Cannot mediate between India, Pakistan World Bank
The World Bank on Friday said that it cannot mediate between India and Pakistan over the water rights issue and encouraged selecting an independent expert to help resolve the dispute.
The comments were made by former World Bank director for Pakistan Patchamuthu Illangovan. “Both India and Pakistan should come together as to which option to take forward,” the outgoing director said. He said that Pakistan had requested for the appointment of a court of arbitration over the matter, whereas India, on the other hand, is seeking a neutral expert to resolve the issue.
Meanwhile, the conflicting stances from the two countries had earlier forced the World Bank to mediate and help resolve the matter through dialogue. However, he said the World Bank cannot take any final decision as the treaty signed between the two countries does not have space for that.
Pakistan has repeatedly asked the World Bank to help mediate over the construction of Kishanganga and Ratle hydropower projects which were being constructed on disputed regions in India. It asked the World Bank to ensure India sticks by the treaty’s clauses it agreed to while signing them in 1960.
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Meanwhile, the World Bank had earlier refused to finance the Diamer-Bhasha Dam after India protested that the construction was illegal as it was being carried out on disputed property. Patchamathu said the World Bank cannot finance projects that are being carried out on disputed areas and it goes against the policies of the bank.
He said the World Bank will continue to support Pakistan in other areas including the provisioning of cheap electricity and shift towards more renewable sources of energy in the coming decade.
The World Bank had estimated that Pakistan can become a middle income country by the year 2047 but the progress on that was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic that has brought the global economy to a standstill.