Despite there being many controversies and obstacles facing the issue of the Krishanganga dam, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi still inaugurated on Saturday the hydroelectric power plant in India-held Jammu and Kashmir. The project will generate 1,713 million units of electricity per year. The dam will divert Jhelum waters to an underground power house and to do so, it will transfer the water from the Gurez Valley back into mainland Kashmir, instead of allowing it to flow into Pakistan.

The opening up of the dam is a further thorn in the thawing relations between India and Pakistan, and a possible breach of international law, since the question whether the construction of the dam would violate the Indus Water Treaty was still to be decided. This is an issue that has innervated heated debate since 2010, when Pakistan took the matter to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. Although India received the permission to construct the dam, albeit in a way that maintains a minimum flow of water in the river, Pakistan has good evidence to believe that India is violating the verdict and will use the dam and the control of water flow as a tool to pressure Pakistan. Appealing to the World Bank in 2016 to arbitrate and review the designs of Krishanganga dam amounted to nothing, however, as India’s failure to compromise brought the talks to an inconclusive end.

Not only was the decision an extremely hostile move, considering the matter was yet to be decided, but it was also an inflammatory one, causing several protests in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Groups opposed to Indian control, demanded a boycott of the Prime Minister’s visit, prompting there to be vigilant security and a curfew on the streets of Srinagar. The inauguration may have also sparked some cross-border skirmishes in Jammu, further making the idea of pre-emptively inaugurating the Dam without Pakistan’s consent, look spectacularly bad.

Modi’s move for inauguration is one along the lines of the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem, meant only to provoke, and to pose an aggressive front. What has been confusing is Pakistan’s lacklustre response to this hostile move. Pakistan has always acted diplomatically and sensibly, invoking international arbitration and the UN to aid its cause with India. This decision of Modi is an affront to the World Bank, which brokered the Indus Water Treaty, thus Pakistan has the standing to take India to task on its violation of the treaty.