India Pakistan IWT: India has issued a notice to Pakistan for amendment of the Indus Water Treaty of September 1960. Sources said on Friday that the notice as per Article XII (3) of the IWT was given on January 25 through the respective commissioners for Indus waters. The sources pointed out that Pakistan’s actions have adversely affected the provisions of the IWT and their implementation and have forced India to issue an appropriate notice for revision of the IWT.
According to sources, in 2015 Pakistan had requested for the appointment of a neutral expert to investigate its technical objections on India’s Kishanganga and Ratle Hydro Electric Projects (HEP). In 2016, Pakistan unilaterally withdrew the request and proposed that an arbitration court adjudicate on its objections.
Pakistan violates IWT
Sources said that this unilateral action of Pakistan is in violation of Article IX of IWT. Accordingly, India made a separate request to refer the matter to a neutral expert. Sources said the initiation of two processes simultaneously on the same question and the possibility of their inconsistent or contradictory results creates an unprecedented and legally untenable situation, which jeopardizes the IWT itself. This is the reason why the World Bank accepted it in 2016 and decided to stop the initiation of two parallel processes. Also requested India and Pakistan to get out of this situation in an amicable way.
Pakistan has a chance to rectify its mistake.
The source said India has been repeatedly making efforts to find a way out mutually, but Pakistan refused to discuss the issue during five meetings of the Permanent Indus Commission from 2017 to 2022. Whereas now the purpose of the notice for amendment is to provide Pakistan an opportunity to enter into inter-governmental negotiations within 90 days to rectify material violations of the IWT. The process will also update the IWT to incorporate lessons learned over the past 62 years.
What is Indus Water Treaty?
India and Pakistan signed the Indus Water Treaty on September 19, 1960. Under the provisions of the treaty, the water of Sutlej, Beas and Ravi was given to India. Whereas the water of Indus, Jhelum and Chenab was given to Pakistan. The World Bank is also a signatory to this agreement. Under the agreement, the water commissioners of the two countries have to meet twice a year and arrange technical visits to project sites and important river headworks. However, Pakistan refused to discuss the issue during the last five meetings.
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