Pakistan Islamabad urges World Bank to restart arbitration
Pakistan has asked the World Bank to resume arbitration in a dispute with India despite New Delhi ‘s opposition. In communicating with Pakistan, Pakistan Islamabad urges World Bank to restart arbitration argued that mediation alone could save the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), which successfully addressed water issues between India and Pakistan for more than half a century. Even if Pakistan does not agree with the proposal, it is because Pakistan is hoping to resume mediation because “a lot of precious time is already gone”.
Pakistan first requested mediation on August 19, 2016.
Last month, the World Bank paused the arbitration process and demanded that India and Pakistan decide how to resolve the dispute by the end of the month. The bank did so to protect the treaty. In 1960, the IWT granted 60 days after filing an official request to Pakistan to demand the establishment of an arbitration tribunal. The deadline expired on October 29, 2016.
The current dispute concerns two hydroelectric power plants – the Gisan River and Ratle – that India is constructing in rivers that supply water to Pakistan under the IWT. The treaty recognizes the World Bank as its guarantor and arbitrator and gives both India and Pakistan the right to request arbitration if the parties can not resolve the dispute on both sides.
World Bank representative Ian H. Solomon visited India on Thursday to discuss the dispute. Indian officials have said that Pakistan ‘s request for an arbitration court to Solomon is not accepted by New Delhi. Instead, they urged banks to appoint neutral experts.
Pakistan requires an arbitral tribunal because it determines that a legal dispute is related to a technical issue and that a neutral expert can consider the technical aspect. Only a court can handle legal matters.
Pakistan has also completed the form of appointing three judges directly to India.
With India’s refusal, Pakistan has the right to demand lots for the appointment of these judges, as provided by the IWT. If the party refuses to participate in the lottery, the other person can ask the World Bank chairman to appoint a person to pick the lot. However, the Requesting Party must provide the World Bank with a copy of the submission to enable the bank to fulfill its responsibilities. Pakistan has completed this process.
Pakistan has also expressed its commitment to accept the three appointing authorities specified in the treaty for the appointment of an arbitrator. These are the Secretary General of the United Nations, the head of the Imperial University S & T University, London and the Chief Justice of the United Kingdom.
After concluding a series of negotiations with India, Pakistan concluded that bilateral negotiations could not resolve the dispute. So we decided to have an arbitration procedure. Uncertain talks In March 2016, Pakistan called for a friendly settlement of the dispute with India and appointed four negotiators to negotiate.
On April 28, India accepted Pakistan’s negotiating proposal and appointed four negotiators.
The negotiators met in New Delhi on July 14-15, 2016 and presented their respective arguments, but neither did much change in their positions. No compromises were made during the dispute. There were more meetings after that, but not all conclusions.
Pakistan said on July 14-15 that the Indian government could not confirm the exact state of construction to the World Bank because the delegation refused to visit the project site despite repeated requests. Pakistan also shared with the banks concerns that India would continue to build two plants despite opposition.