India has issued an ultimatum to Pakistan over the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) and the disputed Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric power plants. The notice was conveyed on January 25, through respective Commissioners for Indus Waters, in which India has said Pakistan has violated the provisions of the IWT over the construction of the two mega hydroelectric power plants, and hence sought an amendment to it, government sources told Hindustan Herald.
The current imbroglio erupted following the recent actions taken by the World Bank in this issue. The World Bank, which is also a signatory to the treaty, had been the main facilitator in the negotiations when the pact was signed in 1960.
In October 2022, the World Bank sought to keep the demands made by both sides in appointing a neutral expert as well as a chairman of the Court of Arbitration. While it was New Delhi that wanted a neutral expert to look into the concerns of both sides over the two projects, Islamabad wanted to fight out legally at the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague.
Despite repeated efforts by India to find a mutually agreeable way forward, Pakistan refused to discuss the issue during the five meetings of the Permanent Indus Commission from 2017 to 2022, according to the sources.
This process would also update IWT to incorporate the lessons learnt over the last 62 years, they said.
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