact and later f u l l y participated in i t s work, i t never o f f i c i a l l y signed the treaty. Pakistan r a t i f i e d the Manila Pact on January 19, 1955. The Manila Pact later came to be known as the South East Asian Treaty Organisation. 11. The f i r s t publicized border incident took place at Longju in the North East Frontier Area (NEFA) on August 26, 1959. On th i s occasion the Chinese and Indian border forces exchanged f i r e . The second border incident, which was actually a b r i e f war, started when the Chinese crossed Thagla Ridge, which India claimed as the boundary, and threatened the Indian post of Dhola. The Chinese actually did not attack en masse u n t i l October 20, on both the eastern and western fronts, putting the Indian army in ignominious f l i g h t everywhere. While the Chinese rounded some 4,000 Indians as prisoners of war, the Indians could not capture even one Chinese s o l d i e r . 12. By September 1965, United States economic aid to India exceeded $6 b i l l i o n and m i l i t a r y aid to the tune of $84.5 m i l l i o n . India continued to receive large quantities of m i l i t a r y aid from the Soviet Union bafter i t s wars with China. See Burke, op. c i t . , pp.278, 301. 13. Helmut R. Kulz, "Further Water Disputes between India and Pakistan," in The International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Vol. 18, (July 1969): 722. 14. B.M. Abbas, op. c i t . , p.30. 15. Ibid.. , p. 32. 16. The construction of the barrage was completed in 1970 but the feeder canal was not ready u n t i l December, 1973. 17. The May 1974 meeting between Mrs. Gandhi and Mujibur Rahman is reported to have been very successful. A number of b i l a t e r a l issues were se t t l e d and a number of new deals struck between India and Bangladesh. Although there was no d e f i n i t i v e agreement on the Farakka issue, the following new deals were struck and issues resolved: 1) many small boundary disputes were settled; 2) closer cooperation on trade was agreed upon; 3) both countries pledged to increase their exports to meet balanced trade targets set during e a r l i e r talks; 4) establishment of four joint industries, taking raw material from one country to labour and machinery in the other; 5) i t was agreed that a joint survey would be ca r r i e d out for a r a i l l i n k to connect Calcutta with Agartala; and f) protocols were signed making new c r e d i t s available to Bangladesh. 18. B.M. Abbas, op. c i t . , pp.34-35. 19. According to B.M. Abbas when Mujib conferred with Abbas, he realised his error and decided to rely on Abbas's judgement. 1 76 20. B.M. Abbas was the alternate leader in the f i r s t five experts' meeting held between India and Pakistan. After the independence of Bangladesh Abbas became Advisor to the Prime Minister on flood control, i r r i g a t i o n , and power, and, in that capacity was Bangladesh's chief negotiator. He was also the f i r s t chairman of the Indo-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission. 21. India and Bangladesh agreed to run the Farakka Barrage on an experimental basis from A p r i l 21 to May 31, 1975. The accord was announced on A p r i l 18, 1975 in the form of a press release. 22. B.M. Abbas, op. c i t . , p.46. 23. Keesing's Contemporary Archives, October 15 1976, "Bangladesh: The Farakka Dispute." 24. The Vancouver Sun, May 17 1976, "Bangladesh anti-dam protesters end march close to Indian border." 25. Ibid. 26. Ibid. 27. Bangladesh sent a delegation under the leadership of B.M. Abbas to the United Nations Water Conference held in Mar Del Plata, Argentina from March 14 to 25, 1977. B.M. Abbas was elected chairman of one of the two committees. The major Bangladesh proposal with regard to international cooperation in the development of shared water resources was met with immediate response from most of the lower ri p a r i a n states. 28. See Appendix C for provisions of the 1977 Ganges Waters Treaty. A r t i c l e II (2) of the Agreement assures Bangladesh 80% of the agreed share. 29. The Janata Party Manifesto, Both Bread and Liberty, says: The Party w i l l resolve such outstanding issues as remain with i t s neighbours and w i l l consciously promote a good-neighbour policy, p.25. 30. See footnote #28. 31. The f i r s t l e t t e r of protest was written by the government of Pakistan on October 29, 1951. This i s the date which marked the beginning of the dispute. 32. See Text of the 1977 Agreement between India and Bangladesh in Appendix C. 33. The Helsinki Rules authored by the International Law Associaton in 1966, provide the most important and widely accepted legal guidelines for use in s e t t l i n g international river disputes. See International Law Association, Helsinki  Rules on the Uses of International Rivers, (London: 177 International Law Association, 1966). 