Winning the battle but losing the war

While allowing India to build the Kishenganga project, the International Court of Arbitration has de facto ruled that the Baglihar decision was wrong and should not be applied to future projects

The Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), signed in 1960, took 10 years to negotiate, primarily because of the thorny issue of balancing, on the one hand, the reasonable expectation by India that it could use the hydroelectric potential of “Pakistan’s rivers” (the Chenab, Jhelum and Indus) before these rivers entered Pakistan and, on the other, the reasonable expectation by Pakistan that this would neither decrease the flow to Pakistan nor change the timing of the flow. This was dealt with in the IWT essentially by hardwiring into the Treaty limitations on the amount of manipulable (or “live”) storage which India could develop in its projects.

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