New Delhi, January 27: India has issued notice to Pakistan for modification of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) of September 1960 after Islamabad’s actions adversely impinged the provisions of the treaty, news agency ANI reported quoting unnamed sources.
The notice was conveyed on January 25 through respective Commissioners for Indus Waters as per Article XII (3) of the IWT.
The objective of the notice for modification, according to sources, is to provide Pakistan with an opportunity to enter into intergovernmental negotiations within 90 days to rectify the material breach of the IWT, the ANI report said.
This process would also update IWT to incorporate the lessons learned over the last 62 years.
India has always been a responsible partner in implementing the IWT. Pakistan’s actions, however, have encroached on the provisions of IWT and their implementation and forced India to issue an appropriate notice for modification of IWT, the report added quoting sources.
In 2015, Pakistan requested for the appointment of a Neutral Expert to examine its technical objections to India’s Kishenganga and Ratle Hydro Electric Projects (HEPs).
In 2016, Pakistan unilaterally retracted this request and proposed that a Court of Arbitration adjudicate its objections.
According to sources quoted by ANI, this action by Pakistan is a breach of the graded mechanism of dispute settlement envisaged by Article IX of IWT. India thus made a separate request for the matter to be referred to a Neutral Expert.
The initiation of two simultaneous processes on the same questions and the potential of their inconsistent or contradictory outcomes creates an unprecedented and legally untenable situation, which risks endangering IWT itself the report said, adding, the World Bank acknowledged this itself in 2016, and took a decision to “pause” the initiation of two parallel processes and requested India and Pakistan to seek an amicable way out, sources say.
Pakistan, despite repeated efforts by India to find a mutually agreeable way forward, has refused to discuss the issue during the five meetings of the Permanent Indus Commission from 2017 to 2022, the report said.