1. What is Kishanganga?
  2. Indus Water treaty?
  3. Permanent Indus Commission (PIC)?
  4. What is the Kishanganga problem?
  5. Pakistan’s objections
    1. #1: less electricity for Pak
    2. #2: less water for Pak
  6. International Court of Arbitration at The Hague
  7. Gwadar Port transferred to China
  8. Mock Questions

Indus Water treaty?

  • Signed between India(Nehru) and Pakistan (Gen.Ayub Khan), in 1960.
  • It allocates the water in following manner
Eastern Rivers Western
  1. Sutlej
  2. Ravi
  3. Beas
  1. Chenab,
  2. Jhelum
  3. Indus
Remember “SRBjit” (Sarbjeet=that Indian man in Pakistani jail). Remember CJI (Chief justice of India).
This water belongs to India exclusively. This water belongs to Pakistan.
However, India can make limited use of this water, and build hydro Projects with certain conditions.

Permanent Indus Commission (PIC)?

  • Indus Water Treaty provides for this Commission.
  • It is made up of one Indian + one Pakistani Commissioner.
  • PIC holds meetings, inspects the projects on these rivers (to make sure neither party is violating anything).
  • If either party is making or modifying any canal, projects etc. they’ve to share data/ information to other party.
  • Water related issues/disputes should be solved by talks and negotiations.
  • If talks/negotiations fail, then India / Pakistan can approach a third party neutral expert.

What is the Kishanganga problem?

  • Kishanganga is a tributary of Jhelum river.
  • When Kishanganga enters Pakistan, it is called “Neelam river.”

Now Observe this map:
Kishanganga project map

  • As you can see, India is building a dam at a place called “Gurez”. (work done by National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC))
  • India will divert this water via a 20+ km tunnel for generating electricity.
  • This tunnel will deliver water to Kishanganga hydroelectric plant (KHEP) @Bonar Nalla and generate about 300+MW electricity.
  • Pakistan objected to this project.
  • India refused to stop the project.
  • So, 2010 Pakistan approaches International Court of Arbitration (ICA) saying that India has violated the Indus water treaty of 1960.
  • The court gave stay order and stopped India from constructing the project while the case was going on.

Pakistan’s objections

If India builds a dam on Kishanganga and diverts water then

#1: less electricity for Pak

  • We are also building a Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower project.
  • This plant will have electricity generation capacity of almost 1000MW.
  • But if India builds a dam on Kishanganga (=Neelum) then less water flow for Pakistan’s side = this project’s electricity generation capacity will be reduced by 150MW.

#2: less water for Pak

  1. We’ll will receive 15% less water (from our original share of river waters according to Indus Water treaty).
  2. We might not get water at all from Neelum River for about seven to nine months a year! = not good for agriculture.

International Court of Arbitration at The Hague

India was represented by noted legal expert Mr.Fali S Nariman. (2 marker person in news)
Pakistan was represented by Mr. I.M. Notimp4upsc.

Court After hearing both the side, We order that

  1. India has right to build dam and divert water from River Kishanganga.
  2. BUT India will have to maintain some minimum water flow, for Pakistan’s use. It means Indian doesn’t have right to “FULLY” divert water.
India Ok how much minimum water flow do we need to maintain for Pakistan?
Court That we’ll tell you in December 2013. But in the mean time, both of your submit your survey database to us. So we can decide the minimum flow.
And @Pakistan, you also give data on how much water do you from Kishanganga sorry Neelam, for agriculture/irrigation?
Pakistan Ok.
India Objection! I suspect that Pakistan will intentionally come up with fake data that they need huge amount of water for irrigation!
Court It is for us to decide whether data is legit or fake! But submit the data first.
Plus, When both of your submit data, you’ll be given the opportunity to make objection against other party’s data.

To sum up: This is only a “partial verdict”, and “full” verdict will come in Dec 2013.

Another Development is “Pakistan handed over Gwadar port to China”.

Gwadar Port transferred to China

  • You already know the background and strategic importance of Gwadar port. If not, click me
  • In Feb 2013, Pakistan and China signed an agreement to hand over control of the strategic Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea to a Chinese company, According to this agreement,
  1. Gwadar sea port will remain the property of Pakistan.
  2. And the Chinese company will share profits from its operation.


Q1. According to Indus Water treaty, India has exclusive rights over

  1. Beas, Indus, Ravi
  2. Indus, Chenab, Jhelum
  3. Ravi, Satluj, Beas
  4. None of above.

Q2. Which of the following is correct regarding Kishanganga?

  1. It is a tributary of Sutlej river.
  2. In Pakistan, it is known as Neelam.
  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both
  4. None


  1. Fali S. Nariman (2m)
  2. Kishanganga Project (2m)
  3. Permenent Indus Commission. (5m)
  4. Indus Water treaty (5m)
  5. Write a note on the ongoing Kishanganga Project controversy between India and Pakistan. (15m)