Matters pertaining to the Indus Waters Treaty

July 07: We have seen a press release issued by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) mentioning that an illegally-constituted so-called Court of Arbitration has ruled that it has the ‘competence’ to consider matters concerning the Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric projects.

India’s consistent and principled position has been that the constitution of the so-called Court of Arbitration is in contravention of the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty.

A Neutral Expert is already seized of the differences pertaining to the Kishenganga and Ratle projects. The Neutral Expert proceedings are the only Treaty-consistent proceedings at this juncture. The Treaty does not provide for parallel proceedings on the same set of issues.

India has been participating in the Treaty-consistent Neutral Expert proceedings. The last meeting of the neutral Expert took place at The Hague on 27-28 February 2023. The next meeting of the Neutral Expert process is scheduled to be held in September 2023.

India cannot be compelled to recognize or participate in illegal and parallel proceedings not envisaged by the Treaty.

The Government of India has been in talks with the Government of Pakistan regarding the modification of the Indus Waters Treaty under Article XII (3) of the Treaty. This recent development only underlines why such modification is so necessary.

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