The government claimed the decision as a victory for Pakistan but Mazari pointed out that in reality the decision has undermined Pakistan’s long term water inflows by guaranteeing only a minimum flow of water for Pakistan.
Central Information Secretary PTI, Shireen Mazari highlighted that there were 2 pleas relating to this issue: One was the plea that the project should be stopped; second was that the legitimate water flow to Pakistan was being interrupted because of the design of the project. Many experts felt at the time of going to the ICA that Pakistan went with the wrong plea: that the project be stopped.
Already in the earlier announced partial award it was clear that the Indus Water Treaty did not preclude dam construction per se and Pakistan should have gone beyond this Treaty to object to the actual design itself and to give all the relevant data. Yet this did not happen.
Mazari said a reading of the detailed judgement shows clearly that either the so-called professionals and experts representing Pakistan’s case were incompetent or deliberately in league with India to undermine Pakistan’s interests. Repeatedly the ICA in its judgement refers to Pakistan not having supplied essential data including on “current or anticipated agricultural uses of water from the Kishenganga”. Nor did Pakistan submit data on the impact of the project on Pakistan. In fact there seemed to have been a complete absence of any data supplied to put forward Pakistan’s case. PTI’s Information Secretary stated that this clearly showed mala fide intent on the part of all those responsible from the previous government which appointed a layperson with not an iota of experience in the field, as coordinator purely because he was a friend of the then President, to the professionals supposedly fighting Pakistan’s cause.
Mazari demanded the present government hold all those involved in what was clearly a conspiracy against Pakistan’s access to its rightful share of water accountable. “There could even be a case for treason given how there was a deliberate withholding of data from the Pakistani side to allow India success in its designs to deny Pakistan its rightful share of water under the Indus Water Treaty”, Mazari asserted.
She also reminded that because of the delay in the Neelum-Jhelum project India’s Kishenganga project gained an advantage for being first off the block. This again showed the ineptitude of the Pakistani government to protect vital national interests, Mazari concluded.