CBMs, Indus Water Dispute, Kishanganga Project and Kashmir

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CBMs

CBMs help in improving the atmospherics for undertaking difficult negotiations and are not in itself a sign of successful negotiations.

2011 CBMs

  • Relate to trade and commerce

  • Both sides have agreed to reduce tariff and NTTBs

  • Form a joint trade promotion body

  • To form a JWG on economic and commercial cooperation and trade promotion

  • Pak recognized that MFN status to India will help in expanding trade

  • To double trade to USD 6 bn by 2014

  • To establish a liberalised visa regime

  • ‘India-Pakistan are like Siamese twins who have no option but to move together even when they are attempting to pull away from each other.’

Indus Water Dispute

Public Perception of the Dispute in Pakistan: (Op-Ed)

Water crisis in Pakistan: per capita availability declined, river flows diminishing, polluted rivers.

Suggestions to Make Facts Align with Perception

  • A joint study needs to be made of the fact and extent of reduction in flows in the western rivers

  • Institutional arrangements for the joint monitoring of compliance at the relevant point.

  • Review of planned projects from the point of view of ecology and Pakistan’s apprehensions.

  • Civil society and academia should examine matter independently (is it possible?)

Kishanganga Project

India decided to construct the 330 MW Kishanganga power project on the banks of the Kishanganga river also known as the Neelum river in J&K. The water was to be diverted to Wullar lake which would severely restrict the flow of water into Jhelum river over which Pakistan has exclusive rights.

Tulbul Project is also disputed. This is aka Wular Lake project. It is located on the Jhelum river.

The Way Forward

Cooperation with Pakistan is needed because:

  • Domestic: Free relationship with Pakistan would help us consolidate our nationhood

  • Regional: Regional terrorism can be effectively tackled only in cooperation with Pakistan and not in confrontation with it

  • International: India will not be able to play its dual role in international affairs so long as it is dragged down by its quarrels with Pakistan

  • Consolidate the gains of the 13-year-old composite dialogue

  • For an ‘uninterrupted and uninterruptible’ dialogue

    • The venue must be such that neither India nor Pakistan can forestall the dialogue from taking place. <say the Wagah-Attari border>

    • The must be fixed periodicity at which the two sides shall necessarily meet without disruption

    • The dialogue must not be fractionated between different sets of interlocutors

    • Instead of an agenda agreed in advance, each side should be free to bring any two subjects of its choice on the table by giving due notice

    • There should be no timeline for the conclusion of the Dialogue

  • Engagement is the only way forward for India and Pakistan

  • Pakistan recognized that grant of MFN status to India would help in expanding bilateral trade relations. It has agreed to replace its present ‘Positive List’ with ‘Negative List’, by October 2011.

Nov 2011

  • Pakistan granted India MFN status

  • Disputes

Kashmir

  • The state/province remains divided between the two countries by the Line of Control (LoC), which demarcates the ceasefire line agreed upon in the 1947 conflict.

  • After weeks of intense fighting between Pakistan and India, Pakistani leaders and the Indian Prime Minister Nehru declared a ceasefire and sought U.N. arbitration with the promise of a plebiscite. Sardar Patel had argued against both, describing Kashmir as a bilateral dispute and its accession as justified by international law. In 1957, north-western Kashmir was fully integrated into Pakistan, becoming Azad Kashmir (Pakistan-administered Kashmir), while the other portion was acceded to Indian control, and the state of Jammu and Kashmir (Indian-administered Kashmir) was created. In 1962, China occupied Aksai Chin.

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