Indus Waters Treaty can’t be modified unilaterally: Pakistan

Our Correspondent
Saturday, Jan 28, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The Attorney-General’s Office Friday took notice of news stories appearing in the Indian press regarding India’s attempt at unilateral modification of the Indus Waters Treaty.

In a statement issued here, the AG’s Office termed such stories “misleading,” adding that the Treaty cannot be unilaterally modified.

“This is an attempt to divert attention from the ongoing proceedings at the Permanent Court of Arbitration under the Indus Waters Treaty,” says the statement.

It stated that the first hearing in a dispute between Pakistan and India over the Indus Waters Treaty began on Friday at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, the Netherlands.

It stated that the dispute pertains to concerns raised by Pakistan over India’s construction of the 330 MW Kishenganga hydroelectric project on the River Jhelum and plans to construct the 850 MW Ratle hydroelectric project on the River Chenab in the Indian-occupied territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

It stated that Pakistan’s decision to initiate proceedings was in response to India’s persistent refusal to address Pakistan’s concerns, adding that the Treaty provides for two forums for the settlement of disputes: “Pakistan is engaging with both sides,” the statement says. “However, in contrast, and characteristic bad faith, India has boycotted the Court of Arbitration, and the Court is competent to proceed ex parte and is doing so,” says the statement.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office spokesperson said: “As we speak, a Court of Arbitration is holding its first hearing in The Hague on Pakistan’s objections to Kishanganga and Ratle Hydroelectric Projects. The Court of Arbitration has been set up under the relevant provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty. Such media reports should not divert attention from the important proceedings of the Court of Arbitration.”