After India’s strong statement, World Bank appeals for mediation

The Indus Waters Treaty 1960, which settled the sharing of the Indus waters, is internationally regarded as an example of successful conflict-resolution between two countries otherwise locked in a bad relationship.  

The World Bank group has “urged” India and Pakistan to agree to mediation on how to proceed in their dispute over two hydropower dam projects in Jammu and Kashmir. Replying to a strong statement from India that the World Bank, a signatory to the 1960 Indus Water Treaty was favouring Pakistan by going ahead with an arbitration process, the Bank said it had gone ahead with both country’s requests in the issue.

Conceding that the Group had held a “draw of lots” to appoint three neutral umpires despite India’s objections, a senior World Bank official explained that the decision was a “procedural one”.

“The World Bank Group has a strictly procedural role under the Indus Waters Treaty and the treaty does not allow it to choose whether one procedure should take precedence over the other. This is why we drew the lots and proposed potential candidates for the Neutral Expert today,” said Senior Vice President and World Bank Group General Counsel Anne-Marie Leroy.

However Ms. Leroy admitted that two parallel processes were “unworkable” in the long run, and therefore urged India and Pakistan to agree to a mediation on the issue of how to resolve the disputes over the construction the Kishenganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts) hydroelectric power plants that India is constructing on the Kishenganga and Chenab Rivers.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 4:18:13 PM |

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