WB Asks Pak To Provide Record Of Action Taken On Baglihar
28 January 2005
Washington DC: The World Bank has asked Pakistan to share with it a record of the actions taken prior to its request for the appointment of a neutral expert for its dispute with India over the Baglihar hydro-power project. Confirming that it had received a set of documents from Pakistan in support of its request, the Bank said in a statement yesterday that the record of actions taken was needed to ensure meticulous compliance with the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty, in the application of which the difference has arisen, by all parties. The World Bank is a signatory to the treaty for certain specified purposes, but is not a guarantor. Under the terms of the treaty, there are several prior steps before the World Bank's role in appointing a neutral expert is triggered. Accordingly, any 'question' between the parties should be resolved through the Permanent Indus Commission itself. If the 'question' remaines unresolved, it becomes a 'difference' and is referred to a neutral expert, to be appointed by the two countries, or by a third party agreed upon by the two countries. In the absence of such an agreement, the appointment of the Neutral Expert would be made by the World Bank, in consultation with the two countries. This consultation would seek as far as possible to reach consensus within a reasonable time, in the absence of which the World Bank has an obligation under the Treaty to appoint a neutral expert.