World Bank Humiliates Pakistan; Permits India to construct Kishanganga and Ratle projects!

World Bank gives a huge jolt to Pakistan today. It favors India and permitted it to construct hydroelectric power facilities on tributaries of the Jhelum and Chenab rivers with certain restrictions. This is a big boost for India as now it can construct the two Big Power Facilities which can help it provide enough power to Northern States, also it will help India to get more water share of Indus Water Treaty.

This verdict is a big shock for Pakistan as it always opposed the construction of the Kishanganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts) hydroelectric power plants being built by India, it is mentioned in a fact sheet issued yesterday at the conclusion of secretary-level talks between the two countries over the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).

World Bank observed that the two countries disagree over whether the technical design features of the two hydroelectric plants contravene the treaty, it said the Indus Water Treaty designates these two rivers as well as the Indus as the “Western Rivers” to which Pakistan has unrestricted use.

“Among other uses, India is permitted to construct hydroelectric power facilities on these rivers subject to constraints specified in Annexures to the treaty,” World Bank ordered.

Both India and Pakistan have been agreed to continue discussions and reconvene in September in Washington.

World Bank said Pakistan asked it to facilitate the setting up of a Court of Arbitration to look into its concerns about the designs of the two hydroelectric power projects. Whereas India had asked for the appointment of a neutral expert to look into these issues, contending the concerns Pakistan raised were only “technical” ones.

The Indus Water Treaty was signed in 1960 after nine years of negotiations between India and Pakistan with the help of the World Bank, which is also a signatory.

The two countries last held talks over the two projects in March this year during the meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) in Pakistan.

Pakistan had approached the World Bank last year, raising concerns over the designs of two hydroelectricity projects located in Jammu and Kashmir.

It had demanded that the World Bank, which is the mediator between the two countries under the 57-year-old water distribution pact, set up a court of arbitration to look into its concerns.

The international lender had in November 2016 initiated two simultaneous processes for appointing neutral expert and establishing of a court of arbitration to look into technical differences between the two countries in connection with the projects.

Manish Sharma