34. Ben Crow, The P o l i t i c s and Technology of Sharing the Ganges , unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Edinburgh, 1980, p.114. Although Crow i d e n t i f i e s Pakistan's strategy to be these f i v e , he l i m i t s his discussion to the 1960-1970 period. I agree with him, but only p a r t i a l l y . I argue that these f i v e strategies were used throughout the dispute from 1951 up to now. I also seriously doubt Crow's contention that these strategies were used in the order given in an e f f o r t to increase the pressure on India to cooperate. As I argue throughout the thesis, a subordinate/downstream country has a limted number of options available. It uses whichever i t thinks w i l l give i t maximum benefit at a pa r t i c u l a r time and according to the dynamics of the s p e c i f i c c o n f l i c t . 35. Government of Bangladesh. White Paper on the Ganges Water  Dispute, Dhaka, September, 1976, p.13. 36. The Hindu, February 19 1976, "Ganga waters: India refutes Bangla claim." 37. See Crow, op. c i t . , p.402; see also, Foreign A f f a i r s  Record, A p r i l 1976, " O f f i c i a l Indo-Bangladesh Talks on Ganges Waters of A p r i l 26, 1979." 38. Nehru and Ayub were in London in March 1961 to attend the Commonwealth heads of state conference. They mmet to discuss a nvumber of issues and the question of the Farakka issue also came up. Thre was no fpormal understanding but they decided to cooperate on the Farakka project. Nehru had tentatively agreed that as soon as the technical aspects were sorted out, discussions among ministers from both countries could take place. This, they hoped would pave the way for a comprehensive settlement of the issue. 39. Bangladesh, however, did not accept t h i s concession because Nepal's position in future discussions was not c l e a r l y defined. 40. The Times of India, January 15 1981, "Farakka and i t s F a l l -out," by Inder Malhotra. 41. The Hindu, December 20 1977, "Zia's f r u i t f u l talks with PM." 42. LeMarquand, op. c i t . , p. 17. 43. Dawn (Dhaka dateline), July 12 1961, "Pakistan's proposal cold shouldered." 44. B.M. Abbas who was alternate leader of the Pakistan delegation in negotiations with India over the Farakka Barrage issue stayed back in Bangladesh after the creation of that country. In Mujib's cabinet he was f i r s t advisor to the Prime 1 78 Minister on flood control, i r r i g a t i o n , and power. He has written an authoritative account of the negotiations from 1960 onward. In this book, The Ganges Water Dispute, he claims that during Mrs. Gandhi's v i s i t to Bangladesh in March 1972, he proposed a joint r ivers commission of the two countries. Apparently,. Mrs. Gandhi readily endorsed the idea. The idea was also supported by Sheikh Mujib, Sardar Swaran Singh India's foreign minister, as well as Abdus Samad Azad, Bangladesh foreign minister. See B.M. Acbbas, The Ganges Water Dispute, (Dhaka: University Press Limited, 1982), pp.31-32. 45. The Joint Rivers Commission was f i r s t mentioned in the join t statement issued at the end of Indira Gandhi's v i s i t to Dhaka in March 1972. However, the JRC f i r s t met in June 1972 with B.M. Abbas of Bangladesh as i t s chairman. 46. Government of Bangladesh. White Paper on the Ganges Water  Dispute, Dhaka, September, 1976, p.13. 47. A good i l l u s t r a t i o n of the p o l i t i c a l interpretation of technical data i s to be found in the way each side used measurements of the Ganges' flow to support i t s own position. The Indians used measurements taken at Farakka and the Pakistanis used measurements taken farther downstream at Hardinge Bridge in East pakistban. The two measurements did not t a l l y because at Hardinge Bridge, the Ganges' flow i s supplemented by groundwater seepage. Therefore, the measurements taken here asre greater than those recorded at Farakka. The Indians used the flow measurements at Farakka to prove that since Pakistan received more water at Hardinge Bridge, the Indians should have to release less water to Pakistan. The Indians, of course, needed a l l the water they could get at Farakka for the rejuvenation of Calcutta port. 48. Lok Sabha Debates, August 16 1961, "International Situation," 32, 56, Cols. 2405-2560. 49. Dawn, January 10 1977, "China-Bangladesh r e l a t i o n s , " and March 19 1977, "Bangladesh f u l l y prepared to uphold sovereignty." 50. Crow, op. c i t . , pp.169-170. 