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QUESTION NO.3673 INDUS WATER TREATY

December 07, 2016

LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.3673
TO BE ANSWERED ON 07.12.2016

INDUS WATER TREATY

3673. PROF. SAUGATA ROY:
ADV. M. UDHAYAKUMAR:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether the World Bank has favoured Pakistan on the Indus Water Treaty dispute process over the Kishenganga and Ratle Dam hydropower projects;

(b) if so, the details thereof;

(c) whether the Government has lodged any protest with the World Bank in this regard; and

(d) if so, the details and response of WB in this regard?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)]

(a) & (b) Under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) signed by India, Pakistan and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 1960, the World Bank has a specified role in the process of resolution of differences/disputes between the two parties. For resolving technical differences on Kishenganga and Ratle Hydroelectric Projects, India had requested the World Bank on October 4, 2016 to appoint a Neutral Expert as envisaged in IWT. Pakistan views the same ‘differences’ as ‘disputes’, and sought the establishment of a Court of Arbitration and sent its corresponding request to the World Bank on October 27, 2016.

In the circumstances, India urged the World Bank more consultations on the matter, so that a legally untenable situation of two different mechanisms adjudicating the same matter could be avoided. The World Bank, however, initiated both the processes- appointment of a Neutral Expert and constituting a Court of Arbitration, simultaneously on November 10, 2016. There has been delay on India’s request to appoint a Neutral Expert while unreasonable and hasty timelines have been set on Pakistan's request.

The World Bank also offered on October 18, 2016 an extra-Treaty independent mediator for helping India and Pakistan choose from the aforementioned two modalities for difference/dispute resolution.

(c) & (d) Government has strongly protested to the World Bank on the developments and also conveyed its grave concerns that these developments may raise serious questions regarding workability of IWT. Consultations offered by the World Bank regarding its suggestion of a mediator are ongoing.

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