Indus Waters Treaty issues can be solved with Pak bilaterally, says India | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Indus Waters Treaty issues can be solved with Pak bilaterally, says India

India on Thursday pitched for sorting differences with Pakistan bilaterally, a day after the World Bank announced pausing of the two separate processes to look into disputes on the Kishenganga and Ratle projects.

india Updated: Dec 16, 2016 01:07 IST
HT Correspondent
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairing a meeting on Indus Water Treaty in New Delhi in September 2016.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairing a meeting on Indus Water Treaty in New Delhi in September 2016.(PTI File )

India on Thursday pitched for sorting differences with Pakistan bilaterally, a day after the World Bank announced pausing of the two separate processes to look into disputes on the Kishenganga and Ratle projects.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that given the will, there was no reason why the technical design parameters on which Pakistan raised objections cannot be sorted out by experts from both sides on projects like Kishenganga.

India had advised the World Bank, which is a party to the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), not to rush for initiating two parallel processes simultaneously and hold more consultations, he said.

Read | World Bank ‘pauses’ Indus Waters Treaty processes by India, Pakistan to resolve row

India has always believed that the implementation of the IWT, which includes redressal of technical questions and differences, should be done bilaterally, Swarup said.

“There are examples available where such matters had been successfully resolved bilaterally within the Permanent Indus Commission (such as the height of the freeboard for Kishanganga) or between the two governments as seen in the Salal Hydro Electric Project in 1978.

“Given the will to address these matters through appropriate mechanisms provided for in the Indus Waters Treaty, there is no reason why the technical design parameters on which Pakistan has raised objections cannot be sorted out by professional, technical experts from both sides,” he said.

India believes that these consultations should be given adequate time.

Read | Indus Waters Treaty symbolises India’s enduring strategic naiveté, negligence

“It is a matter of satisfaction that this point has now been recognised by the World Bank. We believe that these consultations should be given adequate time,” the spokesperson said.

World Bank had announced pausing of the two separate processes initiated under the IWT to allow the two countries to consider alternative ways to resolve their disagreements.

The development also comes in the backdrop of India recently reviewing the IWT and deciding to fully utilise its share water of rivers as per its rights under the pact.

Under the IWT, which covers the water distribution and sharing rights of six rivers — Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum — the World Bank has a specified role in the resolution of differences and disputes.