India is allowed to construct hydroelectric power facilities on tributaries of the Jhelum and Chenab rivers with certain restrictions under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) by the World Bank.
Pakistan opposed the construction of the Kishanganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts) hydroelectric power plants being built by India in Jammu and Kashmir.
The IWT was signed in 1960 after nine years of negotiations between India and Pakistan with the help of the World Bank, which is also a signatory. The World Bank’s role in relation to “differences” and “disputes” is limited to the designation of people to fulfil certain roles when requested by either or both of the parties, the fact sheet said.
Earlier, in a letter dated July 25, the World Bank had assured Indian Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna its “continued neutrality and impartiality in helping the parties to find an amicable way forward.”
The two countries last held talks over the two projects in March this year during the meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) in Pakistan.
Pakistan had approached the World Bank last year, raising concerns over the designs of two hydroelectricity projects located in Jammu and Kashmir.
It had demanded that the World Bank, which is the mediator between the two countries under the 57-year-old water distribution pact, set up a court of arbitration to look into its concerns.India had asked for the appointment of a neutral expert to look into the issues, contending the concerns Pakistan raised were “technical” ones.
The international lender had in November 2016 initiated two simultaneous processes for appointing a neutral expert and establishing of a court of arbitration to look into technical differences between the two countries in connection with the projects.