51. Dawn, July 16 1978, "India rejects Kosygin's suggestion on Farakka." 52. USIA, Delhi, Towards our common goals: texts of remarks and  speeches," New Delhi, 1978. 53. The Hindu, January 7 1978, "Callaghan gets warm welcome." 54. After Bangladesh raised the issue in the United Nations in September 1976, India was obviously angered. B i l a t e r a l negotiations which followed were a mere formality. No progress 179 could be made because the Indian delegation demanded more data. This deadlock was not broken u n t i l Indira Gandhi lost the election to Morarji Desai. 55. LeMarquand, op. c i t • , p.10. 56. Lok Sabha Debates, March 31 1969, "Construction of a Barrage across the River Padma by Pakistan," S4, 2_6, Col. 46. 57. B.M. Abbas, op. c i t . , p.26. 58. In 1969, Ayub Khan's ten-year long "benevolent" dictatorship came to an end. Martial Law was declared throughout Pakistan because of the student unrest throughout the country but p a r t i c u l a r l y in East Pakistan. In East Pakistan, the movement against m i l i t a r y rule was actually spearheaded by the Awami League. Amidst a l l t h i s chaos, the communication from Islamabad to i t s negotiators over the Farakka issue was unclear. Besides, the Ganges Barrage was such a mammoth project that the Pakistan government might have used i t to put pressure on India. 59. See footnote #33. 60. Mrs. Gandhi had considered Mujibur Rahman to be her "friend" and protege. It i s said that she had absolutely no inkling of his brutal assassination. After t h i s incident, she summoned senior Raw o f f i c e r s (Research and Analysis Wing), the Indian version of a secret service and reprimanded them severely. The timing also corresponded with her assuming extraordinary powers under Emergency regulations. Withdrawing water u n i l a t e r a l l y from Bangladesh at t h i s point was, therefore, quite normal for India. 61. Abbas, op. c i t . , pp.55-56. 62. It i s quite a common practice by states to link various issues in a bargaining s i t u a t i o n . The subordinate state in a superordinate-subordiante r e l a t i o n s h i p may sometimes offer the stronger power something that country may want in exchange for something i t wants from the superordinate country. This issue-area linkage works only when what i t wants from the superordinate power i s not very important to that country. In that sense, the subordinate country i s always at a disadvantage v i s - a - v i s i t s superordinate partner. 63. Bangladesh Times, May 9 1981, "India rejects joint survey proposal of South Talpatty." 64. Since the p a r t i t i o n of India in 1947, Bengali-speaking people from both West Bengal and what i s now Bangladesh started emigrating to Assam. Very soon, these Bengalees became the e l i t e , educated class in Assam. The Assamese people have always resented t h i s invasion of their homeland. Starting in 1980, there was an organised movement against Indira Gandhi's policy 180 of l e t t i n g in Bengalees. The estimated number of Bengalees who went over to Assam in a period of t h i r t y year must be close to one m i l l i o n . 65. Sometimes subordinate/downstream countries may try to convince the upstream countries that a long-range and equitable solution i s in their interest. This strategy usually works when i t i s employed with some other p o s i t i v e sanction. 181 BIBLIOGRAPHY I. O f f i c i a l Documents. Bangladesh. Ministry of Foreign A f f a i r s , White Paper on the  Ganges Water Dispute, Dhaka, September 1976. Bangladesh. 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New York: Praeger P u b l i s h e r s , 1979. 186 APPENDIX A - STATUTE OF THE 1972 INDQ-BANGLADESH JOINT RIVERS COMMISSION Chapter I The Contracting Parties Pursuant to the relations of friendship and co-operation that exist between India and Bangladesh, Desirous of working together in harnessing the r i v e r s common to both countries for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries, Desirous of specifying some questions r e l a t i n g to these matters, WE HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS: Chapter II A r t i c l e 1 There s h a l l be established an Indo-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission, hereinafter referred to as the Commission. A r t i c l e 2 (i) The Commission s h a l l be constituted by each p a r t i c i p a t i n g government appointing a chairman and three members; of these two s h a l l be engineers. The Chairman and three members s h a l l o r d i n a r i l y hold o f f i c e for a period of three years. ( i i ) Each p a r t i c i p a t i n g government may also such experts and advisors as i t desires. A r t i c l e 3 