India, Pakistan should decide on option to resolve dispute on two hydroelectric, says World Bank

Source: ANI | Published on 8th August 2020, 8:18 PM | Global News |

Islamabad: World Bank has expressed its inability to take an independent decision on the appointment of a neutral expert or court of arbitration for settlement of a long outstanding water dispute between Pakistan and India over two hydroelectric projects, Dawn reported.

Patchamuthu Illangovan, World Bank's outgoing Country Director of Pakistan asked India and Pakistan to choose one option bilaterally.

"Both India and Pakistan should come together as to which option to take forward," said Illangovan.

Illangovan said Pakistan had made a request for appointment of a Court of Arbitration (COA) while India had sought a neutral expert to resolve their dispute on two hydroelectric projects - Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai.

"There is no provision in the treaty for the World Bank to take an independent decision," he said when asked if the bank was shying away from its role even though it was part of the 1960 treaty and had been sitting on Pakistan's request for a COA for almost four years now.
The Indus Waters Treaty was signed between then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and former Pakistan President Ayub Khan in 1960.

As per the Treaty, India has full rights over the waters of eastern rivers--Ravi, Beas and Sutlej. In return, India had to let western rivers-Indus, Chenab and Jhelum-flow unrestricted to Pakistan.

India said that it has unrestricted rights to develop hydroelectric power projects on the western rivers within the specified parameters of the design.

Pakistan claims that the design of two under-construction hydroelectric projects Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai violate the river water treaty, while Indian officials insist on their right to build these projects and hold that their design is fully in compliance with the guidelines of the treaty. 

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