LAHORE - India has appealed to the World Bank for appointment of a neutral expert in response to Pakistan’s call for international arbitration on Kishanganga and Ratle hydropower projects.

Indus Water Commissioner Mirza Asif Baig revealed this while delivering a lecture on “Water Issues with India under Indus Basin Treaty” here yesterday. The Pakistan Engineering Congress organised the sitting. Islamabad had earlier declared both the projects New Delhi building at River Chenab and Jhelum in Occupied Kashmir as violation of the treaty and recently approached the World Bank for constituting of arbitration panel to decide the issue.

“We have given names of our two arbitrators to the World Bank and now it is India’s duty to nominate its two arbitrators. But India just using delaying tactics and asked the World Bank for appoint of neutral expert,” Asif told The Nation after delivering the lecture.

When asked whether Pakistan could ask for international arbitration before appointment of neutral expert, he explained: “In the light of the decision of Hague-based permanent court of justice on Kishanganga, Pakistan has the right to go for international arbitration.”

Addressing the gathering, he said India has had little opportunity to stop Pakistan’s water of western rivers as their natural flow could not be stopped in the hilly areas of Held Kashmir. But, he added at the same time it was responsibility of the government to build reservoir in Pakistan.

“Our case against India will be more strong if we focus into building more dams instead of creating panic that neighbouring country is stopping our water,” he emphasised.

Earlier, Pakistan Engineering Congress president Ch Ghulam Hussain welcomed Indus Water Commissioner and also emphasised on building water reservoirs including Kalabagh Dam and Bhasha Dam. A resolution for speedy construction of Bhasha Dam was also passed on the occasion.