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Pakistani delegation arrives in Jammu to inspect two power projects under Indus Water Treaty after five years

A Pakistani delegation arrived in Jammu on Sunday to inspect the Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric power projects under the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), marking the first such visit in over five years. Accompanied by neutral experts, the team is examining projects in the Chenab Valley.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 Jammu Updated on: June 24, 2024 10:03 IST
Indus Water Treaty
Image Source : REUTERS/FILE PHOTO The River Indus flows through Leh, in the Ladakh region.

A Pakistani delegation arrived in Jammu on Sunday evening to inspect two hydroelectric power projects under the Indus Water Treaty (IWT). This marks the first such visit in more than five years, officials reported. The Pakistani team, accompanied by neutral experts, will inspect the Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric power projects in the Chenab valley. The last inspection of the Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai projects by a Pakistani delegation occurred in January 2019.

Background of the Indus Water Treaty

The IWT, signed by India and Pakistan in 1960 with the World Bank as a signatory, establishes a framework for cooperation and information exchange on the use of cross-border rivers' waters. 

Neutral expert proceedings

Pakistan's initial request to the World Bank in 2016 sought resolution of its objections to the hydroelectric projects through a Neutral Expert. However, Pakistan later opted for adjudication via a Court of Arbitration, while India insisted on resolving the issue through Neutral Expert proceedings.

World Bank's role and court of arbitration

In October 2022, the World Bank appointed a Neutral Expert and the chair of the Court of Arbitration after failed negotiations between the two countries. India objected to the parallel consideration of the issues, stating it was not covered under the IWT.

Recent developments

In July 2023, the Court of Arbitration ruled it could consider Pakistan's disputes. Pakistan filed its first Memorial in March 2024, followed by a site visit to the Neelum-Jhelum Hydro-Electric Plant in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. India, which refused to participate in the Court of Arbitration, submitted a Memorial to the Neutral Expert in August 2023.

Coordination for the visit

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has appointed 25 liaison officers to coordinate the visit of the neutral experts and delegations from India and Pakistan.

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