The talks between Indian and Pakistani officials over the Indus Water Treaty took place in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation, the World Bank has said asserting that the two parties have agreed to reconvene in September here for continued discussions over the issue. “The parties have agreed to continue discussions and reconvene in September in Washington, DC,” the World Bank said in a brief statement issued at the conclusion of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT). The World Bank said that the secretary-level discussions between India and Pakistan on the technical issues over the IWT took place this week in a spirit of “goodwill and cooperation”. However, it did not provide any other details. 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 and 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. On the other hand, India had asked for the appointment of a neutral expert to look into the issues, contending the concerns Pakistan raised were “technical” ones.
Following this, the international lender had in November 2016 initiated two simultaneous processes — for appointing neutral expert and establishment of court of arbitration to look into technical differences between the two countries in connection with the projects. The simultaneous processes, however, were halted after India objected to it. After that, representatives of the World Bank held talks with India and Pakistan to find a way out separately.