ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday expressed hope that the World Bank would play a lead role in resolution of disputes between Pakistan and India through establishment of a Court of Arbitration.
In a meeting with the Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank Group kristalina I. Georgieva in Islamabad, the prime minister discussed the resolution of dispute arisen between India and Pakistan regarding construction of Hydro-Electric Plants (specifically Kishenganga and Ratle Hydro-electric Plants) and water reservoirs on the Western Rivers by India in violation of the Indus Water Treaty 1960, to which the World Bank was a signatory.
The prime minister said that Pakistan highly placed its partnership with the World Bank since 1952 and appreciated its investment of US$ 31.0 billion (from 1952 till date) in social, infrastructure, water and energy sectors.
The prime minister also appreciated the disbursement of US$ 2.5 billion since 2014 till date through a series of Development Policy Credits to Pakistan for carrying out structural reforms in growth and energy. The prime minister reaffirmed the government’s commitment to take these reforms forward.
“The support of the WB in the energy sector projects including Tarbela-IV, Tarbela-V and Dasu Hydropower Projects are also valuable to Pakistan,” he said.
Nawaz Sharif emphasized that the government was focused on development of hydropower projects (mega Dams) all along the Indus cascade and small and medium dams in Balochistan to meet energy demands. In this regard, Diamer-Basha Dam was a project of national importance as it would considerably change the energy mix, produce affordable electricity and store water.
The prime minister expressed gratitude to the World Bank for the support for rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs) by providing US$ 75 million and informed that the return process of the TDPs was on fast track. He also informed that the government was spending huge resources from its own budget to rehabilitate the TDPs.
Moreover, he said that the Pakistani government was focused on economic revival and requires huge investments in energy, infrastructure and social protection. He said that the results of these measures taken by the government were already visible.
The prime minister said that structural reforms were on track and economic growth had picked up. In order to maintain the momentum, he added, the government would need enhanced support of the development partners in energy, infrastructure particularly rail and roads network, education & skill development.
In addition, Sharif congratulated Kristalina Georgievaon on her appointment as the CEO of the World Bank and thanked her first bilateral visit as the World Bank CEO to Pakistan which was indicative of interest and commitment for the mutual relationship between Pakistan and the World Bank.
In her remarks, the CEO World Bank said that Pakistan made great progress in energy, infrastructure and overall economic stability.
“I am impressed to see the infrastructure while visiting the Terbela Hydro power extension project and there is a sea of positive change in Pakistan as compared to 2011 when I last visited,” she said.
“Conditions are right for investment in Pakistan and there is marked improvement in economic condition of Pakistan due to your leadership and personal commitment.”
The World Bank’s Vice President for South Asia Region Annette Dixon conveyed message from the President of World Bank to the prime minister, saying that “During the tenure of PM Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan has achieved political & economic stability and has improved security situation considerably. Pakistan is now on a higher growth trajectory.”
The CEO World Bank congratulated the prime minister on exceptional performance of Pakistan’s economic indicators and said that the World Bank would support all measures that will sustain the rate of economic growth.