Pak Bid To Stall Kishenganga Project Thwarted14 January 2011
The Daily Excelsior
New Delhi: Pakistanís bid to stall construction work at the Kishenganga power project in Jammu and Kashmir was thwarted today as it was forced to withdraw a petition in this regard at the International Court of Arbitration. During the first hearing of the Kishenganga Arbitration Court in The Hague in The Netherlands, the Indian side put up a spirited argument for construction of the 330-MW project on Kishenganga, a tributary of the Jhelum river, sources said. Pakistan had moved a petition for stopping work as an 'interim measure' till the case over the disputed project was decided by the court. After the Indian argument, Pakistan was forced to withdraw its petition, the sources said. Had the court, headed by Justice Stephen M Schwebel, agreed for the interim measure, work at the site would have to be stopped. Pakistan had moved the court last year under the 1960 Indus Water Treaty, which governs the jurisdication over common rivers and provides for arbitration by the International Court if India and Pakistan are not able to resolve any matter bilaterally. Pakistan is contending that the power project would lead to diversion of Kishenganga waters to Bonar Madumati Nallah, another tributary, which falls in Wullar Lake. India rejects Pakistanís objections on this front. Incidentally, this is the first case referred to international arbitration under the provisions of the Indus Water Treaty, 1960. Earlier on the 450 MW Baglihar power project, India and Pakistan had sought the services of a neutral expert appointed by the World Bank to resolve their differences over the plant on the Chenab river. After hearing both the sides and inspecting the site, World Bank arbitrator gave a verdict in favour of the project.