Stalemate between India, Pakistan continues after most recent round of Indus Waters Treaty discussions

India and Pakistan could not come to an agreement following the latest round of Secretary-level talks on the Indus Waters Treaty.

The discussion, hosted by the World Bank late last week, pertained specifically to India’s 330-MW Kishenganga and 840-MW Ratle hydropower plants — both of which Pakistan has fought throughout their development.

Under terms of the 1960 accord, whichever country completes a hydroelectric project on the Indus River first would receive priority rights to the river. And though Pakistan is also developing a project of its own on the Indus — that being the 969-MW Neelum Jhelum — the two Asian countries have yet to see eye-to-eye aside from their recommitment to the treaty during the most recent forum in Washington, D.C.

Still, the World Bank, which acted as an arbiter both at the time of the treaty’s signing and now, said it will continue working “with both countries to resolve the issues in an amicable manner.”

“The World Bank remains committed to act in good faith and with complete impartiality and transparency in fulfilling its responsibilities under the treaty,” the organization said in a statement.

The World Bank urged Pakistan and India to agree to mediation last November after India announced it would boycott a Court of Arbitration requested by Pakistan, followed by a move by Pakistan that saw its two parliamentary committees ask India to immediately stop work on both its projects in January.

Pakistan previously lost a challenge considered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in February 2013, at which point it said Kishanganga might reduce the capacity of its Neelum-Jhelum plant by diverting water.

Neelum Jhelum is under construction and uses water diverted from the Neelum River. Kishanganga diverts water from the Kishanganga River and also is under construction by NHPC. The Ratle project is on the Chenab River but is reportedly not yet under construction.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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