Now its India vs Pakistan over Kishanganga project at World Bank

India

Pakistan is slated to take up the issue of inauguration of Kishanganga hydropower project by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Jammu and Kashmir with the World Bank on Monday. The neighbouring country, according to Dawn News, will tell the World Bank that the move by India violates the 1960 Indus Water Treaty.

The Dawn News report said that Pakistan would focus on four issues of critical importance. Among these issues are the height of Kishanganga dam, amount of water it can hold, demand for setting up of an arbitration court, and India’s call for an international expert to deliberate on the issue.

A high-level delegation from Pakistan has already reached US to take up the issues with the World Bank.

As Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the project in Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, Pakistan had raised objections saying the inauguration should not have happened without resolution of dispute between the two countries.

“Pakistan believes that the inauguration of the project without the resolution of the dispute is tantamount to violation of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT),” a statement by the Foreign Office (FO) of the country said on Friday.

The Dawn report said that the Pakistan delegation to Washington is led by Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali. Other members of the delegation are Indus Water Commissioner Mehr Ali Shah, Water and Power Secretary Shumail Khwaja and spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mohammed Faisal.

Despite several rounds of bilateral negotiations as well as mediations under the auspices of the World Bank, India continued with the construction of the project, it said, adding that “this intransigence on part of India clearly threatens the sanctity of the Treaty.”

Islamabad had been raising objections over the design of the hydel project in Jammu and Kashmir, saying it is not in line with the criteria laid down under the IWT between the two countries.

But, India says the project design was well within parameters of the treaty.

The Kishanganga run-of-the-river hydroelectric scheme is designed to divert water from the Kishanganga River to a power plant in the Jhelum River basin.

Construction on the project began in 2007 and was expected to be complete in 2016, but it was temporarily halted by the Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration (CoA) in 2011 due to Pakistan’s protest.

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