ISLAMABAD: Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar wrote a letter to the President of the World Bank Group Jim YongKim asking the institution to execute its obligation under Indus Waters Treaty under which no party can pause the performance of its role.
The finance minister wrote to President World Bank in response to the World Bank's decision to pause the process of empanelment of the Court of Arbitration.
The World Bank Group had announced a pause in the separate processes initiated by India and Pakistan under the Indus Waters Treaty to allow the two countries to consider alternative ways to resolve their disagreements.
The decision halted the appointment of a neutral expert as requested by India and the Chairman of the Court of Arbitration as requested by Pakistan to resolve issues regarding two hydro electric power plants under construction by India along the Indus rivers system.
The finance minister emphasized thatthis decision of the World Bank would seriously prejudice Pakistan's interests and rights under the Indus Waters Treaty (1960).
The letter has been sent with approval of all concerned stakeholders and strongly conveyed that the matter of appointment of a Chairman of the Court of Arbitration had been inordinately delayed.
The finance minister urged the World Bank to execute its obligations under the Indus Waters Treaty as the chosen appointing authority and appoint the Chairman of the Court of the Arbitration Indus Waters Treaty expeditiously.
Ishaq Dar noted that the pause proposed by the President World Bank Group would merely prevent Pakistan from approaching a competent forum and having its grievances addressed.
The letter from the finance minister noted that the Indus Waters Treaty 1960 did not provide for a situation wherein a party could pause performance of its obligations under the Treaty.
The finance minister said that the letter of December 12 2016 from the World Bank was a departure from the World Bank s earlier position conveyed in its letter of October 18 2016 in which it was stated the Bank's role is limited in character and relates only to the exercise of procedural functions which do not touch upon the factual or legal merits of the contested issues .