Kishanganga project: Pakistan’s big victory against India in international court

  • The PCA is a non-United Nations intergovernmental organization based in The Hague.
  • India objected to the court’s jurisdiction over the Kishanganga project.
  • The court rejected the objection, declared Pakistan’s case acceptable.

Islamabad: In a major legal victory for Pakistan against its arch-rival India, the Court of Arbitration has rejected New Delhi’s objection to the global justice body’s jurisdiction over the Kishanganga hydropower project, sources told Geo News.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is a non-United Nations intergovernmental organization based in The Hague.

Sources said the court rejected India’s objection and accepted Pakistan’s case. “Now it will start hearing the matter on merits,” sources said.

In 2007, when the country’s water supply was affected after New Delhi began work on the Kishanganga project, Islamabad approached the court.

In 2013, the International Court of Arbitration allowed India to make conditional changes to the project design.

India had filed a petition to remove the matter from the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.

Pakistan raised three objections to the design of the Kishanganga project, saying that the project’s reservoir is 7.5 million cubic meters, which is excessive and should be 1 million cubic meters. Pakistan also wants India to increase the intake by 1-4 meters and raise the spillway by nine metres.

The legal battle between the two countries began in January to address concerns raised by Pakistan over the controversial designs of two hydroelectric projects being built on the Jhelum and Chenab rivers.

The first hearing of the 330 MW Kishanganga and 850 MW Ratle hydropower projects lasted for two days (January 27-28).

The Pakistan delegation, headed by the secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources, will include Pakistan’s Indus Water Commissioner, top officials from the Attorney General’s Office and a team of international lawyers appointed by the Government of Pakistan, will plead the country’s case for justice.

The World Bank had earlier set up a court of arbitration on Pakistan’s demand. Similarly, it also constituted a one-member neutral expert as demanded by India.

On 17 October, Sean Murphy was appointed as the President of the Court of Arbitration (CoA) and Michele Lino as the neutral expert by the World Bank.

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