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Flowing right from Lake Mansarovar (Tibetan plateau) , the Indus river runs a course through Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and Northern Areas(Gilgit-Baltistan), flowing through the North in a southerly direction along the entire length of the country, to merge into the Arabian Sea near Pakistan's port city Karachi. The total length of the river is 3,180 kilometres (1,976 miles).

The Europeans used the name "India" for the entire subcontinent based on "Indo", the Greek the appellation of this river. It is the nurturing agent of nature of one of the oldest civilization and still provides the key water resources for the economy of Pakistan - especially the breadbasket of Punjab province, which accounts for most of the nation's agricultural production, and Sindh.

The Indus is a strategically vital resource for Pakistan's economy and society. After the Partition of India in 1947, the use of the waters of the Indus and its five eastern tributaries became a major dispute between India and Pakistan. The irrigation canals of the Sutlej valley and the Bari Doab were split - with the canals lying primarily in Pakistan and the headwork dams in India - disrupting supply in some parts of Pakistan. The concern over India building large dams over various Punjab rivers that could undercut the supply flowing to Pakistan, as well as the possibility that India could divert rivers in the time of war, caused political consternation in Pakistan.

There are also concerns that extensive deforestation, industrial pollution and global warming are affecting the vegetation and wildlife of the Indus delta, while affecting agricultural production as well. There are also concerns that the Indus river may be shifting its course westwards - although the progression spans centuries. On numerous occasions, sediment clogging owing to poor maintenance of canals has affected agricultural production and vegetation. In addition, extreme heat has caused water to evaporate, leaving salt deposits that render lands useless for cultivation.

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