Pakistan to take river water dispute with India to court


Pakistan has decided to return to an international tribunal to settle a dispute with India over sharing waters of the Kishenganga and Ratle rivers.

Pakistan’s latest decision to go to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), the Hague, was made public after talks between officials of both sides in Delhi failed to make progress, according to The Hindu newspaper.

“Visit of a team, led by the Water and Power secretary of Pakistan to New Delhi on July 14-15, was in response to India pointing out to Pakistan that the latter was violating provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty in rushing to a third forum without attempting to avail treaty provisions for amicably resolving matters of mutual concern pertaining to two hydro-electric power projects on Kishenganga and Ratle,” Indian spokesperson Vikas Swarup told media personnel.

He said Pakistan’s decision to move the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the case is expected to erode the established mechanism of solving disputes on river water sharing which has served both sides successfully under the Indus Waters Treaty, 1960.

India’s response came a day after Pakistan’s Minister of Defence, Water and Power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif announced on Twitter that two and a half years of negotiations on Kishenganga and Ratle projects had failed. “Pakistan with the consent of stakeholders has decided to take it to the full court of arbitration,” Asif said.

However experts in Pakistan are pointing out that unlike the previous arbitration at the PCA which lasted from 2010-2013, Pakistan, this time around, will take up the issue of “design” of the Kishenganga and Ratle river projects in Kashmir.