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‘Recognize your responsibility’, Pakistan tells World Bank as India completes Kishanganga project

Islamabad: Pakistan has informed the World Bank about India’s completing of the Kishanganga hydropower project during the bank’s “pause” period and has urged it to “recognise its responsibility” under the Indus Waters Treaty, reported the Dawn. 

Pakistan has approached the World Bank, the mediator between the two countries of the water distribution treaty, in the past and raised issues over Kishanganga and Ratle projects in Jammu and Kashmir.

A government official told Dawn that power division of the energy ministry sent a fresh communiqué early this week to the bank’s vice president urging the international organisation to “recognise its responsibility” and play its role to ensure that India abided by the provisions of the 1960 treaty while building the projects.

It has been flagging concern over designs of India’s five hydroelectricity projects – Pakal Dul (1000 MW), Ratle (850 MW), Kishanganga (330 MW), Miyar (120 MW) and Lower Kalnai (48 MW) – being built/planned in the Indus river basin, contending these violate the treaty.

Pakistan had called for resolution of disputes over Kishanganga project on the Neelum river (Jehlum) and 850MW Ratle hydropower project on the Chenab.

The official said the letter had reached the banks head office in Washington and had been delivered to its vice president concerned as confirmed by Pakistans director to the bank, the report said.

The official said there was no doubt that India had completed the Kishanganga project during the period the World Bank “paused” the process for constitution of a Court of Arbitration (COA) as requested by Pakistan in early 2016.

The Pakistan’s request was countered by India by calling for a neutral expert.
Pakistan had called for resolution of disputes over Kishanganga project on the Neelum river and Ratle hydropower project on the Chenab.

Asked about the governments next move, the official said the authorities could not just sit back and had to take the matter to its logical conclusion.

Pakistan had received reports in August last year that New Delhi had completed the Kishanganga project as per the design that had been objected by Islamabad, the report said.

The letter was sent to the World Bank after a Pakistani delegation of the Indus Waters Commission was not allowed to visit various projects in India, including Kishanganga and Ratle schemes, it said.

Pakistan has raised objections over the design of the hydel project in Jammu and Kashmir, saying it is not in line with the criteria laid down under the Indus Water Treaty between the two countries.

India has, however, asserted the project design is “well within parameters” of the treaty and urged the bank to appoint a neutral expert.

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