PM seeks support of World Bank for Diamer Bhasha Dam

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NEW YORK: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has sought support of the World Bank for Diamer Bhasha Dam and said it was a critical project for the water security needs of the country.

“We are prepared to work on some innovative solutions like separating water and power components of the project,” the Prime Minister said while talking to CEO World Bank Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, who called on him here at his hotel. The Prime Minister is in New York for the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly.

The CEO expressed commitment to continue to work with Pakistan and appreciated the progress made by the country in stabilizing the macroeconomic framework.

Ms. Kristalina Georgieva said the World Bank would continue to support economic reforms in Pakistan. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi thanked the CEO for World Bank’s support in Tarbela-4, Tarbela-5 and Dasu Hydropower Projects.

The two sides also agreed to continue engagements and cooperation. The CEO termed Pakistan’s role in Indus Water Treaty as positive and constructive, and said the World Bank was now finding a way to move forward in the Treaty. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Pakistan has no ambiguity on the terms of the Treaty.

“We also want to remain engaged with World Bank to find a mutually negotiated solution.”

The World Bank had announced a “pause” in arbitration between Islamabad and New Delhi following their dispute on the construction of two dams by India and urged both the countries “to consider alternative ways to resolve their disagreements”.

India is constructing two hydropower projects on the Chenab River; the 850 MegaWatt Ratle and 330MW Kishanganga hydropower projects.

Pakistan objected to their construction saying these would have adverse impact on the flow of the Chenab and Neelum rivers. NNI

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