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Pakistan to take up controversial Kishanganga dam with World Bank

WASHINGTON: Pakistan has decided to approach the top World Bank officials to apprise them of its serious concern over inauguration of Kishanganga hydro power project by India this week in violation of the Indus Water Treaty.

Talking to reporters here, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said a four-member delegation, led by Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali, will hold talks with the officials of the World Bank, which serves as a mediator between both the neighboring countries regarding the Indus Basin Water Treaty, on the issue in Washington soon.

Pakistan has termed inauguration of the project by India without resolution of the dispute over it as a serious violation of the Indus Waters Treaty brokered by the World Bank in 1960.

Aizaz said the World Bank is a guarantor of the international agreement therefore it must intervene in the matter and fulfill its obligation.

He said the dam has been constructed on waters flowing into Pakistan that would seriously disrupt supplies vital for the country’s agriculture.

India plans to undertake several such projects in the disputed territory.

The Foreign Office in a statement on Saturday said Pakistan believes that the inauguration of the project without the resolution of the dispute is tantamount to violation of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).

Despite several rounds of bilateral negotiations as well as mediations under the auspices of the World Bank, India continued with the construction of the project. This intransigence on part of India clearly threatens the sanctity of the Treaty, read the statement.

Pakistan reiterated that as the custodian of the Treaty, World Bank must urge India to address to Pakistan’s reservations on Kishenganga Hydroelectric Project (KHEP).

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday laid foundation stone of the Srinagar Ring Road.

He said that the 330 MW Kishanganga Hydropower project would go a long way in fulfilling the electricity requirements of the Indian state.

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