Pak pushing WB to appoint neutral expert over Kishanganga dam dispute with India

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Islamabad, Nov.8 (ANI): Pakistan is pushing the World Bank (WB) to appoint a neutral expert instead of going to the Court of Arbitration on the Kishanganga Hydropower project issue

"We are examining the possibility of invoking the option of a neutral expert instead of court of arbitration," a Foreign Office spokesperson said.

The Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), inked between India and Pakistan in 1960, provides appointment of a neutral expert by the World Bank as a last option to resolve water related issues between both the countries.

Pakistan has been blaming India for an unsporting attitude during bilateral talks, which were initiated to resolve the impending water dispute.

"The WB-appointed neutral expert is our top most priority after receiving a discouraging response while exercising bilateral channels as the Indian project is being built to divert River Jhelum water," The Nation quoted a senior Pakistani official, as saying.

The FO spokesperson said that due to New Delhi's inflexible stance over the issue, there would be a 30 per cent water shortage in Pakistan for ongoing Rabi crop season, which would have a drastic effect on country's food stock.

"This is too serious a matter and Pakistan cannot afford to sit back and allow India to continue violating the IWT," the spokesman said.

Pakistan has been opposing the construction of the Kishanganga hydropower project on Ganga River in Kashmir, which is called Neelum upon entering Pakistan. Pakistan has said that the diversion of the waters of the Neelum is not allowed under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty, and it will face a 27 per cent water deficit, when the project gets completed.

The reduced water flow in the Neelum would not yield the required results of the proposed 1.6 billion dollars Neelum-Jehlum hydropower project that has been designed to generate 969 MW of electricity.

It has said that India has almost completed a 22-kilometre long tunnel to divert Kishanganga waters to Wullar Lake in Jammu and Kashmir. (ANI)

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