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Pakistan urges World Bank to stop Indian projects on Neelum, Chenab


WASHINGTON: Pakistan took its case on the Indus Waters Treaty to the World Bank on Tuesday, urging it to prevent India from making illegal constructions on the Neelum and Chenab rivers, embassy officials said on Tuesday.

“In the meeting with the Pakistani delegation, the World Bank committed itself to timely fulfilling its obligations under the treaty while remaining neutral,” said a statement issued by the Pakistan Embassy in Washington.

A Pakistani delegation, led by Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali, met senior World Bank officials at its headquarters in Washington to discuss Pakistan’s recent request for arbitration under Article IX of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), 1960.

The IWT is a water-distribution agreement between India and Pakistan, brokered by the World Bank and was signed in Karachi on Sept 19, 1960 by President Ayub Khan and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

The treaty gives India complete rights to waters of the Eastern Rivers (Ravi, Sutlej and Beas) and gives Pakistan the rights over the Western Rivers (Indus, Jhelum and Chenab) with limited allowance for use of water by India from the western rivers for purposes of, among others, power generation.

Its Article IX deals with arbitration of disputes between the parties concerning the interpretation or application of the treaty or the existence of any fact which, if established, might constitute a breach of the treaty.

The treaty provides specific design criteria for any hydroelectric power plants to be built by India.

Pakistan has held the position that the Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric plants violate the design parameters of the treaty.

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