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July 20, 2013

Pakistan may go to world court if India pursues Ratle Dam project

July 20, 2013


ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office has made it clear that Pakistan wants the Indus Water Treaty with India to be implemented in earnest as it is vital for Islamabad.
“It is a matter of life and death for us,” FO spokesman Azaz Ahmad Chaudhry told The News when asked about Pakistan’s stance on the recent launch of a mega 850MW Hydro Electric Project named Ratle in Jammu and Kashmir on the Chenab River by the Indian government.
The spokesman said that if this project is found violating the Treaty, Pakistan would take it seriously to ensure that its water rights are not infringed. “If it requires going to international courts, we will do that,” he said.
After the disputed Kishanganga and Baglihar projects, this is the third major rather the biggest of the all three disputed Indian projects having raised many eyebrows in Pakistan as it is seen as yet another violation of the Indus Water Treaty by the Indian government.
The FO spokesman said that such matters are initially taken up before the bilateral Indus Water Commission and in case of failure to resolve the matter bilaterally Pakistan could approach court of arbitration. He said that as per the Treaty India could have a project on run of the river but it can’t store water on Pakistani rivers.
The Indian latest project will be three times larger than the Baglihar Hydropower Dam. Mirza Asif Baig, Commissioner of Pakistan Commission of Indus Water, has already objected to the project. Recently he told this newspaper that it was a sheer violation of the provisions of Indus Waters Treaty 1960.
“We have come up with strong objections to the design of the said project in a meeting with India at the Permanent Commission of Indus Waters (PCIW) level,” Baig recently told this newspaper’s senior staffer and economic correspondent Khalid Mustafa. The commissioner pledged that he would continue to oppose the said project as its design violated the Indus Waters Treaty.
While many here want

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to speak on the issue of water and in respect to Indian aggression against Pakistan’s resource, the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress top leader Sonia Gandhi on June 25th jointly laid the foundation stone for GVK’s 850MW Ratle Hydro Electric Project, Drabshala, Kishtwar in Jammu and Kashmir.
The 850MW Ratle Hydro Electric Power Project is located on River Chenab near Drabshala village in Kishtwar District, Jammu & Kashmir. It lies between the Dulhasti HEP (390MW) on its upstream and the Baglihar HEP (450 + 450MW) on its downstream.
While Pakistani government has adopted apologetic approach towards India, the latter is aggressively pursuing the policy of hurting Pakistan. Without bothering to the earlier objections raised by Pakistan against Baglihar and Kishanganga Dams, the Indian government has now launched third and the biggest project on Pakistani rivers.
Of late, a former official of Indian home ministry has also revealed before its Supreme Court that Indian government was behind the Parliament assault and Mumbai attack. This was a great embarrassment for the Indian government that has been blaming Pakistan and the ISI for these attacks but still the government of Pakistan did not show any reaction and kept a complete mum.




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