Monday, June 8, 2009

'World Bank Mediation on Baglihar' Implications for India-Pakistan Relations (ABSTRACT)

'World Bank Mediation on Baglihar' Implications for India-Pakistan Relations (ABSTRACT) (Appeared in IPRI JOURNAL SUMMER 2008. ISLAMABAD POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE. ISALAMBAD. PAKISTAN

Owing to a number of factors, water resources have become dearer in South Asia and elsewhere so much so that the analysts consider water to be the potential source of conflict between Pakistan and India. So far the Indus Waters Treaty 1960 has been successfully regulating the water affairs between these two countries. However, Pakistan perceives the construction of a number of hydroelectric projects by India on the rivers given exclusively to Pakistan by the Indus Waters Treaty as not only a violation of terms of the Treaty itself, but also as a lever to India in its any future conflict with its western neighbour. Contrary to some other cases, bilateralism and Joint Indus Commission failed to deliver on Baglihar Hydroelectric Project being constructed by India on river Chenab in the Indian Occupied Kashmir with the result that the World Bank had to appoint, on the request made by Pakistan, a Neutral Expert to assess the respective positions of the parties. The ensuing verdict by the Neutral Expert, and the initial reaction of Pakistan and India to the verdict, has a number of ramifications, not only for India-Pakistan relations, but also for the region in general. Besides, the successful determination by a third party on in India-Pakistan issue has much in store for the policy makers of both the countries in so far as the resolution of their longstanding disputes are concerned.

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