In wake of World Bank’s notification, Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday said that it is ready to engage in further consultations on the matter of resolving current differences with Pakistan regarding Indus Waters Treaty. “India remains fully conscious of its international obligations,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said. “India ready to engage in further consultations on the matter of resolving current differences regarding these two projects,” he added. Showing its agreement with World Bank’s decision, MEA said: “By temporarily halting both processes now, Bank has confirmed that pursuing 2 concurrent processes can render Treaty unworkable over time.”
The World Bank paused the separate processes initiated by India and Pakistan under the Treaty ‘to allow two countries to consider alternative ways’ to resolve their disagreements. “We are announcing this pause to protect the Indus Waters Treaty and to help India and Pakistan consider alternative approaches to resolving conflicting interests under the Treaty and its application to two hydroelectric power plants,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said.
The decision was informed by Kim in letters to the finance ministers of India and Pakistan. In the letters, World Bank emphasised that the it was acting to safeguard the Treaty. By pausing the processes for now, the Bank would hold off from its earlier decision of appointing the Chairman for the Court of Arbitration or the Neutral Expert expected on December 12.