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India ready to resolve differences over Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan bilaterally

Days after the World Bank group announced a pause in the separate processes initiated by India and Pakistan under the Indus Waters Treaty, New Delhi on Friday said it is ready to resolve the ongoing dispute between the two countries over the Kishenganga and the Ratle projects, ANN reported.

“India has always believed the implementation of the Indus Waters Treaty, which includes the redressal of the technical questions and differences, should be done bilaterally between India and Pakistan,’’ foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said at a media briefing in New Delhi.

World Bank declares pause to protect Indus Waters Treaty

Giving examples of incidents where Pakistan and India bilaterally resolved issues within the Permanent Indus Commission, Swarup said there was no reason for Pakistan to raise objections as the issues can be resolved by professional, technical experts from both sides. He gave examples of the height of the freeboard for Kishan Ganga issue and the Salal Hydro Electric Project in 1978.

“We advised the World Bank not to rush for initiating two parallel processes simultaneously and hold more consultations,” Swarup said.

“It is a matter of satisfaction that this point has now been recognised by the World Bank. We believe that these consultations should be given adequate time,” he said.

Earlier this week, the World Bank Group announced a pause in the separate processes initiated by India and Pakistan under the Indus Waters Treaty to allow the two countries to consider alternative ways to resolve their disagreements.

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According to a press release issued by the World Bank, the announcement temporarily halts the appointment of a neutral expert, as requested by India, and the chairman of the Court of Arbitration as requested by Pakistan, to resolve issues regarding two hydroelectric power plants under construction by India along the Indus rivers system. Both processes initiated by the respective countries were advancing at the same time, creating a risk of contradictory outcomes that could potentially endanger the Treaty.

“We are announcing this pause to protect the Indus Waters Treaty and to help India and Pakistan consider alternative approaches to resolving conflicting interests under the Treaty and its application to two hydroelectric power plants,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.

“This is an opportunity for the two countries to begin to resolve the issue in an amicable manner and in line with the spirit of the treaty rather than pursuing concurrent processes that could make the treaty unworkable over time. I would hope that the two countries will come to an agreement by the end of January,” Kim added.

courtesy : Express Tribune

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