Indus Water Treaty: Pakistan approaches World Bank

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world bankPakistan on September 28 approached the World Bank amid reports that India could revoke the Indus Water Treaty. It was the World Bank that brokered the pact between India and Pakistan in 1960.

A Pakistani delegation, led by Attorney General for Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf Ali, met senior World Bank officials in Washington to discuss issues relating to Pakistan’s recent Request for Arbitration given to India pursuant to Article 9 of the pact, according to media reports.

A report said Pakistan also went to the International Court of Justice with its complaint, but no details have been furnished so far.

Earlier, Advisor on Foreign Affairs and Security to the Pakistan PM Sartaj Aziz said an attempt by India to block Pakistan’s water could be seen as “an act of war”.

On August 19, Pakistan had asked India to settle disputes pertaining to India’s construction of Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric plants on Neelam and Chenab rivers, by referring the issue to the Court of Arbitration as provided in Article 9. (The treaty also provides design criteria for hydro-electric power plants to be built by India).

Under the treaty, the World Bank has to facilitate the appointment of three judges, called umpires, to the Court of Arbitration, while each country appoints two arbitrators.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani and World Bank’s Executive Director for Pakistan Nasir Khosa were also present in the meeting where the World Bank committed itself to fulfilling all obligations under the treaty.

Under the treaty, waters of six rivers namely Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum are to be shared between the two countries.