ISLAMABAD: The World Bank is prepared to take up the dispute between Pakistan and India over the Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric power plants.

The process has been put in place under the auspices of the World Bank as the two countries disagree over whether the technical design features of the two plants contravene the Indus Water Treaty.

On Monday, the bank held two separate meetings with the neutral expert and the chairman of the Court of Arbitration in Washing­ton. The representatives from India and Pakistan were also invited.

The two appointments — neutral expert and chairman of the Court of Arbitration — were made by the WB in October. Michel Lino was appointed as the neutral expert and Prof Sean Murphy as chairman of the Court of Arbitration.

The design features of the 330MW Kishenganga and 850MW Ratle hydroelectric power plants have been the point of discord between the neighbouring nations. The former was inaugurated in 2018 while the latter is under construction.

In 2016, Pakistan asked the World Bank to look into its concerns over the two hydroelectric power projects. The requests were made after the Permanent Indus Commission failed to settle the matter.

Since then, the World Bank convened multiple high-level meetings and discussed several proposals to resolve the matter, but to no avail.

Published in Dawn, November 23rd, 2022

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