Washington, August 2: The World Bank has said, the talks between Indian and Pakistani officials over the Indus Waters Treaty took place in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation. The World Bank in a brief statement said, the two parties have agreed to reconvene for continued discussions over the Indus issue.
India is allowed to construct hydroelectric power facilities on tributaries of the Jhelum and Chenab rivers with certain restrictions under the Indus Waters Treaty, the World Bank has said.
Earlier, the World Bank had assured Indian Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna of its continued neutrality and impartiality in helping the parties find an amicable way forward.
Pakistan opposes the construction of the Kishanganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts) hydroelectric power plants being built by India in Jammu and Kashmir, the global lender said in a fact sheet issued yesterday.
Noting that the two countries disagree over whether the technical design features of the two hydroelectric plants contravene the treaty, the World Bank said the IWT designates these two rivers as well as the Indus as the "Western Rivers" to which Pakistan has unrestricted use.
"Among other uses, India is permitted to construct hydroelectric power facilities on these rivers subject to constraints specified in annexures to the treaty," the Bank said in its fact sheet.
The World Bank said Pakistan asked it to facilitate the setting up of a Court of Arbitration to look into its concerns about the designs of the two hydroelectric power projects. The plants are on respectively a tributary of the Jhelum and the Chenab Rivers.
On the other hand, India had asked for the appointment of a neutral expert to look into the issues, contending the concerns Pakistan raised were technical ones.
The World Bank Group had announced in December last year that 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 Indus Waters Treaty 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. Seen as one of the most successful international treaties, it has survived frequent tensions, including conflict, and has provided a framework for irrigation and hydropower development for more than half a century.