New Delhi: India has attended a two-day meeting of the Neutral Expert proceedings in Vienna on the Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric project dispute with Pakistan.
India has claimed that the two hydro-electric projects on the Jhelum and Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir are key to its energy necessities. Pakistan has said that India’s efforts to harness hydro electricity at Kishenganga and Ratle will violate the Indus Waters Treaty, which gives Pakistan and not India unfettered use of the two rivers.
The Ministry of External Affairs has said that a team from India, led by the Department of Water Resources secretary, attended the meeting at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Vienna on September 20 and 21.
Senior Advocate Harish Salve was present as India’s lead counsel in this matter, the MEA said. Representatives of Pakistan attended the meeting as well.
“India’s participation in this meeting is in line with India’s consistent, principled stand that as per the graded mechanism provided for in the Indus Waters Treaty, the Neutral Expert proceedings are the only valid proceedings at this juncture,” the MEA said.
“It is for this reason that India has taken the Treaty-consistent decision to not participate in the parallel proceedings being conducted by an illegally constituted Court of Arbitration on the same set of issues pertaining to the Kishenganga and Ratle HEPs,” it added.
In June, the MEA had said that this Court of Arbitration was in contravention of the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty.