WB planning new initiative to resolve dispute over India's Kishan Ganga project: President Kim
UNITED NATIONS: The World Bank is finalizing a fresh initiative to resolve the dispute over the Indian construction of the Kishan Ganga and Ratle projects, saying the multilateral lender would soon contact Pakistan and India, the bank chief, Jim Young Kim, has said.
Kim said this during a meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, after the Pakistani leader presented his government's position on these projects in "a forceful and emphatic manner", according to an official statement.
The focus of the meeting was the World Bank's role in implementation of the Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan as its administrator.
The foreign minister said Indian construction of the Kishan Ganga and Ratle projects represented a violation of the 1960 treaty, which gave Pakistan exclusive rights to western rivers.
He emphasized that the procedural delay on Pakistan's request to the World Bank to empanel the Court of Arbitration had resulted in completion of the Kishan Ganga projects while construction work on Ratle was in progress.
Qureshi said that the new government viewed this as a humanitarian issue with lives and livelihood of millions at stake, adding that it was not interested in politicizing the issue.
The president of the World bank said that while he understood Pakistan's position on the treaty, he expressed the bank's desire to play a constructive role in resolving this important matter at the earliest.
In this context, he remarked that, with the ongoing challenge of climate change, water issues were likely to be more prominent on the international agenda. "He indicated that the World Bank was in the process of finalizing a fresh initiative and would soon be approaching Pakistan and India with details." the statement added.
The meeting was conducted in a cordial and frank setting. Both sides resolved to maintain regular contacts at various levels to seek an early and amicable settlement to the issue.