India said Pakistan violated the terms of the Indus Water Treaty after the World Bank appointed a neutral expert and chairman of an arbitration panel over the disputed Kishanganga and Rattle Heidel assets.

India has once again notified Pakistan of its intention to amend the existing Indus Water Treaty (IWT) of September 1960. According to sources cited by the ANI news agency, India issued a new notice on 25 January through its respective commissioners of the Indus waters under Article XII(3) of the Inland Waterways.

Despite India’s efforts, Pakistan’s refusal to discuss and resolve the issue of India’s Kishenganga and Ratle hydropower projects over the past five years has necessitated action, sources said. India was forced to take action because Pakistan’s actions “adversely affected” the terms of the treaty, they added, according to sources cited in a tweet thread. “Pakistan’s actions have had a negative impact on the regulation of inland waterways and their implementation, forcing India to issue relevant Inland Waterway Modification Notices. Despite this, Pakistan has refused to discuss the issue at the five Indus Standing Committees from 2017 to 2022.

India is seeking changes to the treaty to make it easier for Pakistan to enter intergovernmental negotiations within 90 days to resolve “serious violations” of inland water transport. This process also updates inland navigation to include the experience of the last 62 years.

What was the Indus Waters Treaty?

The Indus Water Treaty was signed between India and Pakistan on September 19, 1960, after more than nine years of World Bank negotiations on an agreement. This treaty mainly established and explained the rights and obligations of each country regarding the use of the waters of the Indus River system, including the Beath, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum rivers.

After being signed, the treaty outlined mechanisms for cooperation and information sharing between the two countries. According to the treaty, India is given control over the waters of her Beas, Ravi and Sutlej, her three “eastern rivers”. Control of her three “western rivers” – the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum – was transferred to Pakistan. India holds about 20% of the water carried by the Indus River system and Pakistan holds 80%.

According to the treaty, India is allowed to use western river water for limited irrigation purposes and for unlimited non-consumption purposes such as power generation, navigation and fish farming.

Experts have consistently called the treaty one of the most successful water-sharing agreements between nations. In recent years, however, it has come under great pressure due to strained bilateral relations between the two countries.

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