After two days of meetings between the Pakistani delegation and the World Bank to discuss the Indus Water Treaty, talks have reached an impasse. World Bank officials held meetings with Pakistan’s four-membered delegation, on May 21-22, to discuss Pakistan’s concerns on the Treaty, and to seek clauses within the treaty that enabled both countries to reach an amicable solution to the Pakistan-India water dispute.A statement released on Wednesday by the World Bank said, “several procedural options for resolving the disagreement over the interpretation of the Treaty’s provisions were discussed.” The statement continued that although “an agreement on the way forward was not reached at the conclusion of the meetings,” The World Bank remains optimistic for future negotiations, “the World Bank will continue to work with both countries to resolve the issues in an amicable manner and in line with the treaty provisions.”The meetings held at the Government of Pakistan’s behest, stressed Pakistan’s concerns over Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s inauguration of the 330-MW Kishanganga hydro-electric project in Indian-held Jammu and Kashmir that they fear will interrupt water supply into Pakistan. The Indus Water Treaty was signed in 1960 between India and Pakistan, the World Bank facilitated the treaty and is a signatory to the accord. The Treaty allocated Pakistan control over the flow of the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum rivers; India was allocated control over the three eastern rivers – Beas, Ravi and Sutlej.The Kishanganga River flows through Neelum in AJK and Astore before entering the India-held region of Gurez. India’s Kishanganga dam will provide full control for the river that flows from Pakistan into Indian-held Kashmir.Over the two-day meeting, Pakistan’s discussion points emphasised: to establish a court of arbitration to settle the dispute, whilst highlighting India’s stance, as well as the height of the Kishanganga dam and its capacity to hold water.The World Bank statement on Wednesday also explained that although the Treaty was a ‘crucial international’ accord that provides a cooperative framework for India and Pakistan to address challenges for effective water management – the Bank is merely a signatory. “The World Bank’s role is limited and procedural,” the statement said. Thus, its jurisdiction in relation to any differences and disputes is limited to the ‘designation of people to fulfil certain roles when requested by either or both parties’.The World Bank reminded all parties that it ‘remains committed to act in good faith and with complete impartiality and transparency in fulfilling its responsibilities under the Treaty, while continuing to assist the countries’.A statement from the Pakistani delegation led by Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf Ali, which had arrived in Washington D.C. on Sunday, has yet to be released following the meetings.Published in Daily Times, May 25th 2018.