World Bank Clearly Supporting India on Water Issues with Pakistan: Experts

A clear legal interpretation by International Court of Arbitration bars construction of any Indus Water Treaty (IWT)-pertaining project without its prior dispute resolution, and this exegesis should stringently be followed as its binding for both the countries.

These views were expressed by Shamila Mahmood, International Law and Development Expert, who was speaking at the session titled ‘Kishanganga & Ratle Projects: Deliberating on IWT’s Dispute Resolution Mechanism & the Way Forward’, which held here on Thursday.

Alongside Shamila, the session was addressed by Ashfaq Mahmood, Water and Energy Expert & Former Secretary Water & Power, and Mirza Hamid Hassan, Former Secretary Water & Power and member, IPS-National Academic Council.

She said that India has always raised objections in any project in disputed territory claiming that it requires NOC, and unfortunately India’s version has always been supported by the World Bank, but when Pakistan raises similar questions over some Indian project, one of the responses it always gets is that the project will not affect Pakistan. This however is incorrect because such projects do affect Pakistan because it is a lower riparian. Plus it also needs to be considered in such cases that whether the parameters set by the treaty is being met or not.

Now when the World Bank does not allow Pakistan funding for any such project over India’s objections, then the case should be taken up against the World Bank because it’s not in accordance with the human rights.

She said that even in case of Ratle project, India was ignoring an international decision, which was also a domestic mechanism that it had to honor the arbitration determination. Even its own domestic laws stress on honoring the arbitration determination, but it was deliberately ignoring this to suit its interest.

Shamila also felt that Pakistan should take a firm stance, exerting pressure on World Bank to remain within its mandate and pursue and resolve the matter without any delay.

Ashfaq Mehmood said that our biggest failing vis-à-vis our water issues with India, was that we didn’t strategize well. We didn’t move promptly from our past failings and did not lobby our point effectively at the international level. India has made a strategy of halting the process at the Indus Water Commission’s level whereas Pakistan has not been proactive to move to the next level by denying India the time for construction. The Commission wasn’t able to move forward on Kishanganga and Ratle project. Pakistan has been passive against the Indian violations of the Treaty.

When both the parties are admitting that they cannot reach agreement and ask for mediation, how the World Bank can pause the process, he said, adding that Pakistan can sue World Bank for not fulfilling responsibility which may provide time to India and would be question on the neutrality of WB.

Mirza Hamid Hassan said we had taken IWT as a panacea of all our problems regarding water issue. A lot of technological and scientific developments have taken place since 1960s, the time when the Treaty was signed, so the new factors like environmental impact needs to be highlighted. Capacity of Indus Water Commission needs to be enhanced and it needs to be staffed with legal and technical experts.

  • 50 years since independence, couldn’t install 1 dam
    yet blames India for all water issues

    • That’s true but it still doesn’t allow India to continuously violate Indus Water treaty and built dams on Pakistani rivers! Strange logic!

      P.S : China built a dam in Tibet also known as Brahamputra river in India and India was going crazy since no treaty exists between two countries! Water holds such great importance!

      • India is allowed to build dams on rivers inside India. That is part of Indus Treaty. Go read it.

        • The dams are being built in Indian Occupied Kashmir which is a disputed territory, going by your logic, what’s the whole issue is about which this article points out?
          Why don’t enlighten us?

          Also, look up how India went crazy on China building a dam on it’s own territory in Tibet and not in any disputed area! hypocrisy much!

          • You are very funny. If we were to build the dams we need, they would also be in disputed territory.

            We have a treaty with India. Who cares about China. Our treaty says we get some river flows and they get some river flows, and we both have permission to build on rivers. Period.

            • The reference to China and Indian bizarre reaction to building it’s dam was just an example like how much countries care for water.
              Idk how it sounded funny, probably you watch too many comedy shows so everything seems funny, shouldn’t be surprising :D

              Care to post some reference from the treaty itself? the Treaty gives control of three rivers to India and three to Pakistan! No dam should be built which affects the water flows which is India doing and Modi was pretty vocal about it that we’ll steal Pakistan waters!

              • Um…..

                You can’t google for

                The Indus Waters Treaty 1960 text


                I found it on the UN’s website. Western rivers are covered under Article III. How much water India can retain from western rivers is in Annexure D and E, and so far, according to different international organizations, even as recently as less than 10 years ago, India is storing less than how much they are allowed to store.

                Meaning, they can build dams and we can’t stop them legally. (Trust me, we have tried and were ruled against.)

                It is not as simple as three rivers for us and three for them, it lets them store some water from our rivers.

      • India has no control on three rivers under indus water treaty,,, Chanab, Jehlum, Sindh has to be controlled by Pakistan… India cannot build any dam that effects water flow.. But what happens,,, Few bureaucrats decide fate of this land.. like jamat shah etc… They ask indian we will give you permission by not objecting dam but little bit on structure and get billions in their swiss accounts…

  • World Bank choro 75% Pakistani water issue pa india ki support kr rhay hai….

    • Tahir Sahab ap abhi hospital se aye ho ap Red bull piyo beth k aur Canada ko maintain karen

  • So it’s India’s problem that pakistan is a utterly incompetent country. Most of the Pakistan sanctioned water just flows into oceans. At least India is putting this water for good use like generating electricity.

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