No Relief to Pakistan on Dispute Over Indian Power Plant on Cross-Border River
Pakistan fears that India’s Kishanganga hydroelectric power plant will reduce its share in the cross-border Indus River system of which the Neelum River is a part. Pakistan wants India to address its concerns for which it has sought the intervention of the World Bank.
Pakistan had sought the World Bank’s intervention claiming that the Indus Water Treaty mandates India and Pakistan not to disrupt the natural flow of cross-border rivers.
“Several procedural options for resolving the disagreement over the interpretation of the Treaty’s provisions were discussed. While an agreement on a way forward was not reached at the conclusion of the meetings, the World Bank will continue to work with both countries to resolve the issues in an amicable manner and in line with the Treaty provisions,” the World Bank said in a statement after a meeting held on May 21-22 in Washington.
The World Bank has said that its role in dispute resolution is limited to the extent of designating a mediator.
“As a signatory to the Treaty, the World Bank’s role is limited and procedural. In particular, the role in relation to ‘differences’ and ‘disputes’ is limited to the designation of people to fulfill certain roles when requested by either or both parties,” the statement further reads.
India and Pakistan have been engaged with the World Bank under the Indus Waters Treaty for the last five decades to address current and future challenges of effective water management to meet human needs and achieve development goals.