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Indus Water Treaty Dispute And Its Resolution Mechanism
At present both Pakistan and India have disagreement over some matters regarding the use of rivers and storage of its water. The current standoff between the two states has put the treaty itself in danger. Details of Indus Water Treaty Dispute and its resolution mechanism are given below.
What is The Disagreement About?
The current disagreement is over the construction of Kishanganga (330 Mega Watt) and Rattle (850 Mega Watt) hydroelectric power plants being built by India. The point of disagreement is the technical design and storage capacity of the two hydroelectric power plants. According to Pakistan the design and capacity of both the plants contravene the treaty.
Demand Of Different Treaty Mechanism By Pakistan and India
The demand of different treaty mechanism by both Pakistan and India to look into the matter has further aggravated the situation. Pakistan has asked World Bank to set up a ‘Court of Arbitration’ to look into her concerns about the technical design and capacity of the two hydroelectric power plants.
India on the other hand has asked for a ‘Neutral Expert’ for the same purpose. This difference in mechanism demand has put World Bank in odd situation. The treaty does not empower the bank to make a choice and choose one option over the other in case of demand of different treaty mechanisms.
Paused Treaty Process
World Bank president Jim Yong Kim on 12th December 2016 announced that in order to take the treaty out of current substantial threat presented by different mechanism demands, the World Bank would pause the treaty before taking any further step.
Indus Water Treaty Dispute Resolution Mechanism
To make the treaty working again and to successfully get out of the current odd situation, both parties should take one of the following two steps.
- They should suggest a unanimous course of action, that is, either Court of Arbitration or Neutral Expert.
- Empower the World Bank in this case to choose either option or suggest one of her own.
The working Indus Water Treaty is in best interests of both Pakistan and India. The treaty has survived more critical situation than this and it is believed that it will successfully survive this one too but for this purpose both states should adopt soft posture.
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