Pakistan Blames ‘Indian Lobby’ As World Bank Turns Away Its Request For Intervention Over Kishanganga Project
Pakistan Blames ‘Indian Lobby’ As World Bank Turns Away Its Request For Intervention Over Kishanganga ProjectThe Kishanganga dam. (pic via Twitter)

Pakistan’s concerns over the Kishanganga project inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi on 19 May have been turned down by the World Bank as officials failed to reach a consensus on a way forward , Pakistan-based Express Tribune has reported.

According to the report, the ‘Indian lobby’ in Washington was to blame for the development even as the Pakistan lodged its protest in the ‘strongest possible’ words. It goes on to say that South Asian department of the World Bank, and the World Bank itself are under heavy influence of the Indian lobby. The report further states that this is the latest setback to Pakistan, which has been unable to penetrate the World Bank.

Pakistan claims that the India has acquired the potential to disrupt river flow through the dam on Kishanganga and can adversely affect the 969-megawatt Neelum-Jhelum hydropower project recently constructed on the Pakistani side.

80 per cent of Pakistani irrigated agriculture reportedly depends on the Indus river and its tributaries, and it claims that the Kishanganga project violates the Indus Water Treaty which governs the division of Indus water between India and Pakistan.

India has steadfastly refuted the allegations and the Indian position was bolstered by a 2013 decision by the Hague-based International Court of Arbitration. Since the 2013 verdict, India has moved swiftly to complete the project.

In a desperate bid to stop the project, Pakistan had shelled the region around the dam in November 2016.

The project, completed despite Pakistan’s objection, is the first run of the river scheme that involves the inter-basin transfer of water. Water from Kishanganga river in the Gurez valley will be transferred to Bonar Nallah in Bandipora using a 23.65-km-long tunnel dug across mountains.

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