MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu Kashmir President Masood Khan has said that by inaugurating the 330 megawatts Kishan Ganga Power Plant, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has violated the Indus Waters Treaty and deprived Azad Jammu Kashmir and Pakistan of their precious water sources.
He made these remarks while talking to the presidents of the bar associations and the press clubs of the state here on Tuesday. The Kashmiri president said that it was an act of breach of faith because the process for the mediatory decision on the Kishan Ganga project was “paused”, as Pakistan had demanded a constitution of a Court of Arbitration while India was insistent on a neutral expert.
India has abused this “pause” to accelerate the completion and inauguration of the Kishan Ganga hydroelectric project to give a fait-accompli to the World Bank and Pakistan. It has thus scuttled and made a mockery of the arbitration process. The president said that India uses such arbitration processes as well as its strained relation with Pakistan as a smokescreen to build dams in violation of the Indus Waters Treaty, adding that, earlier India resorted to the same tactics for the Baglihar Dam.
President Masood strongly condemned India’s water aggression against Pakistan and said it was building a cascade of other dams on the rivers Indus, Neelum, Chenab and Jehlum such as Ratle, Swalkot, Pakal Dul and Bursar, whose cumulative mega wattage is not less than 5000 megawatts. Swalkot’s capacity alone is more than 1800mw. This kind of aggressive and irresponsible dam building will deprive Azad Kashmir and Pakistan of waters for power generation and irrigation, he said. He called on the president of the World Bank to directly intervene and avert this disaster by persuading India to work within the essential cooperative framework given by the treaty.
He also asked the World Bank to inquire from India about its breach of trust in completing the project while the mediation was underway on Kishan Ganga and Ratle hydroelectric power projects.