The International Court of Arbitration based in Hague has issued a partial award on the controversial Kishanganga hydro-electricity project (KHEP) in response to Pakistan’s appeal for ‘interim measures’ against the dam. This decision, though some would consider it favourable in certain respects may actually block the river flow to its natural tributary downstream. Energy experts are of the view that with the court verdict, Pakistan would have to face around 150 billion annual loss as the designed capacity of 969MW Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project would have to be reduced by 150MW. They are of the view that court’s ruling would benefit India on the diversion of Neelum (Kishanganga) water, setting aside objections by Pakistan. Earlier, the court endorsed Pakistan’s view that the neutral expert’s decision in the Baglihar Dam case was in violation of the Indus Water Treaty. Though this decision meant vindication of Islamabad’s stand on the dispute, and as a result India had to concede some ground, there was not much that could be achieved to claim our legitimate right to the Indus waters free of any interruption.

Yet there is also the factor of how we have been reacting to such Indian moves. It has been seen that we have been lukewarm at times. Consider for instance that Indus Water Commissioner, Syed Jamaat Ali Shah for years had either been sitting idle or had been pursuing the case at Hague in a way that harmed our stand. If the growing water scarcity in Pakistan is to be averted, the Indians must be dealt with firmness