Our diplomatic failure


The ICA (International Court of Arbitration) has allowed India to build Kishanganga Dam in IHK. At the same time it has ordered India to provide half of the dam’s water to Pakistan. Pakistan had moved the case against India with the plea that under the Pakistan India Indus Water Treaty, India cannot make any bid to stop, convert or decrease water in the Sindh, Jhelum and Chenab rivers. But India, among other projects, started construction of Kishanganga project. Kishanganga is called Neelum River in Pakistan. This 330MW hydroelectric project would affect Pakistan’s 969MW Neelum-Jhelum hydroelectric project.

This is another classic example of Pakistan’s failure on diplomatic as well as legal front. Despite being right under the agreement, Pakistan’s plea has not been accepted, thanks to vibrant diplomacy and effective lobbying by the Indians at the world forums. The ICA only granted that India cannot take the water on a very low level in the dam. Indian diplomacy and lobbying is so effective that even if the ICA refused to allow India continuing the project, New Delhi would have not stopped it. Thanks to people like Jamaat Ali Shah who have been keeping successive governments in the dark. We must now open our eyes and find out where we are wrong and what measures we need to take to restore our image.




  1. The Treaty allows India to build hydroelectric Plants with a certain limit on the pondage of water. It is for Pakistan to see that this limit is not exceeded. The Treaty also allows India to divert water from one tributary of Jhelum (Kishanganga) to another tributary of Jhelum which drains into Wullar Lake and from there back to the Jhelum. It is yet to be seen how much water the International Court has allowed India to divert and how much will keep flowing downstream of the dam for the Neelum-Jhelum Power Project. In addition tol this India is also allowed to store 3.6 million acrfe feet of water for agricultural and other use in IHK.

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