Dar urges World Bank to speed efforts to resolve Indus Water Treaty disputes
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar on Monday asked President World Bank Dr Jim Yong Kim to expedite the efforts to resolve the disputes under the Indus Waters Treaty.
The finance minister in a meeting with the president in Washington acknowledged the role being played by the World Bank for resolving the disputes and urged expediting the process. He said that the resolution of the issue “would lead to water security in the region”.
Pakistan has expressed reservations to the Indian projects being built in Jammu and Kashmir because they violate the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) between the two countries. After India had turned a deaf ear to Pakistan’s objections, Pakistan has sought World Bank’s help in this regard.
Dar also highlighted the potential for hydro power generation and water storage in the country and requested World Bank’s support in undertaking hydro power projects on Indus River cascade.
President Kim assured World Bank’s continued support for projects like Dasu and Tarbela as well as other hydropower projects.
The two discussed in detail World Bank’s portfolio in Pakistan. Dar briefed Kim about the improvement in the macroeconomic situation in the country which had been acknowledged and appreciated by the international financial institutions. Pakistan’s economy was set to grow by over 5 percent in the fiscal year ending in June 2017, he said.
The focus, he said, was now on making the growth inclusive and sustainable. For the purpose, government was also focusing on the social sectors.
“Innovative measures, including Pakistan Development Fund and Pakistan Infrastructure Bank, are being undertaken to maintain the higher growth trajectory,” he said.
On his part, the president WB congratulated the finance minister on successful completion of the International Monetary Fund programme and expressed hope that Pakistan would continue the reform process going forward to sustain the higher growth trajectory.
He opined that Pakistan could further benefit from technological improvements in the renewable energy sector. He offered World Bank’s technical and financial help in this regard.
The meeting was attended by the governor State Bank of Pakistan, finance secretary, secretary EAD and Pakistan’s executive director in World Bank. President Kim was accompanied in the meeting by World Bank’s CEO/MD Kristalina Georgieva and other senior management.