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Indus Waters Treaty made peaceful cooperation possible between India, Pakistan

United States said the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) has served “a model for peaceful cooperation” between Pakistan and India, US Department of State reported.

At a weekly briefing of the US state department, Spokesperson John Kirby said: “The Indus Waters Treaty has served… as a model for peaceful cooperation between India and Pakistan for now 50 years.”

When asked whether the US has offered to mediate on the issue between the two countries, Kirby said the US “encourages India and Pakistan to work together bilaterally to resolve their differences.”

Without giving details whether the US government spoke to Indian officials about the water dispute, Kirby said the US was “in regular communication with the Indian and Pakistani governments on a wide range of issues”.

The latest dispute between India and Pakistan concerns the two hydroelectric power plants Kishanganga and Ratle that India is building on the Indus rivers system. Pakistan believes that the projects violate the design parameters of the IWT, which provides specific criteria for such plants.

In conflicting reports, official sources had earlier told Dawn that the US administration has initiated the process for peacefully resolving the current water dispute between India and Pakistan without waiting for an invitation to do so.

US Secretary of State John Kerry had also called Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and discussed with him different options for an amicable settlement of the dispute.

The initiative stems from the fear the US administration shares with the World Bank that the dispute, if dragged, may harm the treaty that has effectively resolved water disputes between India and Pakistan for more than half a century.

The IWT is a water-distribution agreement between India and Pakistan, brokered by the World Bank and signed in Karachi on Sept 19, 1960. It recognises the bank as the main arbitrator and suggests appointing neutral experts and a court of arbitration for resolving disputes.

Courtesy : Dawn News

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