World Bank CEO discusses Indus Waters Treaty with Pak PM

| Updated: Jan 27, 2017 02:36 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Jan. 26(ANI): World Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kristalina Georgieva on Thursday called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad to discuss implementation of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT). According to the dawn, Prime Minister Sharif expressed hope that the World Bank would take the lead in dispute resolution through the Court of Arbitration. India is constructing two hydropower projects on the Chenab River. Pakistan has objected to the construction of the 850MegaWatt Ratle and 330MW Kishanganga hydropower schemes, saying that both projects would have adverse impact on the flow of the Chenab and Neelum rivers. Both countries had initiated separate processes in the WB under the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), with India requesting the body for appointment of a 'Neutral Expert', and Pakistan calling for the appointment of the chairman of the Court of Arbitration. The World Bank had in December last year announced a pause in arbitration between Islamabad and New Delhi on matter of 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. World Bank's investment - which can go up to USD 1.5 billion a year - has contributed to the economic prosperity and development of the country, Georgieva said. She lauded Pakistan's recent investment in the International Development Association as "recognition that Pakistan sees the World Bank as a good investment." "We look forward to a strong partnership with Pakistan," she said. The premier stated that Pakistan values its partnership with the WB and appreciated the organisations' investment of USD 31 billion in social, infrastructure, water and energy sectors. He also appreciated the disbursement of USD 2.5 billion since 2014 to date through a series of Development Policy Credits to Pakistan for carrying out structural reforms in growth and energy. Sharif reaffirmed the government's commitment to taking these reforms forward. Prime Minister Sharif emphasised the government's focus on development of hydropower projects all along the Indus cascade and small and medium dams in Balochistan to meet energy demands. "The support of the World Bank in the energy sector projects including Tarbela-IV, Tarbela-V and Dasu hydropower projects is also valuable to Pakistan," he said during the meeting today. Sharif expressed gratitude over the WB's support for rehabilitation of and reconstruction for Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs) through the provision of USD 75 million. The return of TDPs has been fast-tracked, he said, adding that the government has been spending from its own budget to facilitate the rehabilitation of TDPs. (ANI)