India, Pak exchange experts` names for Kishenganga Arbitration

Last Updated: Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 21:26

New Delhi: With the deadline for appointment
of neutral umpires ending tomorrow, India and Pakistan have
exchanged the names of four experts each for the International
Court of Arbitration to resolve the dispute over the 330-MW
Kishenganga hydel project in Jammu and Kashmir.

If the two countries fail to settle on three names,
including that of the chairman, by tomorrow, the matter will
be decided by a `draw of lots`.
The treaty states that once the process of arbitration
is initiated by any of the two countries, the umpires and the
chairman have to be appointed within 60 days.

The draw of lots will involve the UN, the World Bank and
some institutions of international repute as per the
provisions of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty.

The names were exchanged during a meeting between
representatives of both sides in Islamabad on Tuesday, sources
in the Government said.

Both sides suggested two names each for the post of
chairman and two names each for the other umpires.

Among the two names, India is learnt to have proposed
the name of former Justice of Australian High Court Michael
Kirby for the post of chairman.

It also proposed UK-based Prof Asit K Biswas as the
technical expert. Biswas is an expert on issues related to
global water management.
The Indian side led by Chairman, Central Water Commission
A K Bajaj also recommended Prof Laurence Boisson de Chazournes
of the Netherlands as the legal expert. De Chazournes is on
the Board of Directors of an organisation, International
Dispute Settlement.

Pakistan, on its part, is learnt to have suggested names
of Jordanian national Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh of the
International Court of Justice and Edith Weiss Brown, a
scholar on water management for the post of chairman.

Pakistan has recommended names of one Dutch professor for
technical expert and a UK national for the legal expert.

The two countries, which have agreed on international
arbitration, had been having a dispute over how to finalise
the three neutral umpires who will supervise the legal battle
between the two sides in a court of arbitration.

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

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.

Under the provisions of the treaty, the two countries
will have to appoint three umpires, including a Chairman,
before the court of arbitration is set up to decide on the
issue.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 21:26

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