New Delhi, May 21: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 330-megawatt Kishanganga hydropower project, Pakistan moved the World Bank alleging violation of the 1960 Indus Water Treaty by India.
Islamabad has sent a four-member delegation headed by Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali, state-run Radio Pakistan reported on Sunday. The delegation was scheduled to meet the World Bank representatives on Monday.
Pakistan's ambassador to United States, Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry , while speaking to reporters, said the World Bank is a guarantor in the Indus Treaty and therefore, "it is bound to intervene in case of violation".
Chaudhary claimed the Kishanganga dam, set to be constructed on the Neelam River, will deplete the quantum of downstream water flowing to Pakistan. "This would adversely impact our agriculture," he added.
India, however, has attempted to allay the apprehensions raised by Pakistan ever since the construction of dam began in 2007. Since the dam is a "run-of-river plant", it will neither change the course of river nor deplete the level of water downstream, New Delhi has argued.
The dam's construction was stayed back in 2010 by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. After hearings during the course of three years, the court ruled in India's favour in 2013.
The international court had dismissed the concerns raised by Pakistan, noting that the proposed dam is "a run-of-river plant within the parameters of the IWT (Indus Water Treaty) and that India may accordingly divert water from the Kishanganga (Neelum River) for power generation".
After the setback at The Hague, Islamabad resorted to a counter-policy as it decided to build hydropower dams on the shared Neelum river. The first such project - Neelum-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project - was inaugurated by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi last month.