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21st March, 1991, will go down in the history of Pakistan as a pivotal breakthrough in its leap towards the 21st century and turning point in its march towards national consolidation. On that day was unraveled a dispute that had been festering in this part of the subcontinent for the past seventy years. As a follow-up to the meeting of the Chief Ministers at Lahore on March 3, 1991, a meeting of the representatives of the four provinces was held at Lahore on March 04, 1991. Another meeting was held at Karachi on March 16, 1991. The list of participants is attached.



  1. There was an agreement that the issue relating to Apportionment of the Waters of the Indus River System should be settled as quickly as possible,

  2. In the light of the accepted water distributional principles the following apportionment was agreed to:-

       PROVINCE   KHARIF    RABI   TOTAL 
      PUNJAB
    37.07
    18.87
    55.94
      SINDH
    33.94
    14.82
    48.76
      N.W.F.P. (a)
                      (b) CIVIL CANALS**
    3.48
    1.80
    2.30
    1.20
    5.78
    3.00
      BALOCHISTAN
    2.85
    1.02
    3.87
      TOTAL
    77.34
    + 1.80
    37.01
    +1.20
    114.35
    +3.00

  3.    Punjab   SINDH    Balochistan   NWFP   TOTAL 
    37%
    37%
    12%
    14%
    100%

  4. Industrial and Urban Water supplies for Metropolitan city, for which there were sanctioned allocations will be accorded priority.

  5. The need for storages, wherever feasible on the Indus and other rivers was admitted and recognised by the participants for planned future agricultural development.

  6. The need for certain minimum escapage to sea, below Kotri, to check sea instrusion was recognised. Sindh held the view, that the optimum level was 10 M.A.F., which was discussed at length, while other studies indicated lower/higher figures. It was, therefore, decided that further studies would be undertaken to establish the minimal escapage needs down stream Kotri.

  7. There would be no restrictions on the Provinces to undertake new projects within their agreed shares.

  8. No restrictions are placed on small schemes not exceeding 5000 acres above elevation of 1200 ft. SPD.

  9. No restrictions are placed on developing irrigation uses in the Kurram / Gomal / Kohat basins, so long as these do not adversely affect the existing uses on these rivers.

  10. There are no restrictions on Baluchistan, to develop the water resources of the Indus right bank tributaries, flowing through its areas.

  11. The requirements of LBOD will be met out of the flood supplies In accordance with the agreed sharing formula.

  12. For the implementation of this accord, the need to establish an Indus River System Authority was recognised and accepted. It would have headquarters at Lahore and would have representation from all the four provinces.

    1. The system-wise allocation will be worked out separately, on ten daily basis and will be attached with this agreement as part and parcel of it.

    2. The record of actual average system uses for the period 1977-82, would form the guide ;line for developing a future regulation pattern. These ten daily uses would be adjusted pro-prata to correspond to the indicated seasonal allocations of the different canal systems and would form the basis for sharing shortages and surpluses on all Pakistan basis.

    3. The existing reservoirs would be operated with priority for the irrigation uses of the Provinces.

    4. The provinces will have the freedom within their allocations to modify system-wise and period-wise uses.

    5. All efforts would be made to avoid wastages. Any surpluses may be used by another province, but this would not establish any rights to such uses.