India Issues Notice To Pakistan For Modification Of Indus Waters Treaty
Indus Waters Treaty was done to provide water to Pakistan in 1960. But due to intransigence of Pakistan, India has to issue the notice amid bilateral tensions.
Regarding the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) of September 1960, India has sent a notice to Pakistan and requested that the agreement be modified.
Following Islamabad’s “intransigence” about its implementation, the notice was sent on Wednesday (January 25), according to government sources on Friday. Within 90 days, Pakistan is now anticipated to start intergovernmental negotiations.
India claimed that despite repeated attempts to identify a path forward that would be acceptable to both parties, Pakistan failed to consider the matter in any of the Permanent Indus Commission’s five meetings from 2017 to 2022.
Sources claim that the World Bank recently started taking steps to implement the protocols for the Neutral Expert and Court of Arbitration. India responds that no IWT clause addresses such a concurrent evaluation of the same considerations.
Both India and Pakistan will have the option to apply the lessons learnt over the last 62 years while Pakistan took its time to react to the notice and if the IWT is modified.
In relation to the Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric power projects, it is noteworthy that the World Bank nominated a “neutral expert” and the head of the Court of Arbitration in October of last year.
According to a PTI report, Sean Murphy was chosen to lead the Court of Arbitration, and Michel Lino was chosen to serve as the Neutral Expert.
After nine years of discussions, India and Pakistan signed the IWT in September 1960, with the Washington-based World Bank as a signatory.
The agreement lays up a framework for communication and cooperation between the two nations over how they use the rivers.
The main disagreement, however, is between India and Pakistan on whether the Treaty is violated by the technical design elements of the Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric power facilities.
According to the sources, Pakistan unilaterally withdrew this request in 2016 and suggested that a Court of Arbitration rule on its objections.
They claimed that Pakistan’s unilateral move violates the graduated dispute resolution framework envisioned by Article IX of the IWT.
India subsequently asked for the subject to be sent to a third party expert in a separate request.
According to the source, “the beginning of two concurrent processes on the same questions and the possibility of their conflicting or contradictory findings creates an unusual and legally unacceptable situation, which risks compromising the IWT itself.”
History of Indus Waters Treaty 1960
The World Bank, which is also a signatory, mediated the nine years of discussions that resulted in the September 1960 signing of the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan.
It is the longest-lasting pact between the two nations, but in recent years, as tensions over terrorism and Jammu and Kashmir drove bilateral relations to an all-time low, it has been under intense pressure.
Since the treaty was signed in Karachi on September 19, 1960, by then-Pakistani President Mohammad Ayub Khan, then-Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and WAB Illif of the World Bank, the process for amending it will now be made available.
At this point, Pakistan has a deadline of just 90 days to enter into intergovernmental negotiations.