Pakistan PM Sharif meets World Bank CEO, takes up Indus Water Treaty dispute

World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva called on Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad today. The two discussed the implementation of the Indus Waters Treaty and the dispute between Islamadbad and New Delhi over the construction of two hydropower projects by India.

India is constructing two hydropower projects on the Chenab river. Pakistan has objected to the construction of the 850 MW Ratle and 330 MW Kishanganga hydropower schemes, saying that both projects would have adverse impact on the flow of the Chenab and Neelum rivers.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed hope that the World Bank would take the lead in dispute resolution through the Court of Arbitration, a statement issued by the Pakistan Prime Minister's House said.

Both countries initiated separate processes in the World Bank under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT); India has requested the organisation for appointment of a "Neutral Expert", while Pakistan has called for the appointment of the chairman of the Court of Arbitration.


The World Bank had, in December, announced a pause in arbitration between Islamabad and New Delhi on the two dams being constructed by India, calling on both countries "to consider alternative ways to resolve their disagreements".

Georgieva in a video statement shared by the Prime Minister's Office said she was "very impressed by the positive change that has happened" in Pakistan since her last visit to the country in 2011.

She was pleased with the visible improvement in Pakistan's infrastructure. "The benefits of development are directed to those who need it the most," she added.

The WB's investment - which can go up to $1.5 billion a year - has contributed to the economic prosperity and development of the country, Georgieva said.


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