The Chairmanship of the Commission s h a l l be held annually in turn by Bangladesh and India. A r t i c l e 4 (i) The Commission s h a l l have the following functions in p a r t i c u l a r : a) to maintain l i a i s o n between the p a r t i c i p a t i n g countries in order to ensure the most e f f e c t i v e joint e f f o r t s in maximising the benefits from common rivers to both countries. b) to formulate flood control works and to recommend implementation of joint projects. c) to formulate detailed proposals on advance fl o o r warnings, flood forecasting and cyclone warnings, d) to study flood control and i r r i g a t i o n projects so that the water resources of the region can be u t i l i s e d on an equitable basis fpor the mutual benefit of the peoples of the two countries, and e) to formulate proposals for carrying out co-ordinated research on problems of flood control a f f e c t i n g both the countries. ( i i ) The Commission s h a l l also perform such other functions as the two governments may, by mutual agreement, d i r e c t i t to do. 187 Chapter III SUPPORTING STAFF AND SECRETARIAL ASSISTANCE A r t i c l e 5 Each government w i l l provide appropriate supporting staff and s e c r e t a r i a l assistance to i t s representative in the Commission to enable them to discharge their functions in an e f f e c t i v e manner. Chapter IV SESSIONS A r t i c l e 6 (i) Subject to the provisions of t h i s statute, the Commission s h a l l adopt i t s own rule of procedure. ( i i ) Meetings may generally take place a l t e r n a t i v e l y in the two countries, subject to the conveniencce of the two countries. ( i i i ) Special meetings of working groups or ad-hoc expert groups duly nominated by the respective governments may be arranged, as required, by mutual consultation of the Members. Chapter V RULES OF PROCEDURE (iv) The ordinary session of the Commission s h a l l be held as often as necessary, generally four times a year. In addition special meetings may be convened any time at the request of either government. A r t i c l e 7 A l l meetings s h a l l be closed meetings unless the Commission desires otherwise. Chapter VI GENERAL PROVISIONS A r t i c l e 8 The Commission s h a l l submit confirmed minutes of a l l meetings to the two governments. The Commission s h a l l also submit i t s annual reports by the t h i r t y f i r s t of January, next year. A r t i c l e 9 Decisions of the Commission s h a l l be unanimous. If any differences ar i s e in the interpretation of th i s Statute they sh a l l be referred to the two governments to be dealt with on a b i l a t e r a l basis in a s p i r i t of mutual respect and understanding. Done in Dhaka on the 24th day of November, Nineteen Hundred and Seventy Two. 188 APPENDIX B - 1975 FORTY-DAY UNDERSTANDING JOINT INDO-BANGLADESH PRESS RELEASE EMBARGO:Not to be published/broadcast/telecast before 1730 hours BST on 18th A p r i l , 1975. Dacca/New Delhi, A p r i l 18: The delegation from India led by His Excellency Shri Jagjivan Ram, Minister of Agriculture and I r r i g a t i o n and the delegation from Bangladesh led by His Excellency Mr. Abdur Rab Serneabat, Minister for Flood Control, Water Resources, and Power met in Dhaka from the 16th to 18th A p r i l , 1975. The talks were held in a c o r d i a l atmosphere and were characterised by mutual understanding that exists between the two friendly countries. The Indian side pointed out that while discussions regarding a l l o c a t i o n of f a i r weather flows of the Ganga during lean months in terms of the Prime Ministers' declaration of May, 1974 are continuing, i t i s essential to run the feeder canal of the Farakka Barrage during the current lean period. It is agreed that this operation may be carr i e d out with varying discharges in the ten-day periods during the months of A p r i l and May, 1975 as shown below ensuring the continuance of the remaining flow for Bangladesh. Month Ten-day period Withdrawal A p r i l 1975 21st to 30th 11,000 cusecs May 1975 1st to 10th 12,000 cusecs 11th to 20th 15,000 cusecs 21st to 31st 16,000 cusecs Joint teams consisting of experts of two governments s h a l l observe at the appropriate places in both the countries the effects of the agreed withdrawals at Farakka, in Bangladesh and on the Hooghly River for the benefit of Calcutta Port. A Joint Team w i l l also be stationed at Farakka to record the discharges into the feeder canal and the remaining flows for Bangladesh. The teams w i l l submit their reports to both the governments for consideration. A p r i l 18, 1975. 