India, Pak yet to agree on Kishanganga Court of Arbitration officials

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Islamabad, July 22 (ANI): The stalemate between India and Pakistan over the Kishanganga hydel power project continues to linger on, as both countries have failed to decide over the names of officials for the Court of Arbitration that will decide on the dispute.

After rejecting each other's proposed nominations for the Court of Arbitration, both India and Pakistan have now decided to draw lots to select the three officials who will select separate referees for three different categories- chairman, legal member and engineer member, The Dawn reports.

Last week, India and Pakistan had exchanged the names of members for the court.

The Pakistani side was led by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Water Resources and Agriculture Kamal Majidullah, while Chairman of the Central Water Commission A.K. Bajaj represented India.

During the July 13 meeting, although both sides failed to agree on any of the names, they decided to set up a panel comprising a chairman, a legal member and an engineer to select the umpires. The panel will be chosen by drawing lots.

Islamabad has been opposing the Kishanganga project in Kashmir, saying that it will reduce the capacity of the 969 MW Neelum-Jhelum power project by 16 per cent.

Pakistan maintains that the hydel project would result in the loss of energy equivalent to six billion rupees annually.

It also argues that the diversion of the river water by India would also reduce river flows near the Line of Control (LoC), on the Pakistan side, for at least six months and cause heavy loss to the environment, particularly the Musk Deer Gurez Park and reduce the Neelum valley's attraction affecting the tourists inflow. (ANI)

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