Dar says World Bank move jeopardises Pakistan’s water rights

Published: December 25, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday said the World Bank’s (WB) decision to temporarily halt mediation on the implementation of the Indus Waters Treaty seriously jeopardises the country’s interests and water rights.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, in a letter to WB Group President Jim Yong Kim, urged the lender to immediately appoint the chairman of the Court of Arbitration, suggesting Islamabad would not like to resolve the issue with India bilaterally as suggested by the international financial institution.

World Bank declares pause to protect Indus Waters Treaty

“In our assessment, a pause in the process of empanelment of the Court of Arbitration will seriously prejudice Pakistan’s interests and rights under the Indus Waters Treaty, 1960,” Dar said in what was the first official response by Pakistani authorities to WB’s decision to stop playing mediator between Islamabad and New Delhi. The government took almost two weeks to respond to the Washington-based lender’s move, which experts believe was made under Indian lobbying pressure.

“The WB’s decision to pause the process would not contemporaneously pause the construction of the two hydroelectric plants whose designs are the subject matter of the present dispute,” Dar wrote in his letter, stressing that the pause would merely prevent Pakistan from promptly approaching a competent forum and having its grievances addressed. Islamabad has disputed Delhi’s move to construct the Kishanganga Ratle hydropower plants on the Kishanganga and Chenab rivers, respectively.

WB’s delay in Indus Water Treaty mediation ‘prejudices Pakistan’s rights’

The minister pointed out that the treaty does not provide for a situation where a party can stop performing its obligations under the pact. He stressed that as the World Bank had earlier acknowledged, the lender has “a well-defined role, which should remain consistent with the provisions of the treaty.”

“The lives of millions of people and the ecology of the Indus Basin depend on the flow of the western rivers,” he said, adding that “through the treaty, the Bank owes a duty of care to the people and the environment in which they live.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 25th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Lumdheeng
    Dec 25, 2016 - 9:40AM

    No organization or country will come to Pakistan’s rescue in IWT. Most powerful countries will support India’s move.Recommend

  • abreez
    Dec 25, 2016 - 10:06AM

    I think World Bank is upset that Pakistani Royalty is doing business in India, helping India in white gold trade, during this rainy season outflow of Kotri Barrage was more than 100,000 cusec every day. Yet Pakistani Royalty wants World Bank to act as mediator between India and Pakistan.Recommend

  • XoF
    Dec 25, 2016 - 10:26AM

    Playing games and God with nature can and will kill the player itself. Becarefull, it isnt your property.Recommend

  • Rahat Ali
    Dec 25, 2016 - 10:58AM

    I ask a simple inocent question: should this letter not have been written by Minister of Water and Power?.Recommend

  • Ella
    Dec 25, 2016 - 1:16PM

    There are Indians in high positions in World Bank. Can’t expect any rulings to be favorable to Pakistan.Recommend

  • Sodomite
    Dec 25, 2016 - 1:24PM

    Dar with his fiscal and monetary policies jeopardizes Pakistan’s future more than WB or India ever can. Pakistan is internationally marginalized thanks to our leaders, that no one listens to us, except China. Recommend

  • Fahim
    Dec 25, 2016 - 2:56PM

    This means war. Recommend

  • Dipak
    Dec 25, 2016 - 9:43PM

    Treaty already dead, only legal announcement to be done.Recommend

  • Tyggar
    Dec 25, 2016 - 9:56PM

    Another chance to break previous record of 90,000Recommend

  • Ts
    Dec 26, 2016 - 12:00AM

    Now the world bank is completely exposed.shameRecommend

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