Pakistan is not concerned with the possibility of any violation of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) 1960, brokered by the World Bank (the then International Bank for Reconstruction and Development), saying that the pact cannot be altered unilaterally.
On Monday, Islamabad closely monitored a high-level meeting presided over by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to discuss possibilities for review of Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan signed by the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and President of Pakistan Ayub Khan on September 19, 1960.
“India cannot alter or scrap the World Bank brokered Treaty as all the World Bank member countries are its guarantors,” said an official. India, sources said, can also not approach World Bank or any other forum for review without taking Pakistan on board as there is no provision of review in the Treaty.
“No one can change the terms of water flows and water storage. Only a few clauses can be alerted with mutual agreement. It’s a sacred document and no one should talk about its review,” the official added.
The Indus Water Treaty allows the flow of rivers into Pakistan from across the border with Pakistan given control of the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum rivers while India controls Beas, Ravi and Sutlej. The treaty also guaranteed ten years of uninterrupted water supply, during which period Pakistan successfully built Warsak, Mangla and Tarbela dams.
According to media reports, India has ruled out cancelling the IWT with Pakistan but will go for greater use of the three rivers that are controlled by Pakistan.
According to sources, Secretary Water and Power Younus Dagha was in the United States to discuss the case of 330MW Kishanganga hydroelectric project, and the ongoing construction on 850MW Ratle Hydroelectric plant on Chenab River in violation of the Indus Water Treaty.
The International Court of Justice gave its “final award” on 20th December 2013, wherein it allowed New Delhi to go ahead with the construction of Kishanganga over which Islamabad had raised objections. The court delivered its “final award” after India requested clarification of an order issued by it in February.
The “final award” specifies that 9 m3/s of natural flow of water must be maintained in Kishanganga river at all times to maintain the environment downstream. The court said alternative techniques will have to be used for Kishanganga hydroelectric project and all future run of the river projects would have to be cleared by Pakistan.
Pakistan is also constructing 969MW hydropower electric project at Neelum River in Azad Kashmir which has been delayed due to financial constraints. Wapda still needs around $500 million to complete the project which has begun without a financial close. Ratle Hydroelectric project includes a 13 m (436 ft) tall gravity dam and two power stations adjacent to one another.
Water from the dam will be diverted through four intake tunnels about 400 m south-west of the power station; the main power station will contain four 205 MW Francis turbines whereas auxiliary power station will contain one 30 MW Francis turbine. The installed capacity of both power stations will be 850 MW. The project is expected to be completed by February 2018.