Kishanganga dam dispute: World Bank asks Pakistan to accept India’s demand


The World Bank has asked Pakistan to accept an offer by India to appoint a neutral expert over the dispute over Kishanganga dam, which was inaugurated recently by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. According to Pakistan-based Dawn News, the World Bank has asked Pakistan to climb down from the demand of taking up the issue with the International Court of Arbitration (ICA).

In May, a high-powered Pakistani delegation led by Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali, met with Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank Chief Executive Officer, and the regional management for South Asia.

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During the meetings, held at Pakistan’s request to discuss issues regarding the Indus Waters Treaty and opportunities within the treaty to seek an amicable resolution, “several procedural options” for resolving the disagreement over the interpretation of the treaty’s provisions were discussed, the bank had said.

“While an agreement on the way forward was not reached at the conclusion of the meetings, the World Bank will continue to work with both countries to resolve the issues in an amicable manner and in line with the treaty provisions,” the Bank had said in a statement at the end of the talks.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in May inaugurated the 330 MW Kishanganga hydroelectric project in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan had protested the inauguration claiming that the project on a river flowing into Pakistan will disrupt water supplies.

The project, located at Bandipore in North Kashmir, envisages diversion of water of Kishan Ganga river to underground power house through a 23.25-km-long head race tunnel to generate 1713 million units per annum.

The Kishanganga project was started in 2007 but on May 17, 2010, Pakistan moved for international arbitration against India under the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty.