Pakistan has decided to approach the International Court of Arbitration to halt the construction of the Kishanganga hydropower project by India on the ground that it violates the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 and has formed a team of legal experts to fight the case.
Professor Kaiyan Homi Kaikobad, an international legal expert of Pakistani origin, will lead the team at the International Court of Arbitration, the Dawn newspaper quoted its sources as saying.
The government is estimated to have allocated USD 10 million for the case.
Kaikobad will be assisted by officials of the ministries of water and power, law and foreign affairs, Pakistan's permanent commissioner to the Indus Waters Commission and a few lawyers.
Kaikobad, who did his PhD from London School of Economics, is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Earlier, a legal adviser to the government of Bahrain, he is currently a professor of law and director of research at Brunel University.
Some government officials had recommended James Crawford for the job because he represented Pakistan before a neutral expert when the country took up the case of the Baglihar project on Chenab river a few years ago.
Prime Minister's adviser on water resources Kamal Majidullah opposed the move, saying the outcome of Baglihar case was not in Pakistan's favour.
The daily said quoting sources that India almost completed the 22-km tunnel to divert Kishanganga (Neelum) waters to Wullar Lake in alleged violation of the Indus Waters Treaty and is working to complete the 330MW project by January 2016.
If completed, the project will severely affect Pakistan's rights over the river, reduce water flow into Pakistan and
minimise the power generation capacity of Pakistan's 969 MW Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project near Muzaffarabad in PoK, it said.
It said Pakistan's Permanent Indus Water Commissioner had asked the government in March last year to quickly take up the case with International Court of Arbitration after all options at the level of the Permanent Indus Commission were exhausted but it took the government over 14 months to seriously consider this advice.
Pakistan has been opposing the Kishanganga project for over a decade because it could stop water flows into Jhelum
river. Bilateral talks have so far failed to yield any result to Pakistan's satisfaction.