Pakistan denied stay against Kishanganga project - PakTribune ISLAMABAD: The writing had been on the wall for quite some time-thanks to the criminal incompetence of Pakistan's water legal eagles headed by special assistant to prime minister Kamala Majidullah-but even then the blow came hard. A seven-member bench of International Court of Arbitration (COA) threw out Pakistan's inexplicably delayed request to grant a stay order against the construction of the controversial 330MW Kishanganga hydropower project, being built by India. The COA at the Hague met on August 25 wherein Pakistan's legal team headed by Kamal Majidullah, special assistant to prime minister on water, had sought for the stay order. "The COA denied the stay order to the low riparian country, putting Pakistan the question as to why it has changed its earlier stance as in January when the court met for the first time it did not ask for the stay," a senior official, who was part of court proceedings, told The News on the condition of anonymity. This correspondent tried several times to contact Naveed Qamar, federal minister for water and power, Imtiaz Kazi, secretary Water and Power, and Kamla Majidullah but failed to get their response. Majidullah is also Pakistan's agent in the case against Kishanganga in the International Court of Arbitration. The correspondent also sent an SMS to the aforesaid personalities asking: "Did Pakistan manage to get the stay order in the COA against construction of Kishanganga project?" But no response was received. When contacted, Arshad Abbasi, an eminent water expert, said: "This utter failure that may lead to lose the legal battle on this vital case is all because of incompetence and ignorance of Kamal Majidullah, who did not apply for a stay order against the construction at the Kishanganga project site in January". Abbasi has made valuable research on water disputes between Pakistan and India including the Kishenganga project. Kamal Majidullah, Abbasi said, was not technically and legally competent or trained to render services as Pakistan's agent in the Kishanganga case. According to the official, the COA on its own in initiative took note of serious environmental impact of Kishanganga Project on Neelum valley and the under- construction Neelum Jhelum Project. Referring to abstracts of a report quoted in the international media and prepared by Pakistan's independent think tank, the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), on environmental impacts of Kishanganga Project, the court instructed the legal representatives of India to submit a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report of the Kishanganga project in the next hearing.