India has given Pakistan until this week to start intergovernmental negotiations over the contested Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric power facilities. In order to revise the Indus Water Treaty (IWT). On January 25, Pakistan received a notice from India claiming that Islamabad had breached the terms of the IWT. Therefore by building the two mega hydroelectric power facilities. As a result, India requests to amend the notification.
The two projects, Kishenganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (330 megawatts), have been the subject of a contentious dispute between India and Pakistan. Both countries disagree with the technical design and think it violates the fundamental principles of the treaty.
The issues stirring up after World Bank’s recent actions:
The recent activities of the World Bank in this matter have caused the current crisis to flare up. When the agreement was signed in 1960, the World Bank, served as the primary negotiator.
The World Bank attempted to uphold the demands expressed by both parties in October 2022. It was by designating a chairman of the Court of Arbitration as well as an impartial expert. Islamabad wanted to fight at the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. While New Delhi wanted an impartial expert to look at the concerns of both sides about the two projects.
Professor Sean Murphy was chosen as Chairman of the Court of Arbitration last year at the request of Pakistan. Michel Lino was designated as the “Neutral Expert” by the World Bank as India had requested.
However, India is dissatisfied that Pakistan has turned the situation into a form of legal dispute even if an expert is assigned to look into it. Both demands, according to New Delhi, are incompatible with the terms of the treaty.
Statement from official sources:
“India has always been a steadfast supporter and a responsible partner in implementing IWT in letter and spirit. However, Pakistan’s actions have adversely impinged on the provisions of IWT and their implementation. Thus, forced India to issue an appropriate notice for modification of IWT,” according to official sources.
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