Water resources have always remained bone of contention between Islamabad and New Delhi. It seems that it will be so in future as well. The pessimism overrides the tone of this editorial because of the language and tone of the World Bank (WB) officials after Pakistan approached the body to stop India from Kishanganga Hydro Electric Project (KHEP) from operations. The statements of the bank on the dispute indicate that the body is not interested in listening what Pakistan’s concerns are in the present case.

WB tries to hide behind the argument that there is little room for it while resolving India Pakistan water disputes. This means that the body is giving hints to the complainant country not to rely on it for sorting out the conflict. It is important to note that WB is the chief architect of Indus Water Treaty that was concluded in the 1960s. It is surprising that the bank is not putting all its efforts in sorting out the dispute because both sides have already recognised the bank as an arbitrator in case any conflict arises between the two parties.

The concerns of Pakistan are legitimate. They demand the attention of the bank. Even the interim order of the court of arbitration did admit that the dam component of the project would enable India to control over the volume of water that will reach Pakistan. This is a clear-cut violation of the treaty.

While the WB has assured that it will act in good faith and without giving any space to ill intentions the language of the statements issued by the bank tells a different story. Considering that WB statements are evasive and non-committal, chances are that Pakistan will not get relief. What WB is forgetting is that if the matter is not solved on the equity basis, there is a high chance of another fight because of water issues between the two nuclear neighbours.