Pakistan

World Bank suspends arbitration over Indus Water Treaty issues

NEW YORK: World Bank has suspended its role of arbitration to resolve the Indus Water Treaty issues between Pakistan and India over the matter of two dam projects being constructed by India to give them a chance to seek an alternate solution, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

A statement issued by the institution said that the decision has been made to give the two countries an opportunity to come up with an alternative solution to their problem in accordance with the Indus Water Treaty by January 2017.

The suspension will affect Pakistan’s request to the World Bank for appointing a chairman of the court of arbitration as well as India’s request for the appointment of a neutral expert.

President of World Bank Jim Yong Kim said that the decision has been taken to keep the treaty more feasible.

He expressed his optimism that Pakistan and India will reach to a decision over the issues by January 2017. He urged the two countries to resolve the issue by themselves.

Indus Water Treaty deals with the water distribution and sharing of the six rivers of the Indus basin including three eastern rivers Beas, Sutlej, Ravi and the three western rivers Jhelum, Chenab and Indus. The World Bank had brokered the agreement and have a role in dispute resolution.

India has violated the treaty twice by constructing two hydroelectric power plants named ‘Kishenganga’ and ‘Ratle’ on Neelum and Chenab rivers.

In September, a delegation led by Pakistan’s Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali met senior officials of World Bank at its headquarters in the United States and urged them to intervene and stop Indian hydroelectric projects on the two rivers.

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