August 23, 2011 12:54:07 am
The International Court of Arbitration is slated to resume its hearing in the Kishanganga case later this week in the Hague. A Bench from the court had visited the site of the 330-MW hydel power project in J&K in June this year. The hearing,all set to start from August 25,will be the second after the arbitration Bench met for the first time in January this year.
While Pakistan did not press for a stay order against the construction at Kishanganga project site in January,it has petitioned afresh seeking an interim stay order on the construction activities at the site. The major task before the Indian legal team would be to ward off a stay order against the construction activities.
The seven-member Bench of the court,headed by Justice Stephen M Schwebel,had visited the project site in India and downstream Pakistan side to get a first-hand knowledge about the dispute between the neighbouring countries.
Apart from firming up the procedure for arbitration,the court had directed Pakistan to submit its memorial (affidavit) making its case against the project. With Pakistan submitting its objections,India was learnt to have also submitted its counter-memorial (affidavit) responding to Pakistans objections. The hearing this week will take up the issues raised by both the sides.
The case holds significance in the wake of the fact that this is the first time that Islamabad and New Delhi have gone to the International Court of Arbitration to resolve the dispute pertaining to the 1960s Indus Water Treaty that has withstood hostilities between the countries over the past six decades.
While Pakistan contends that the Kishanganga project will adversely impact its Neelum-Jhelum hydel project being built on its side on the Kishanganga river,India maintains that it will have no adverse impact on downstream projects in the neighbouring country.
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