Home Global Village Pakistan appeals to World Bank over Indian violation of Indus Water Treaty

Pakistan appeals to World Bank over Indian violation of Indus Water Treaty

Indus Water Treaty
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The government of Pakistan has asked the World Bank for a meeting in Washington, DC for talks on the country’s ongoing water dispute with India. This latest demand is an addition to the critical affair of water sharing in the Indo-Pak Subcontinent.

Miftah Ismail, Adviser to Pakistan’s Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs,  conveyed Pakistan’s concerns to World Bank Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva in Washington, and drew her attention to particular concerns over 2 major Indian hydropower projects, Kishanganga and Ratle, which Pakistan believes violate the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty which governs water-share of the Indus River and its tributaries.

While the root cause of this calamity is not the shortage of this natural endowment but the poor water policy, rapid urbanization, corruption and management, the situation has not been helped by the belligerent attitude of New Delhi.

According to media reports, a World Bank spokesman has confirmed receipt of Pakistan’s complaint and saying that the World Bank is working with both Islamabad and New Delhi for an amicable resolution to the dispute.

Earlier, Miftah Ismail, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, on Saturday conveyed Pakistan’s concerns to the World Bank over India’s non-adherence to the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT). Miftah met with Managing Director World Bank Kristalina Georgieva in Washington and drew her attention to disputes between Pakistan and India over the construction of hydropower projects requesting the World Bank to play its role under the IWT.

Read more: World Bank concerned over the macroeconomic stability of Pakistan

The Pakistani delegation, led by Miftah Ismail and comprising State Bank governor and Economic Affairs Division secretary, participated in the World Bank spring meetings 2018 and attended a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines, the Finance Division said in a statement.

Miftah also discussed WB’s portfolio with in Pakistan as well as the future pipeline. He briefed the MD about Pakistan’s economic performance over the past few years. He pointed out that Pakistan was set to achieve high GDP growth rate during the current year again and was hoping to maintain this momentum in the coming years due to robust performance of the real sector of the economy.

The government of Pakistan has asked the World Bank for a meeting in Washington, DC for talks on the country’s ongoing water dispute with India. This latest demand is an addition to the critical affair of water sharing in the Indo-Pak Subcontinent.

The finance advisor also drew her attention to improvement in the country’s exports resulting from various policy initiatives implemented by the government.

Georgieva appreciated reforms implemented by Pakistan and assured the bank’s support in carrying forward the country’s development agenda with a focus on SMEs, new business start-ups, agribusiness and greater regional connectivity, the statement added.

The advisor along with the Chairman BOI met with the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business team led by the Acting Chief Economist and apprised them of seventy-five reforms implemented by the government to improve business and investment environment in Pakistan.

Read more: World Bank approves $825 million loan to Pakistan

He also met with a large delegation of the US multinationals, members of the US-Pakistan Business Council, at the US Chamber and invited them to take advantage of investment opportunities available in Pakistan. The Indus Waters Treaty is showcased often as a major success story in the history of river disputes, not least by the World Bank, which brokered the original document. The World Bank has a specific arbitration role in the treaty to keep the dispute settlement process moving when a party/country is not cooperating to follow treaty procedures in cases of dispute.

Pakistan complained that India has violated a World Bank-mandated pause, placed in 2016, by completing the controversial Kishanganga project. Pakistan states that both Kishanganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts) contravene the Indus Water Treaty’s restrictions on the construction of run-of-the-river plants. The plants are respectively on a tributary of the Jhelum and the Chenab rivers.

Miftah met with Managing Director World Bank Kristalina Georgieva in Washington and drew her attention to disputes between Pakistan and India over the construction of hydropower projects requesting the World Bank to play its role under the IWT.

Pakistan believes that India was able to construct projects with “faulty design” due to the inaction over resolving the dispute. According to the World Bank, its role in relation to “disputes” is limited to the “designation of people to fulfill certain roles when requested by either or both of the parties”.

Analysts believe that the case could be resolved through the appointment of neutral experts. Experts believe that the stance adopted by Pakistan is justified, but feel there is a lack of seriousness on the Pakistani side.

Read more: World Bank grants $300 million to improve Punjab’s agriculture

According to the World Resource Institute, the country is among the leading five nations that face extremely high water scarcity and low access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Similarly, the UN has categorized Pakistan amongst those few unfortunate countries where water shortage will destabilize and jeopardize its existence in the next few decades.

While the root cause of this calamity is not the shortage of this natural endowment but the poor water policy, rapid urbanization, corruption and management, the situation has not been helped by the belligerent attitude of New Delhi. Indian Prime Minister Modi has openly talked of abrogating the Indus Water treaty in order to woo voters.


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2 COMMENTS

  1. Hahaa what is indo-pak subcontinent ?

    The world knows this place as the Indian subcontinent..
    Pakis have great imagination to invent names and maps 😄

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