US Talks on IWT: India, Pak Fail to Break Ice

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WASHINGTON: The latest round of talks between India and Pakistan on Indus Water Treaty concluded without reaching an agreement, the World Bank has said even as it assured that both countries will continue to work to resolve the issues in an amicable manner.

“While an agreement has not been reached at the conclusion of the meetings, the World Bank will continue to work with both countries to resolve the issues in an amicable manner and in line with the Treaty provisions,” the World Bank said in a statement.

“Both countries and the World Bank appreciated the discussions and reconfirmed their commitment to the preservation of the Treaty,” the World Bank said after the conclusion of the Secretary-level discussions between the two South Asian neighbours on the technical issues of the Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric power plants within the framework of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).

The two-day discussion took place at the World bank headquarters on September 14-15.

“The World Bank remains committed to act in good faith and with complete impartiality and transparency in fulfilling its responsibilities under the Treaty, while continuing to assist the countries,” the bank said in its statement.

The IWT was signed in 1960 after nine years of negotiations between India and Pakistan with the help of the World Bank, which is also a signatory.

The World Bank’s role in relation to “differences” and “disputes” is limited to the designation of people to fulfill certain roles when requested by either or both of the parties.

The Indian delegation was led by the Union Water Resources Secretary Amarjit Singh. It also had representatives from Ministry of External Affairs, Power, India’s Indus Water Commissioner and Central Water Commission.

The Pakistani delegation was led by Secretary Water Resources Division Arif Ahmed Khan along with Secretary of Water and Power Yousuf Naseem Kho­khar, High Commissioner of Indus Waters Treaty Mirza Asif Baig and Joint Secretary of Water Syed Mehar Ali Shah.

The last round of talks were held on August 1, which the World bank said were held in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation.

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