Pakistan

PM Sharif hopes World Bank will resolve Indus Water Treaty dispute

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday World Bank will play a lead role in resolution of disputes between India and Pakistan through the establishment of a Court of Arbitration.

The prime minister speaking to Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, CEO International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), World Bank Group, expressed concern over the construction of hydroelectric plants specifically Kishanganga and Ratle and water reservoirs on the western rivers by India in violation of the Indus Water Treaty 1960 to which the World Bank is a signatory.

PM Sharif emphasised that the government is focused on development of mega hydropower projects along the Indus cascade and small and medium dams in Balochistan to meet energy demands. In this regard Diamer-Basha Dam is of national importance and will produce affordable electricity.

He stated that Pakistan highly places its partnership with the World Bank since 1952 and appreciated investment of US $31 billion (from 1952 till date) in social, infrastructure, water and energy sectors.

He appreciated the disbursement of US$ 2.5 billion since 2014 through a series of Development Policy Credits to Pakistan for carrying out structural reforms in growth and energy.

“The support of the WB in the energy sector projects including Tarbela-IV, Tarbela-V and Dasu hydropower projects are also valuable to Pakistan,” PM added.

PM Sharif thanked for providing US$ 75 million for the support for rehabilitation of the Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs), and informed that government is also spending huge resources on them.

He stated that the government is focused on economic revival and requires huge investments in energy, infrastructure and social protection.

“The results of these measures are already visible. Structural reforms are on track and economic growth has picked up,” he said.

Therefore, he said the government would need enhanced support of the development partners in energy, infrastructure particularly rail and roads network, education and skill development.

PM Sharif thanked Ms. Georgieva on her first bilateral visit as CEO to Pakistan which is indicative of interest and commitment for the mutual relationship between Pakistan and the World Bank.

CEO World Bank stated that Pakistan has made great progress in energy, infrastructure and overall economic stability and conditions are right for investment in Pakistan.

‘I am impressed to see the infrastructure while visiting the Terbela Hydro power extension project and there is a sea of positive change in Pakistan as compared to 2011 when I last visited’, she said

She added that the World Bank will support all measures that will sustain the rate of economic growth.

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