Pakistani delegation pushing World Bank to hold court on India’s Kishanganga

Pakistan is hoping to convince the World Bank to call for a court of arbitration following the inauguration of India’s 330-MW Kishanganga plant last week.

The project is located in India’s Jammu & Kashmir region and, according to neighboring Pakistan, is one of 14 Indian projects that are being constructed in violation of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty.

Pakistan argues that Kishanganga and others would violate the treaty by potentially limiting its water supply from the Indus and its tributaries, and that the lack of an agreement between the south Asian countries regarding allotments breaks the accord.

Meanwhile India has said Kishanganga and others in its development pipeline are run-of-river, thus

“Pakistan believes that the inauguration of the project without the resolution of the dispute is tantamount to violation of the Indus Waters Treaty,” the country’s foreign ministry said in response to Kishenganga’s official dedication last Friday.

Now, a four-member deligation from Pakistan is hoping it can sway the World Bank to force India into a court of arbitration. The Washington, D.C.-based institution has served as mediator since the treaty was signed.

The court of arbitration would follow a summit of secretary-level authorities hosted by the World Bank in September, at which point the World Bank said it would continue working with India and Pakistant to “resolve the issues in an amicable manner.”

The World Bank urged Pakistan and India to agree to mediation last November after India announced it would boycott a court of arbitration requested by Pakistan, followed by a move by Pakistan that saw its two parliamentary committees ask India to immediately stop work on Kishanganga and the 840-MW Ratle its projects in January.

Pakistan previously lost a challenge considered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in February 2013, at which point it said Kishanganga might reduce the capacity of its Neelum-Jhelum plant by diverting water.

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