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Thursday 16 May, 2024
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Hague court rejected India’s objections to the water dispute with Pakistan

BY Shahzad Saeed Jul 07, 2023. 11:54 pm

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India’s challenges to the PCA’s jurisdiction in the conflict between Pakistan and India over the Kishanganga and Ratle hydroelectric projects have been rejected.

The PCA decided in Pakistan’s favor, asserting that it had the power to resolve the Kishanganga conflict. The court’s ruling is final and cannot be challenged.

The conflict centers on Pakistan’s objections to India’s plans to build the Ratle hydroelectric project on the Chenab and the Kishanganga hydroelectric project on the River Jhelum in Indian-controlled Jammu & Kashmir.

In August 2016, Pakistan filed a lawsuit asking for the creation of an ad hoc Court of Arbitration under the Indus Waters Treaty.

The Court of Arbitration, which deals with legal, technical, and systemic issues, and the Neutral Expert, which only deals with technical issues, are the two options for resolving disputes under the Indus Waters Treaty.

Due to systemic issues requiring legal interpretation, Pakistan chose the Court of Arbitration.

Pakistan perceived India’s tardy request for the appointment of a neutral expert as a sign of bad faith.

The World Bank encouraged the two nations to agree on a single forum in 2016 and suspended the dispute resolution procedures to prevent conflicting outcomes.

After six years, the World Bank lifted the suspension, established the Court of Arbitration, and appointed a neutral arbitrator because they were unable to come to an agreement.

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India has decided to boycott the Court of Arbitration despite Pakistan’s participation in both forums (the Neutral Expert and the Court of Arbitration).

The court can now continue without India’s involvement. The Indus Waters Treaty’s provisions relating to hydroelectric projects will be discussed, as will the legal implications of previous dispute resolution decisions, according to the PCA, which has not provided any additional information on the case’s progression.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office responded to the PCA’s decision by saying that it was committed to putting the Indus Waters Treaty, including its dispute resolution process, into effect.

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