WB convenes 8th round of talks with Pak, India over construction of dams

LAHORE: The World Bank (WB) has convened a meeting of the experts of India and Pakistan in Washington on May 21 and 22, pertaining to the appointment of a neutral expert on Kishanganga and Ratle dams.

Pakistan approached the World Bank for the appointment of a neutral expert against the Indian construction of Kishanganga Dam on the river Neelum and Ratle Dam on the river Chenab. The two countries have held 7 rounds of negotiations during the past 4 years.

The Pakistani delegation headed by Acting Commissioner Indus Basin Mehr Ali Shah will leave Islamabad for Washington on May 19 to take part in the negotiations. The delegation includes Federal Secretary Water Affairs Shumail Khawaja and one representative each of the Foreign Ministry and Attorney General.

An introductory session of negotiations will be held on May 21 and the second session on May 22.

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Joint Secretary for Ministry of Water Affairs Mehr Ali Shah who has been appointed Acting Commissioner of Indus Basin for three months and his tenure will end on May 8. But keeping in view the negotiations with the World Bank it has been decided to give him an extension. It has been decided that till the appointment of a full-time Commissioner of Indus Basin he will continue to work at this position.

A formal notification to this effect will be issued next week.

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