Islamabad receive no response for a meeting request by World Bank
Pakistan has virtually lost the diplomatic battle against India on Kishanganga dam controversy as it has missed opportunity to involve the World Bank, as it has not yet responded to Islamabad’s request for a meeting. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to inaugurate the project within next few days.
Dawn, a leading Pakistani newspaper reports that Islamabad wants to send a high level delegation, headed by attorney general Asghar Ausaf Ali to Washington to share its concern with its President Jim Yong Kim about the dam.
A Pakistani journalist Anwar Iqbal based in Washington reports that the World Bank has accepted the Pakistani proposal but bank officials say that they are still trying to find an appropriate slot for the meeting because of chief’s busy schedule. Pakistan had hoped for the meeting in late April, when Ali was in New York for a UN meeting.
The 1960 Indus Water Treaty (IWT) between the two countries recognizes the World Bank as an arbitrator in water disputes as it played key role in concluding the agreement.
On April 30, it was reported that PM Modi is set to inaugurate the Kishanganga Hydroelectric Project in northern Kashmir’s Gurez in the first week of May. The 330MW power project, which has been contested by Pakistan, was commissioned in stages in recent months.
The run-of-the-river project includes a 37 meter high concrete rock fill dam across the Kishanganga river, located just before it flows across the LoC in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). It diverts the water to an underground power house through a 23.25 km tunnel.
According to National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), the project will generate 1713 million units per annum. Jammu and Kashmir would be provided with 12 percent of the power generated by the project.
The project features three power generating units of 110 MW each, which were commissioned in early April this year. All the three units have been synchronized with the grid and project has achieved full generation capacity.
The Kishanganga dam is located in the Gurez valley of Bandipora disctirct, north of Wular Lake, the site of another project that Pakistan has attempted to stop.
In early April, Pakistan’s energy ministry had sent a fresh communiqué to the World Bank, urging to endure that India abides by the treaty that gave Pakistan control over the water of the Chenab and the Jheelam rivers.
Pakistan has complained that KIshanganga project affects its own Neelam Jheelam Hydropower Plant. Kishanganga is called the Jheelam on the other side of the LoC.
Observing the developments along with no response from World Bank for the meeting request, Dawn was left scratching its head on Monday, acknowledging that Islamabad has apparently missed the opportunity to involve the World Bank in the Kishanganga dam dispute before it becomes operational.