189 APPENDIX C - INDO-BANGLADESH AGREEMENT ON SHARING OF GANGA WATERS AT FARAKKA The following is the text of the agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh on sharing of the Ganga waters at Farakka and on augmenting i t s flows signed in Dhaka by Shri S u r j i t Singh Barnala, fot the Government of the Republic of India and Rear Admiral Musharraf Hussain Khan, for the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh on November 5, 1977. THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA AND THE GOVERNMENT OF  THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF BANGLADESH, DETERMINED to promote and strengthen their relations of friendship and good neighbourliness, INSPIRED by the common desire of promoting the well being of their peoples, BEING desirous of sharing by mutual agreement the waters of the international rivers flowjing through the t e r r i t o r i e s of the two countries and of making the optimal u t i l i s a t i o n of the water resources of their region by joint e f f o r t s , RECOGNISING that the need of making an interim arrangement for sharing of the Ganga waters at Farakka in a s p i r i t of mutual accommodation and the need for a solution of the long term problem of augmenting the flows of the Ganga are in the mutual interests of the peoples of the two countries, BEING desirous of finding a f a i r solution of the question before them, without aff e c t i n g the rights and entitlements of either country other than those covered by th i s Agreement, or establishing any general p r i n c i p l e s of law or precedent, HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS: A. Arrangements for sharing of the waters of the Ganga at  Farakka A r t i c l e I The quantum ogf waters agreed to be released by India to Bangladesh w i l l be at Farakka A r t i c l e II (i) The sharing between India and Bangladesh of the Ganga waters at Farakka from the 1st January to the 31st May every year w i l l be with reference to the quantum shown in Column 2 of the Schedule annexed hereto which i s based on 75 per cent a v a i l a b i l i t y calculated from the recorded flows of the Ganga at Farakka from 1948 to 1943. 190 ( i i ) India s h a l l release to Bangladesh waters by 10-day periods in the quantum shown in Column 4 ogf the Schedule: Provided that the actual a v a i l a b i l i t y at Farakka off the Ganga waters during a ten-day period i s higher or lower than the quantum shown in Column 2 of the Schedule i t s h a l l be shared in the propportion applicable to that period; Provided further that i f during a p a r t i c u l a r ten-day period, the Ganga flows at Farakka come down to such a l e v e l that the share of Bangladesh i s lower than 80 per cent of the value shown in Column 4, the release of waters to Bangladesh during that ten-day period s h a l l not f a l l below 80 per cent of the value shown in Column 4. A r t i c l e III The waters released to Bangladesh at Farakka under A r t i c l e I s h a l l not be reduced below Farakka except for reasonable uses of waters, not exceeding 200 cusecs, by India between Farakka and the point on the Ganga where both i t s banks are in Bangladesh. A r t i c l e IV A committee of the representatives nominated by the two Governments (hereinafter c a l l e d the Joint Committee) s h a l l be constituted. The Joint Committee s h a l l set up suitable teams at Farakka and Hardinge Bridge to observe and record at Farakka the dail y flows below Farakka Barrage and in the Feeder Canal, as well as at Hardinge Bridge. A r t i c l e V The Joint Committee s h a l l decide i t s own procedure and method of functioning. A r t i c l e VI The Joint Committee s h a l l submit to the two Governments a l l data a l l data c o l l e c t e d by i t and s h a l l alspo submit a yearly report to both the governments. A r t i c l e VII The Joint Committee s h a l l be responsible for implementing the arrangements contained in this part of the Agreement and examining any d i f f i c u l t y a r i s i n g out of the implementation of the above arrangements and of the operation of the Farakka Barrage. Any difference or dispute a r i s i n g in th i s regard, i f not resolved by the Joint Committee, s h a l l be referred to a panel of equal number of Indian and Bangladeshi experts nominated by the two Governments which sh a l l meet urgently at the appropriate l e v e l to resolve i t by mutual discussion and f a i l i n g that by such other arrangements as they may mutually agree upon. 191 B. Long-Term Arrangements A r t i c l e VIII The two governments recognise the need to cooperate with each other in finding a solution to the long-term prpoblem of augmenting the flows, of the Ganga