India looking to stall arbitration on Kishenganga, Ratle projects

Pakistan seeks to stop Indian attempt for review on Indus Water Treaty
Jan 28, 2023

As arbitration proceedings commenced in the World Bank over the design of the run-of-river Kishenganga and Ratle hydropower projects – which Pakistan claims could impact the flow of water entering Pakistan in contravention to the Indus Water Treaty between the two countries, India has started looking to stall the process.

The matter of controversial design of Kishenganga and Ratale hydropower projects has been raised in the court of arbitration after Pakistan had objected to the design of the run-of-river project.

India, though, has proposed a review of the Indus Water Treaty.

However, Pakistan has firmly decided not to allow any revision of the Indus Water Treaty, noting that it is a bilateral document and that any changes can come as a result of bilateral talks

Islamabad, however, noted that the proposal to revise the agreement is a reflection of India’s belligerent attitude of illegitimacy and dishonesty.

Pakistan said that the Indus Water Treaty is a time-proven, effective agreement between two sovereign states.

Hence, any change in the Indus Water Treaty is possible only with the mutual consent of both the parties and that the unilateral change and interpretation of any provision of the treaty has no significance.

The Indus Water Treaty is a water-sharing agreement between India and Pakistan, which was signed in 1960. It allocates the use of six rivers that flow between the two countries.

Under the treaty, India has control over the eastern rivers (the Sutlej, Beas, and Ravi) and Pakistan has control over the western rivers (the Indus, Chenab, and Jhelum).

However, there have been conflicts over the construction of the Kishenganga and Ratle dams.

Pakistan has objected to the design of the Kishenganga dam, arguing that it would disrupt the flow of water in the Jhelum river, while India has claimed that the dam is being built on a tributary of the river and thus does not violate the treaty.

Similarly, Pakistan has raised concerns over the Ratle dam, arguing that it would reduce the flow of water in the Chenab river. These disputes have yet to be fully resolved and continue to be a source of tension between the two countries.

On August 19, 2016, Pakistan had formally approached the World Bank Arbitration Court over the controversial design of India’s water projects.

After Pakistan’s stand and efforts, the World Bank started the process of establishing the court in March 2022.

Experts are calling the 330 megawatt Kishenganga project as a strategic project aimed at running Pakistan dry.

Pakistan’s 1,000 MW Neelu-Jhelum Hydro Project stands to be seriously affected by the design of the Kishenganga project.


Indus Water Treaty





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