According to Dawn, a Pakistani delegation led by Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali met senior World Bank officials in Washington in order to discuss Pakistan's request for arbitration under Article IX of the IWT, 1960.
With an upsurge in clashes between Pakistan and India, the former decided to take the ongoing debate over the Indus Water Treaty to World Bank on Tuesday, urging it to prevent India from making illegal constructions on the Neelum and Chenab rivers.
According to Dawn, a Pakistani delegation led by Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali met senior World Bank officials in Washington in order to discuss Pakistan’s request for arbitration under Article IX of the IWT, 1960. It is also reported that in the meeting with the Pakistani delegation, the World Bank committed itself to timely fulfilling its obligations under the treaty while remaining neutral.
It is also reported that Pakistan approached the International Court of Justice in relation to the matter.
The Treaty, was a water sharing agreement signed between Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and then President of Pakistan, Ayub Khan in September 1960 in Karachi. The agreement covers water distribution and sharing rights of six rivers- Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum. It was brokered by the World Bank. It was signed because the source of the aforementioned rivers came from India. And in case the two countries were to go at war, Pakistan feared that India could potentially create a situation of drought for them.
On 19 August, Pakistan had formally requested India for settlement of outstanding disputes pertaining to India’s construction of Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric plants on rivers Neelum and Chenab respectively, by referring the matters to the Court of Arbitration as provided in Article IX of the Treaty.
However, in the wake of Uri attack where 18 Army soldiers were killed, India is now reviweing the Treaty to put pressure on Pakistan, while the latter said that India cannot unilaterally separate itslef from the agreement and insisted that revocation of the treaty can be taken as an “act of war”.
“The international law states that India cannot unilaterally separate itself from the treaty,” Aziz, Advisor to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs, said while briefing the National Assembly on the issue. Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said at a meeting over Indus Waters Treaty that water and blood cannot flow together at the same time.