India, Pak to decide on Kishenganga umpires tomorrow | india | Hindustan Times
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India, Pak to decide on Kishenganga umpires tomorrow

india Updated: Jul 12, 2010 17:43 IST

India and Pakistan will discuss the issue of appointment of umpires for the Kishenganga hydel power project arbitration in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Sources in the government said that India has sent a four-member team to Pakistan, comprising officials from the Water Resources Ministry and the Ministry of External Affairs.

The senior-most member of the team is A K Bajaj, Chairman of the Central Water Commission. The others are India's Indus Commissioner G Ranganatha, his deputy Darpan Talwar and J N Singh, a Joint Secretary in the MEA.

Pakistan had invited India to discuss the issue of appointment of three neutral umpires.

Earlier, India had invited Pakistan to hold consultations here on July 5 and 6 to decide on umpires bilaterally. But Pakistan suggested that the names of the umpires be exchanged between the missions of the two countries.

Last week, India once again invited Pakistan for consultations, saying it was ready to send its representatives to Islamabad to which the latter agreed.

If the two countries fail to have a consensus on umpires, then this will be decided by a draw of lots by the World Bank, the United Nations and some other institutions.

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.