ISLAMABAD: The partial success, as the decision of the International Court of Arbitration on Kishenganga against India has been evaluated by the bureaucracy, has been exaggerated and termed a “big victory of Pakistan” by the concerned minister. The evaluation itself may be questionable and biased.
Radio Pakistan’s official website shows the Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif as having termed the ICA judgment as a ‘big victory’ of Pakistan despite the fact that Asif was told by his ministry that it was a partial success for Pakistan.
Independent water experts like former chairman Wapda Shamsul Mulk, however, told The News that they would require time to go through the judgment before offering any comment, but Khawaja Asif was quick to state even on Saturday last that it was a great victory.
Khawaja Asif’s claim was, however, not in line with the brief official note that the Ministry of Water and Power had forwarded to the political leadership, including the minister and PM Secretariat.
Sources confirm that the water and power ministry had informed the political leadership, including Kh Asif, that the latest decision of the International Court of Arbitration on Kishenganga was a 60-65 percent success for Pakistan and 35-40 percent success for India.
It was also confirmed that the decision would hurt Pakistan’s Neelum-Jhelum hydro project by at least 10 percent. The official note though did not count India’s success over the diversion of water as New Dehli wanted, while Pakistan was opposed to, still it evaluated Pakistan getting a partial victory over India.
According to the official note on the subject, there were two questions before the International Court of Arbitration to decide. First, how much water will India allow down Kishenganga? Second, can India make dams with draw down flushing below dead storage level?
In regard to the first question, it is explained that Pakistan had demanded 15 cumec in Aug-Sept and 12 cumec in Oct-March. This becomes equal to 500 cusecs and 400 cusecs respectively. India said 4 cumec could be given to Pakistan, equal to 100 cusecs. The court has granted 9 cumec, which is equal to 318 cusecs.
The second issue was that in the partial award it was held that India could not make dams with draw down flushing below dead storage level. India was upset and wanted that its applicability should only be for this dam, not for all future dams of India.
However, the court has rejected the Indian view and held that the above principle will be applicable on all future dams on Jhelum and Chenab rivers.“On this point, it is a big victory for Pakistan,” the note read, adding, “This will safeguard our water rights in future also.”
Overall, the note said, it can be said that in the Kishenganga Dam case, Pakistan has achieved 60% to 65% of its objectives and India 35% to 40%. The Water and Power Ministry officials are also of the view that the project would hurt the Neelum-Jhelum hydro project by 10 percent.
Only recently, just prior to the announcement of the ICA decision, the government had officially informed the Upper House that the construction of Kishenganga project in the Indian-administered Kashmir would result in 13 percent decrease in the flow of water for Pakistan’s Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project.
Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, on the behalf of water and power minister, had told the Senate that the project would reduce energy generation of Pakistan’s hydroelectric project by 13 percent or 700 million units.Abbasi had said that India was constructing the Kishenganga Hydroelectric Project whose gross capacity is 18.80 million cubic metres or 14,900 acre feet with dead storage of 8,755 acre feet. He said the water of River Kishenganga was to be diverted through a 23-km-long tunnel to produce 330 megawatts of power. It is not clear how Kh Asif still declares the ICA decision on Kishenganga as “a big victory of Pakistan”.Via:Thenews