ISLAMABAD: US Secretary of State John Kerry telephoned Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday night and informed him that the United States would like to see an amicable solution to the Indus Waters Treaty row between Pakistan and India.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim recently informed Mr Kerry about Pakistan’s complaint against India on the issue of Indus Waters Treaty, the US leader told Mr Dar during the conversation.

According to a finance ministry press release issued here on Friday, Mr Dar said that the US support on principles and legal position of Pakistan on the treaty issues would be greatly appreciated.

The minister said that the treaty was an international commitment and it was the responsibility of the World Bank to make sure that India honoured it and that the water rights of hundreds of millions of people of Pakistan were protected.

He said that the Court of Arbitration was a legal requirement and appointment of its chairman must be ensured by the World Bank.

Mr Dar congratulated Mr Kerry on his statement of this week on the Middle East peace process and Palestinian rights.

Meanwhile, Pakistan and the US discussed prospects of promoting bilateral trade and economic relations here on Friday. The review of economic relations took place during a meeting between Finance Minister Dar and US Ambassador David Hale. Ambassador Hale told the minister that the US valued its ties with Pakistan and considered the country an important partner.

He also acknowledged the economic turnaround Pakistan had achieved over the last three years.

The minister said that Pakistan was open for foreign investment and that the US investors should be encouraged to invest in the country.

He highlighted that, according to World Bank’s Doing Business 2017 report, Pakistan had moved up four places in the ease of doing business rankings and was also one of the top 10 global improvers.

He said that the European car manufacturer Renault had recently announced its automotive manufacturing plants in Pakistan, with production scheduled to commence in 2018.

Mr Dar assured his full support to any potential US investors looking for investment opportunities in Pakistan, and expressed confidence that the two countries would continue to work together for the promotion of bilateral economic relations.

Published in Dawn December 31st, 2016

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