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Pak to abide by expert's veridct on Baglihgar

Pak has termed as speculative reports that the World Bank-appointed expert's draft verdict on the project did not favour it.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2006 18:45 IST

Pakistan on Monday termed as "speculative" and "presumptive" reports that the World Bank-appointed neutral expert's draft verdict on the Baglihar hydro-electric project in Jammu and Kashmir did not favour it and said it would abide by the final determination.

"It is presumptive and speculative that the verdict will go against us. But we have said that we will abide by the verdict," Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told reporters here when asked whether Pakistan would accept Swiss expert Raymond Lafitte's verdict on the issue.

Asked if it could withdraw the complaint at this stage of the arbitration, she said, "I do not think anyone is thinking of withdrawing the complaint. We expect the verdict to come before the end of this year".

Her comments came ahead of the three-day final hearing of the Baglihar dispute by Lafitte in Washington beginning tomorrow. Officials from both sides would present their comments on the draft verdict.

The draft has reportedly upheld the basic project design with a rider that its height should be reduced.

The neutral expert has also reportedly given assent to the slew gates at the bottom, which Pakistan vehemently objected to on ground that it provides India with the ability to store and release waters at will.

The first phase of the Rs 4200 crore project would be ready by next year and would generate 450 mw of power for the power-starved Jammu and Kashmir state. The total project was aimed at producing 900 mw of power.

First Published: Nov 06, 2006 18:45 IST