Pakistan seeks World Bank’s support for Diamer Bhasha Dam

  • Kristalina says World Bank now finding a way to move forward in Indus pact
  • PM Abbasi says Pakistan has no ambiguity on terms of historic water treaty

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday sought the support of the World Bank for Diamer Bhasha Dam and said it was a critical project for the water security needs of the South Asian country.

“We are prepared to work on some innovative solutions like separating water and power components of the project,” he said while talking to World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva, who called on him here at his hotel. Prime Minister Abbasi is in New York for the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly.

Kristalina expressed commitment to continue to work with Pakistan and appreciated the progress made by the country in stabilising the macroeconomic framework. She said that the World Bank would continue to support economic reforms in Pakistan.

Prime Minister Abbasi thanked CEO Kristalina for World Bank’s support in Tarbela-4, Tarbela-5 and Dasu Hydropower projects. The two sides also agreed to continue engagements and cooperation. Kristalina termed Pakistan’s role in Indus Water Treaty as positive and constructive, and said the World Bank was now finding a way to move forward in the treaty.

Prime Minister Abbasi said that Pakistan has no ambiguity on the terms of the treaty. “We also want to remain engaged with the World Bank to find a mutually negotiated solution,” he said. The World Bank had announced a pause in arbitration between Islamabad and New Delhi following their dispute on the construction of two dams by India and urged both the countries to consider alternative ways to resolve their disagreements.

India is constructing two hydropower projects on the Chenab River; the 850 MegaWatt Ratle and 330MW Kishanganga hydropower projects. Pakistan objected to their construction saying these would have adverse impact on the flow of the Chenab and Neelum rivers.