Home / News / India /  India issues notice to Pakistan for modification of Indus Waters Treaty

India has issued a notification to Pakistan for modification of the 1960 Indus Water Treaty, the PTI news agency said quoting government sources.

India issued the notice after Islamabad's actions adversely impinged the provisions of the treaty.

The objective of the notice for modification is to provide Pakistan with an opportunity to enter into intergovernmental negotiations within 90 days to rectify the material breach of the IWT.

According to government sources, India has always been a responsible partner in implementing the IWT. However, Pakistan encroached on the provisions of the IWT and their implementation and forced India to issue an appropriate notice for the modification of the IWT.

In 2015, Pakistan requested the appointment of a Neutral Expert to examine its technical objections to India's Kishenganga and Ratle Hydro Electric Projects (HEPs). But the next year, the country retracted this request and proposed that a Court of Arbitration adjudicate its objections.

According to government sources, this action by Pakistan is a breach of the graded mechanism of dispute settlement envisaged by Article IX of IWT.

India made a separate request for the matter to be referred to a Neutral Expert.

The initiation of the two processes could create an untenable situation that could risk the treaty. In 2016, the World Bank acknowledged and took a decision to "pause" the initiation of two parallel processes.

Pakistan refused to discuss the issue during the five meetings of the Permanent Indus Commission from 2017 to 2022.

The World Bank at Pakistan's continued insistence initiated actions on both the Neutral Expert and Court of Arbitration processes.

In October 2022, the World Bank made appointments in two separate processes requested by India and Pakistan in relation to the Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric power plants.

It appointed a chairman of the Court of Arbitration and a neutral expert "in line with its responsibilities" under the Indus Waters Treaty.

World Bank said that the two countries disagree over whether the technical design features of the two hydroelectric plants contravene the Treaty.

The global body added that Pakistan asked the World Bank to facilitate the establishment of a Court of Arbitration to consider its concerns about the designs of the two hydroelectric power projects. Whereas India and India asked for the appointment of a Neutral Expert to consider similar concerns over the two projects.

Consequently, Michel Lino was appointed as the Neutral Expert and Sean Murphy was appointed as Chairman of the Court of Arbitration.

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