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World Bank hints at ‘fresh initiative’ to settle India-Pakistan water dispute

NEW YORK: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York.

They discussed issues of mutual interest as the foreign minister briefed Mr Kim on Pakistan’s position on the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), according to the Pakistan embassy in Washington.

Speaking on the occasion, the foreign minister said the construction of Kishanganga and Ratle dams on western rivers by India is a violation of the IWT.

The focus of the meeting was the World Bank’s role in the implementation of the Treaty as its arbitrator.

The minister emphasized that the procedural delay on the part of the World Bank to settle the dam dispute between the two countries has resulted in the completion of the Kishan Ganga Project while the construction on Ratle is in progress.

He said that the new government viewed this as a humanitarian issue with lives and livelihood of millions of people at stake.

The World Bank president said that he understands Pakistan’s position on the Treaty and desires to play a constructive role in resolving this important matter at the earliest.

He indicated that the World Bank is in the process of finalising a fresh initiative and would soon be approaching Pakistan and India with details.

Speaking at the meeting of the OIC Contact Group in New York, on the Aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s support to the principled position of Azerbaijan on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.

He said that unresolved conflict poses serious threat to regional peace and security.

The minister said that Pakistan’s position on the issue remains unchanged and based on the principles established by the UN Security Council resolutions.

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