Water, War, and Peace: Linkages and Scenarios in India-Pakistan Relations

  • Nasrullah M. Mirza (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


Conflict is a fact of international relations. Its causes range from disputed territories or un-demarcated boundaries associated with vital resources (realpolitik or geopolitics), to political or ideological incompatibilities (ideational politics). Existing or perceived incompatibilities can lead to the formation of hostile actors and aggravate conflict behaviour; conflict behaviour can become armed, and, thus, inter-state relations become militarised. Wars have their genesis in such a state of affairs. Several factors relating to both schools of thought can be identified in the Indo-Pakistan conflict. From a neo-realistic perspective, this thesis examines India and Pakistan’s conflicting interest, bound as they are to the irredentist territory of Kashmir, and argues that conflict over Kashmir is not exclusively ideological but also fundamentally connected to the control of the Indus water resource. There exists to date no significant research focussing predominantly on this aspect of Indo-Pakistan relations. In fact, the existing literature would appear to conceive of Indo-Pakistan conflict as an ideological confrontation, emotional and political. This theory-driven study formulates a model with which to address the question of ‘water, war, and peace linkages’ using a rational choice approach and extensive empirical data.


India, Pakistan, Water, War, Peace, Linkages