(2018-09-25) Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi held a meeting with President World Bank Jim Yong Kim on the sidelines of the 73rd UNGA session. The focus of the meeting was the World Bank’s role in implementation of the Indus Water Treaty as its Administrator. The Foreign Minister presented Pakistan’s position on the Kishan Ganga and Ratle projects in a forceful and emphatic manner.
The Foreign Minister said, Indian construction of these projects represented a violation of the 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. He said that the new government viewed this as a humanitarian issue with lives and livelihood of millions at stake. It was not interested in politicizing the issue.
The President of the World bank said, 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. 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 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.
5 September 2018