Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday urged the World Bank to play a “lead role” in resolving the water disputes between Pakistan and India by establishing a court of arbitration.
Sharif made this plea to World Bank chief executive officer Kristalina Georgieva when she called on him, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.
Georgieva arrived in Pakistan on Thursday with a delegation to discuss water disputes with India and other issues, the report said.
“Sharif urged World Bank to play a lead role in resolution of water disputes between Pakistan and India through establishment of a court of arbitration,” the report quoted the Pakistan Prime Minister as saying.
The World Bank had brokered the famous Indus Water Treaty (IWT) in 1960, apportioning the several rivers and utilisation of their waters between Pakistan and India.
It is also the guarantor of the IWT and adjudicates any dispute between the two countries.
Recently, its role has been under scanner due to dispute over two Indian hydropower projects that are objected by Pakistan.
In October, Pakistan had approached the World Bank seeking appointment of the chairman of court of arbitration to resolve a dispute over construction of two mega projects.
Sharif said that his government was focused on development of mega dams all along the Indus cascade and small and medium dams in Balochistan to meet energy demands.
Sharif also said Diamer-Bhasha Dam was a project of national importance as it will considerably change the energy mix, produce affordable electricity and store water.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan highly places its partnership with the World Bank since 1952.
He said the bank’s support in the energy sector projects, including Tarbela-IV, Tarbela-V and Dasu Hydropower Projects are valuable to Pakistan.
Georgieva praised the Prime Minister on exceptional performance of Pakistan’s economic indicators and said that the World Bank will support all measures that will sustain the rate of economic growth, the report said.
She will travel to India from Pakistan and discuss the IWT accord as well as water disputes with Pakistan in addition to other matters, Pakistani officials said.