New Delhi, April 17
India and Pakistan on Monday discussed the ongoing neutral expert proceedings pertaining to the Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric projects at the sixth meeting of the steering committee on matters related to the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) of 1960.
Though the committee is chaired by the Secretary, Department of Water Resources, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra also attended the meeting.
The meeting took stock of the modification process of the Indus Waters Treaty. The World Bank has announced concurrently appointment of a neutral expert and a Chair of the Court of Arbitration in the ongoing matter related to the Kishenganga and Ratle projects. India’s Commissioner for Indus Waters had issued a notice on January 25 for the modification of the Indus Water Treaty of 1960, to his Pakistani counterpart.
This notice was issued with the intent to provide Pakistan an opportunity to enter into government to government negotiations to rectify ongoing material breach of the treaty.
India has called upon Pakistan to notify a suitable date for the commencement of interstate bilateral negotiations under Article XII(3) of the treaty within 90 days. Asked about this issue, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said, “I’m not aware of a response from Pakistan as yet. I’m also not aware of any response or comment by the World Bank.”
India had requested a neutral expert, while Pakistan had requested a Court of Arbitration.
As mandated by the treaty, on October 17, 2022, the World Bank appointed Michel Lino as neutral expert and Prof Sean Murphy as Chairman of the Court of Arbitration.