The Nawaz Sharif government has decided to approach the International Court of Arbitration to stop India from setting up two hydropower projects on the Jhelum and the Chenab rivers that were assigned to Pakistan during the Indus Waters Treaty in 1960, reported The Indian Express. The country believes that the projects will reduce its water supply considerably, leading to crop loss.
The country's Federal Minister for Water and Power Khwaja Mohammad Asif said, “Pakistan with consent of stakeholders decided to take it to full court of arbitration.” Asif is also the Federal Minister for Defence. A Pakistani delegation was recently in New Delhi on a two-day trip to discuss the issue. The eight-member team was led by Secretary Water and Power Mohammad Younus Dagha.
Reacting to Islamabad's statement, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, "The visit of a team from Pakistan on July 14-15, 2016 was in response to India pointing out to Pakistan that the latter was violating provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty in rushing to a third forum without attempting to avail Treaty provisions for amicably resolving matters of mutual concern pertaining to two hydro-electric projects." He added that both parties have put forward their views during the meeting, "We hope that Pakistan side will see reason in our suggestions on the way forward," he said.