Stephen Schwebel To Head Kishanganga Arbitration Court29 October 2010
New Delhi: Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, former President of the International Court of Justice, will head the Court of Arbitration being constituted to resolve the Kishanganga hydroelectric project dispute between India and Pakistan. Judge Schwebel is an expert on international law and dispute settlement. “The government has been informed that Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has appointed Judge Schwebel as chairman of the Kishanganga Court of Arbitration,” Union Water Resources Secretary Umesh Narain Panjiar told The Hindu here on Friday. The Rector of the Imperial College London will appoint an engineer and the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales will appoint a legal member as the sixth and seventh members of the court, he said. As per the provisions under the Indus Waters Treaty, signed between India and Pakistan in 1960 under the aegis of the World Bank, the arbitration court has to have seven members, including the chairman. Already India and Pakistan have named two international experts each to represent them. The dispute is over India's 330 Mw hydroelectric project on Kishanganga, a tributary of the Jhelum in Jammu and Kashmir. According to India, the treaty allows it to divert Kishanganga waters to the Bonar Madmati Nallah, another tributary of the Jhelum, which falls into the Wullar lake before joining the Jhelum again. Pakistan has objected to this saying India's plans to divert waters will obstruct the flow of the river affecting its Neelam-Jhelum project downstream. The matter could not be resolved during the Permanent Indus Water Commission-level bilateral talks and Pakistan decided to take the issue to a court of arbitration.