Pakistan-India IWT talks held in goodwill spirit: WB

Delhi permitted to build Kishanganga, Ratle projects
The talks between Pakistani and Indian officials over the Indus Water Treaty took place in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation, the World Bank has said .
“The parties have agreed to continue discussions and reconvene in September in Washington, DC,” the World Bank said in a brief statement issued at the conclusion of the Indus Water Treaty, reports INP.
The World Bank said that the secretary-level discussions between India and Pakistan on the technical issues over the IWT took place this week in a spirit of “goodwill and cooperation”. However, it did not provide any other details. Earlier, the World Bank had assured its “continued neutrality and impartiality in helping the parties to find and amicable way forward.”
The two countries last held talks over the two projects in March this year during the meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, according to PTI, the World Bank has said India is allowed to construct hydroelectric power facilities, Kishanganga and Ratle projects, on tributaries of the Jhelum and Chenab rivers with certain restrictions under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty.
Noting that the two countries disagree over whether the technical design features of the two hydroelectric plants contravene the treaty, the World Bank said the IWT designates these two rivers as well as the Indus as the “Western Rivers” to which Pakistan has unrestricted use. “Among other uses, India is permitted to construct hydroelectric power facilities on these rivers subject to constraints specified in annexures to the treaty,” the Bank said in its fact sheet.
It noted that the talks on the technical issues of the IWT took place this week “in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation”.
In the lengthy fact sheet, the World Bank said Pakistan asked it to facilitate the setting up of a Court of Arbitration to look into its concerns about the designs of the two hydroelectric power projects. On the other hand, India had asked for the appointment of a neutral expert to look into the issues, contending the concerns Pakistan raised were “technical” ones.

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