ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has expressed its inability on the appointment of a neutral expert or court of arbitration (COA) for settlement of a water dispute between India and Pakistan.
Upon completion of his five-year term, World Bank’s former Country Director of Pakistan Patchamuthu Illangovan said Islamabad had made a request for appointment of a COA while India had sought a neutral expert to resolve their dispute on two hydroelectric projects. “Both India and Pakistan should come together as to which option to take forward,” Illangovan was quoted by Dawn as saying.
He said because of two conflicting positions under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty, WB was facilitating the two governments to find ways in resolving differences and move forward.
“There is no provision in the treaty for the World Bank to take an independent decision,” he said.
Responding to a question that WB had promised to be part of the development works on the Indus basin and yet it had declined funding the Diamer-Basha Dam, Illangovan said while the bank was supporting other projects on the Indus River like Dasu-I and Dasu-II, India had raised objections over the Diamer-Basha’s location in a disputed area and that it was not the WB policy to finance disputed projects.