India Proposes Making Kishenganga Court Proceedings Public

India Proposes Making Kishenganga Court Proceedings Public

19 August 2012
Rising Kashmir


New Delhi: The Indo-Pak dispute over Kishenganga hydro project has taken a new turn with the two countries locked in a tussle over whether the proceedings of the case in the Hague-based court of arbitration should be made public. India had proposed making the court proceedings public to avoid distortion in media but Pakistan shot it down, leaving it to the court to decide. Noting that confidentiality of the pleadings and orders of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague were resulting in distorted media reports, India suggested that the proceedings should be made public once the oral hearings on the Kishenganga case commence next week. India even suggested broadcasting the proceedings and making the decision of the court public in accordance with International Court of Justice practice, sources said. But Pakistan rejected the proposal and insisted that the proceedings remain confidential. It said India's stand that transparency would assist in resolution of the dispute appears to be misplaced as public reaction demonstrates that it will worsen the conflict. At the same time, authorities in Pakistan admitted that there is a lack of informed debate on the subject. It has suggested issuance of press release once a week by the court in consultation by both the parties, the sources said. The sources also said Pakistan was ready to make public the final verdict. Pakistan has claimed that the project would rob it of 15 per cent of its share of river waters. It also accused India of trying to divert the river in order to harm Pakistan's Neelum-Jhelum hydro-electric project. On May 17, 2010, Pakistan had moved for arbitration against India under the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty 1960.