Pakistan to move International Court of Arbitration on Kishanganga project

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Islamabad, May 3 (ANI): Pakistan has decided to approach the International Court of Arbitration against the construction of the controversial Kishanganga Hydropower Project by India in alleged violation of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty.

Professor Kaiyan Homi Kaikobad, an international legal expert of Pakistan origin, would lead the legal team at the International Court of Arbitration.

He will be assisted by officials of ministries of water and power, law and justice and foreign affairs and Pakistan's permanent commissioner to the Indus Commission and a few Pakistani lawyers, The Dawn reports.

The sources said that a group of government officials had recommended that James Crawford be hired for the job because he had represented Pakistan before the neutral expert when Pakistan took its case on the controversial Baglihar project on the Chenab a few years ago.

However, the Prime Minister's Adviser on Water Resources, Kamal Majidullah, opposed the move saying the outcome of Baglihar case was generally not in Pakistan's favour. The government is estimated to have allocated about 10 dollars million for the case. he sources said that India had almost completed the 22-km tunnel to divert Kishanganga (Neelum) waters to Wullar Lake in violation of the Indus Waters Treaty and was working to complete the 330MW project by 2016.

If completed, the project would severely affect Pakistan's rights over the river, reduce the river flows into Pakistan and minimise its power generation capacity of the 969MW Neelum Jhelum Hydropower project near Muzaffarabad in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

They said that Pakistan's Permanent Indus Water Commissioner had requested the government in March last year to quickly take up the case with the International Court of Arbitration after all ptions at the level of Permanent Indus Commission had been exhausted. (ANI)

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