Islamabad: Observers in Pakistan say that India may have stolen a decisive march in the battle for water ''priority rights'' between the two - frequently warring -neighbours. Pakistan, they feel, may have, for all practical purposes, already lost the case against India on the controversial 330mw Kishanganga hydropower project even before formal commencement of legal proceedings in the international Court of Arbitration (CoA).
While India initiated the Kishanganga hydropower project to generate 330mw of electricity Pakistan initiated the Neelam-Jhelum Hydroelectric Project, which lies downstream, to produce 969mw of electricity.
The simple conundrum to be resolved by the CoA is to judge which country is ahead on its respective project. Under the terms of the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 between India and Pakistan, the country which finishes its project first on the Neelam would get ''priority rights'' to the use of the river's waters.
The Kishanganga River assumes the name of Neelam River when it enters the Pakistan-occupied- Kashmir (Azad Jammu & Kashmir) region and further downstream becomes the Jhelum upon entering Pakistan.
India proposed to build the barrage in 1984 on River Kishanganga, at the mouth of Wullar Lake, India's largest fresh water lake, near Sopore town in Kashmir Valley. The proposed site for dam is near Kanzalwan – a town from where the river enters Azad Kashmir.