Indo-Pak Dam dispute: Accept India’s offer of a ‘neutral expert’: World Bank tells Pakistan

The World Bank has asked Pakistan not refer the Kishanganga dam dispute to the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) and accept India’s offer of appointing a ‘neutral expert’, reported the Dawn.

In a fresh communication last week, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim advised the government to withdraw from its stand of taking the matter to the ICA for which the bank had on Nov 10, 2016 even picked a US chief justice, the rector of Imperial College, London, and the WB president for appointing chairman of the court to resolve the dispute over the dam.

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Pakistan considers the construction of the Kishanganga dam in Indian Administered Kashmir over the waters flowing into the western rivers a violation of the Indus Waters Treaty 1960 since it will not only alter the course of the river but also deplete the water level of the rivers that flow into Pakistan. Thus the dispute should be referred to the international court of arbitration.

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On the other hand, India describes the issue as differences between it and Pakistan over the design of the dam and, therefore, it should be addressed by some neutral experts.

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A source privy to the development told Dawn that Pakistan believed that acceding to India’s proposal of referring the dispute to neutral experts or withdrawing from its stand would mean closing the doors of arbitration and surrendering its right of raising disputes before international courts.

“It will become a precedent and every time a dispute emerges between Pakistan and India, the latter will always opt for dispute resolution through neutral experts,” he said.

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