WorldBank Pressure On Pakistan To Reverse Course on Indus Water Dispute With India
WorldBank Pressure On Pakistan To Reverse Course on Indus Water Dispute With India: The government is likely to backtrack from its plan to take the dispute with India over the Kishanganga and Ratle hydropower projects to a World Bank-appointed Court of Arbitration, a top official privy to the development told media sources.
Instead, it may listen to the World Bank’s advice to move for a neutral legal expert to resolve the case, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Last month, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi asked the World Bank to empanel the Court of Arbitration to hear Pakistan objections to the illegal dimensions of the hydropower projects built by India on the western tributaries of the Indus River.
The World Bank brokered the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty between Pakistan and India, under which Pakistan was awarded the flows of the Chenab and Jhelum rivers.
But it has so far failed to constitute the seven-member Court of Arbitration sought by Pakistan. India does not want the dispute to be referred to the court and has sought the neutral expert option. Pakistan is reluctant because the neutral legal expert who heard the Baglihar Dam dispute ruled in favour of India in 2011.
Earlier India has started construction of the first-ever water reservoir Pakal Dul Dam on western rivers with an intention of increasing its holding capacity in violation of the Indus Waters Treaty. As per sources said India has gone ahead with a plan to develop its water storage capacity on the western rivers at a time when Pakistan is having under severe water shortage.
Officials confirmed that India wanted to place spillway of 1,000 megawatts of Pakal Dul Dam on Chenab River in Indian Kashmir, about 15 meters down against the permissible limit, which will give the country undue leverage of holding 11,000 acres of feet water in addition to allowed volume of water storage.
India wanted to establish water storage capacity of 88,000 acre feet on Chenab River with the setting up of Pakal Dul Dam.
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