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GS Paper II –International Relations

China to the rescue of Pak. again

What’s Happening-
China has opposed a U.S.-led proposal in the UN Security Council to designate Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad’s founder Masood Azhar a global terrorist, more than a month after it vetoed an earlier proposal for the same.

Key Points discussed were:

Technical Hold by China:

  • The “technical hold” put by China on the proposal jointly moved by the U.S., the U.K. and France indicates its continued eagerness to shield Pakistan.
  • Pakistan had recently said the JeM leader had been put under house arrest.
  • It became clear that the outgoing Obama administration had renewed the proposal to designate Azhar terrorist, immediately after the Chinese veto in December.

Trump Factor:

  • The new Donald Trump administration in the U.S. has also signalled it would be tough on questions of terrorist designations.

Hidden Veto:

  • When the UNSC meets as al-Qaeda, Taliban & IS Sanctions Committees, it works on the principle of ‘unanimity and anonymity’ — a single member’s opposition amounts to a veto, and the deliberations and the voting will remain secret.
  • India had last year opposed this practice which it called the “hidden veto”. Last year, China put the proposal on hold, now finally blocking it altogether.
  • Once it is ‘blocked,’ a new proposal can be moved.

Background-
The JeM is already a UN-designated terrorist organisation and China has so far refused to explain how it distinguishes the leader from the organisation.
The question of Azhar — who was among the terrorists released by India following the hijacking of IC-814 in 1999 — came to the foreground last year after India held him responsible for the Pathankot attack.

What Next:
India hopes that the Trump administration policy at the UN will signal continuity with the Obama administration on the issue.
Ukraine is currently a member of the UNSC. Mr. Batra believes the role of U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, will be beneficial for India.

Sources- The Indian Express, The Hindu, MEA.

GS Paper II – Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.

1892 Cauvery pact an unequal bargain

What’s Happening-
Hearing of case filed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala against the final award on the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal’s decision on water sharing between the states.

Key Points discussed were:

  • The 1892 agreement between the erstwhile Mysore and Madras Governments was an “unconscionable bargain” to share the Cauvery river water, Karnataka told the Supreme Court.

Irrigation infrastructure:

  • Mr. Nariman submitted that the 1892 agreement, which, he said, was the parent of the 1924 pact, dictated that Mysore could not develop any irrigation infrastructure on the river without the previous consent of the Madras government. Any grievances could be addressed only through arbitration.
  • The same issue was addressed in 2002 before the Cauvery tribunal, when Tamil Nadu had countered that the 1892 agreement was preceded by a good deal of mutual consideration of the interests of both the Madras presidency and the Mysore State.
  • Tamil Nadu had in 2002 argued that the agreement was a result of a mutual realisation for a pact which would allow Mysore reasonable freedom in dealing with its irrigation works and also give Madras practical security against injury to its interests.

Supreme Court:

  • On January 4, the Supreme Court had asked Karnataka to continue releasing 2,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu while posting the appeals for day-to-day hearing.

Background-
The sharing of waters of the Kaveri River has been the source of a serious conflict between the two states of TamilNadu  and  .
The genesis of this conflict rests in two agreements in 1892 and 1924 between the erstwhile  and .
The inflow from Karnataka is 425 TMC ft whereas that from Tamil Nadu is 252 TMCft.
The Government of India then constituted a tribunal in 1990 to look into the matter.
After hearing arguments of all the parties involved for the next 16 years, the tribunal delivered its final verdict on 5 February 2007.
In its verdict, the tribunal allocated 419  of water annually to Tamil Nadu and 270 TMC to Karnataka; 30 TMC of Cauvery river water to  and 7 TMC to . Karnataka and Tamil Nadu being the major shareholders, Karnataka was ordered to release 192 TMC of water to Tamil Nadu in a normal year from June to May.

Sources- The Indian Express, The Hindu. Page 7