The notice was conveyed through the respective commissioners of the Indus Waters as per Article XII of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT).
According to sources, the main objective was to provide Pakistan with an opportunity to enter into intergovernmental negotiations within 90 days to rectify the material breach of the treaty. This process will also update the IWT to incorporate lessons learned over the last 62 years.
In 2015, Pakistan requested the appointment of a Neutral Expert to examine technical objections to India’s Kishenganga and Ratle Hydroelectric Projects.
In 2016, Pakistan unilaterally retracted this request and proposed that a Court of Arbitration adjudicates its objections.
This action by Pakistan is a breach of the graded mechanism of the dispute settlement envisaged by Article 9 of the Indus Water Treaty. Thus, India made a special request for the matter to be referred to a Neutral Expert.
The initiation of two simultaneous processes on the same question and the potential of inconsistent and contradictory outcomes create an unprecedented and legally untenable situation which risks the treaty itself.
The World Bank, which acknowledged this itself in 2016 had to pause the initiation of two parallel processes and requested India and Pakistan to seek an amicable way out.
Despite the repeated attempts by India to find a mutually agreeable way forward, Pakistan has refused to discuss this issue during the five meetings of the Permanent Indus Commission from 2017-2022.
At the continuous insistence of Pakistan, the World Bank initiated actions on the Neutral Expert and Court of Arbitration Process. Such parallel consideration of the same issues is not covered under any provision of IWT.
In October 2022, made appointments in two separate processes requested by India and Pakistan concerning Kishenganga Project.
It appointed a chairman of the Court of Arbitration and a neutral expert in line with its responsibilities under the Indus Water Treaty.
Pakistan asked the World Bank to facilitate and establish a Court of Arbitration to consider its concerns about the designs of two hydroelectric plants that contravene the treaty.
India asked for the appointment of a Neutral Expert to consider similar concerns over the two projects.
Michel Lino was appointed as the Neutral Expert and Sean Murphy was appointed as the Chairman of the Court of Arbitration. They will carry out their duties in their capacity as subject matter experts and independently of any other appointments they may currently hold.