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Intransigence: India Issues Notice to Pakistan Over Indus Waters Treaty

© AFP 2023 AAMIR QURESHIA car crosses the Kowardu suspension bridge over the Indus River on the outskirts of Skardu on January 24, 2021.
A car crosses the Kowardu suspension bridge over the Indus River on the outskirts of Skardu on January 24, 2021. - Sputnik India, 1920, 27.01.2023
The Indus Waters Treaty is a water-sharing agreement brokered by the World Bank and signed by the two states in September 1960.
India has issued notice to Pakistan for modification of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), saying that its neighboring country has shown “intransigence” in implementing the terms of the agreement, Indian media reported on Friday.
The notice was reportedly sent on January 25 through the respective Commissioners for Indus Waters as per Article XII (3) of IWT.

As per the Indian side, Pakistan, from past years, 2017-2022, refused to discuss the issue of India’s 330 MW Kishenganga and 850 MW Ratle Hydro Electric Projects (HEPs) on the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus.

In 2015, Pakistan reportedly raised three objections to the HEPs, requesting a neutral expert be invited to examine its technical objections. A year later, however, Islamabad unilaterally retracted this request and proposed that a Court of Arbitration adjudicate its objections.
India, on the other hand, made a separate request for the matter to be referred to a neutral expert.
In 2016, the World Bank paused the talks, urging the two countries to seek an amicable solution. However, New Delhi maintained that Islamabad refused to discuss the matter during the five meetings of the Permanent Indus Commission, held from 2017 to 2022.
Last year, the World Bank initiated actions on the neutral expert and Court of Arbitration processes.
Following which, “India has been compelled to issue a notice of a modification, the report said, adding that the objective of the notice for modification is to provide Pakistan an opportunity to enter into intergovernmental negotiations within 90 days to rectify the material breach of IWT.
Under IWT, all the waters of the eastern rivers -- Sutlej, Beas, and Ravi -- amounting to around 33 million acre-feet (MAF) are allocated to India for unrestricted use.
The waters of western rivers -- Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab -- amounting to around 135 MAF annually have been assigned largely to Pakistan. However, India can generate power on western rivers, subject to specific criteria for design and operation.