Pakistan Snubbed By World Bank; Asked To Accept India’s Offer Of Appointing ‘Neutral Experts’ Over Dam Dispute
The World Bank has told Pakistan to accept India’s offer of appointing ‘neutral experts’ on the Kishanganga Dam dispute instead of insisting on referring it to the International Court of Arbitration (ICA), said a report in the Times of India.
World Bank president Jim Yong Kim in a fresh communication advised the Pakistan government to withdraw from its stand of taking the matter to the ICA, the report quoted Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper as saying.
According to Pakistan, the construction of Kishanganga Dam is a violation of a World Bank-mediated treaty on the sharing of waters from the Indus and its tributaries. It is for this reason that Islamabad wants the dispute to be referred to the ICA.
The 1960 treaty recognises the World Bank as an arbitrator in water disputes between India and Pakistan as it played a key role in concluding this agreement, which allows India to have control over the water flowing into three eastern rivers – Beas, Ravi and Sutlej – also permitting India that it may use the water of western rivers – Chenab, Jhelum and Indus – but it cannot divert the same.
According to India, there are no differences between New Delhi and Islamabad over the design of the dam and, therefore, the matter should be addressed by some neutral experts. India considers this as “a permission to build ‘run-of-the-river’ hydel projects that neither change the course of the river nor deplete the water level downstream”.