during the dry season. A r t i c l e IX The Indo-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission established by the two Governments in 1972 s h a l l carry out investigation and study of schemes r e l a t i n g to the augmentation of the dry season flow of the Ganga proposed or to be be proposed by either Government with a view to finding a solution which i s economical and fea s i b l e . It s h a l l submit i t s recommendations to the two governments with a period of three years. A r t i c l e X The two Governments s h a l l consider and agree upon a scheme or schemes, taking into account the recommendations of the Joint Rivers Commission and take necessary measures to implement i t or them as speedily as possible. A r t i c l e XI Any d i f f i c u l t y , difference or dispute a r i s i n g from or with regard to th i s part of the Agreement, i f not resolved by the Joint Rivers Commission, s h a l l be referred to the two Governments which s h a l l meet urgently at the appropriate l e v e l to resolve i t by mutual discussion. C. Review and Duration A r t i c l e XII The provisions of t h i s Agreement w i l l be implemented by both parties in in good f a i t h . During the period for which the Agreement continues to be in force in accordance with A r t i c l e 15 of the Agreement, the quantum of waters agreed to be released to Bangladesh at Farakka in accordance with this Agreement s h a l l not be reduced. A r t i c l e XIII The Agreement w i l l be reviewed by the two Governments at the expiry of three years from the date of coming into force of th i s Agreement ar as may be agreed upon between the two governments. A r t i c l e XIV The review or reviews referred to in A r t i c l e 13 s h a l l e n t a i l consideration of the working, impact, implementation and progress of the arrangements contained in parts A and B of th i s Agreement. A r t i c l e XV This Agreement s h a l l enter into force upon signature and s h a l l remain in force for a period of five years from the date of i t s coming into force. It may be extended further for a sp e c i f i e d 1 92 period by mutual agreement in the l i g h t of the reviews referred to in A r t i c l e 13. IN WITNESS THEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorised thereto by the respective Governments, have signed t h i s Agreement. DONE in duplicate at Dhaka on November 5, 1977 in the Hindi, Bengali and English languages. In the event of any c o n f l i c t between the texts, the English text s h a l l p r e v a i l . 1 93 APPENDIX D - CONSENSUS STATEMENT AT THE UNITED NATIONS 1. The p a r t i e s a f f i r m e d t h e i r a d h e r e n c e t o t h e D e c l a r a t i o n on P r i n c i p l e s o f I n t e r n a t i o n a l Law c o n c e r n i n g F r i e n d l y R e l a t i o n s and C o - o p e r a t i o n among S t a t e s i n a c c o r d a n c e w i t h t h e C h a r t e r o f t h e U n i t e d N a t i o n s and s t r e s s e d , i n t h i s r e g a r d , t h e i r u n a l t e r a b l e commitment t o s t r e n g t h e n t h e i r b i l a t e r a l r e l a t i o n s by a p p l y i n g t h e s e p r i n c i p l e s i n t h e s e t t l e m e n t o f d i s p u t e s . 2. The p a r t i e s r e c o g n i s e d t h e u r g e n c y of t h e s i t u a t i o n , p a r t i c u l a r l y w i t h t h e o n s e t o f a n o t h e r d r y s e a s o n . 3. B o t h p a r t i e s a g r e e d t h a t t h e s i t u a t i o n c a l l e d f o r an u r g e n t s o l u t i o n and, t o t h a t end, have d e c i d e d t o meet u r g e n t l y a t D a c c a (Dhaka) a t t h e m i n i s t e r i a l l e v e l f o r n e g o t i a t i o n s w i t h a view t o a r r i v i n g a t a f a i r and e x p e d i t i o u s s e t t l e m e n t . 4. The p a r t i e s a s s e r t e d t h a t t h e p r i m e o b j e c t i v e o f s u c h i n t e n s i f i e d c o n t a c t was t o promote t h e w e l l b e i n g s o f t h e i r p e o p l e s and a g r e e d t o f a c i l i t a t e t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f an a t m o s p h e r e c o n d u c i v e t o t h e s u c c e s s f u l outcome o f t h e n e g o t i a t i o n s . 5. The p a r t i e s u n d e r t o o k t o g i v e due c o n s i d e r a t i o n t o t h e most a p p r o p r i a t e ways of u t i l i z i n g t h e c a p a c i t y of t h e U n i t e d N a t i o n s s y s t e m . 6.It i s open t o e i t h e r p a r t y t o r e p o r t t o t h e G e n e r a l A s s e m b l y a t i t s t h i r t y - s e c o n d s e s s i o n on t h e p r o g r e s s a c h i e v e d i n t h e s e t t l e m e n t o f t h e p r o b l e m . 

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