Kishenganga: UN fixes US jurist for mediation

Last Updated: Saturday, October 30, 2010 - 00:25

New Delhi: The United Nations has
appointed a leading US lawyer to head an International Court
of Arbitration to settle the dispute between India and
Pakistan over Kishenganga hydro power project in Jammu and
Kashmir, paving the way for legal proceedings to start.

American jurist Stephen Myron Schwebel was the
appointed Chairman of the three-member court of arbitration by
the UN Secretary General, sources in the government told PTI.

An expert on international law, Schwebel is well known
for his separate and dissenting opinions as a Judge of the
International Court of Justice between 1981-2000 and for his
involvement in many cases of the Permanent Court of
Arbitration.

The appointment will be followed by selection of two
other neutral umpires, who will named by Rector, Imperial
College of Science and Technology, London, and Lord Justice of
England to settle the dispute.

While one umpire will be an expert in engineering, the
other will be a legal luminary.

Accusing India of breaching the provisions of the 1960
Indus Water Treaty by diverting the water of the Jhelum
tributary for its Kishenganga hydel power project, Pakistan
sought international arbitration in May this year after the
two countries failed to resolve the issue bilaterally for over
two decades.

As per the provisions of the 1960 Indus Water
Treaty, once the process of arbitration is initiated by any of
the two countries, the three umpires, including the chairman,
have to be appointed within 60 days.

If the two countries fail to appoint umpires, the two
parties prepare a draw of lots and request a "person"
mentioned in the Treaty to select the umpire.

The draw of lots was held here in July where the two
sides agreed to take the services of the UN chief, the Rector,
Imperial College of Science and Technology, London and Lord
Justice of England to appoint the three neutral umpires.

The draw of lots was held as India and Pakistan had
failed to reach consensus on the names of three neutral
umpires for the International Court of Arbitration.

The two countries have already nominated two legal
experts (arbitrators) each to contest their case over the
power project being.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, October 30, 2010 - 00:25

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