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Saturday, July 13, 2024  
06 Muharram 1446  

Pakistani delegation arrives in Occupied Jammu to inspect hydroelectric projects

This is the first visit since 2019

A Pakistani delegation has arrived in occupied Jammu to inspect two hydroelectric power projects under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty. The delegation will assess the Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai projects to ensure their completion does not impact Pakistan’s water share.

This is the first time in five years that a Pakistani team has visited occupied Jammu for inspecting a power project and engaging in discussions. The visit falls under the Neutral Expert Proceedings.

Pakistan and India signed the Indus Waters Treaty in 1960 after nine years of negotiations, under the arbitration and supervision of the World Bank. The treaty aims to ensure equitable distribution of water from rivers flowing between the two countries.

The Pakal Dul and Kalnai projects were last inspected by a Pakistani team in January 2019. However, relations between the two countries became strained after India revoked the special status of occupied Jammu and Kashmir and integrated it into its territory.

Indian authorities have stated that the visiting experts, including the Pakistani delegation, will also inspect the Kishen Ganga and Ratle power projects located in the Chenab Valley. Notably, the Neelum River is referred to as Kishen Ganga in India.

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Pakistan had raised objections regarding the power projects, prompting the World Bank to arrange for a settlement through neutral experts in 2016. Later, Pakistan withdrew its request from the World Bank and agreed to a settlement through an arbitration court. However, India insisted on resolving the issue through neutral experts.

Following the failure of negotiations between Pakistan and India, the World Bank appointed a neutral expert and a head of the arbitration court in October 2022. In July 2023, the arbitration court ruled that it was competent to handle the matter based on Pakistan’s request. Subsequently, Pakistan submitted legal documents related to the case in March 2023.

A month later, the arbitration court conducted a week-long visit to the Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Project in Azad Kashmir. India refused to participate in the arbitration court proceedings and submitted a memorial in August 2023 for the appointment of a neutral expert. Pakistan participated in a meeting under the neutral expert in Vienna, Austria, last September.

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River Indus

Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir