Pak to involve World Bank in the controversial Kishanganga project issue

Pakistan on Sunday said that it has sent a four-member delegation to Washington to raise India’s alleged violation of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) with the World Bank, state-run Radio Pakistan reported. The move comes a day after PM Modi kick-started the 330-megawatt Kishanganga hydropower station, one of the few projects that India has been working on in Jammu and Kashmir, amid protests from Islamabad.

while talking to reporters, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said a four-member delegation, led by Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali, will hold talks with the officials of the World Bank, which serves as a mediator between both the neighboring countries regarding the Indus Basin Water Treaty, on the issue in Washington soon.

Pakistan has opposed some of these projects, saying they violate a World Bank-mediated treaty on the sharing of waters from the Indus and its tributaries upon which 80 percent of its irrigated agriculture depends. New Delhi has confirmed that IWT allows it to build ‘run-of-river’ hydel projects that do not change the course of the river and do not deplete the water level downstream. Disagreeing with the Indian interpretation, Islamabad says the opposite.

Aizaz said the World Bank is a guarantor of the international agreement, therefore, it must intervene in the matter and fulfil its obligation. He said the dam has been constructed on waters flowing into Pakistan that would seriously disrupt supplies vital for the country’s agriculture.

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