Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Thursday hoped that the World Bank would play a lead role in resolution of disputes arisen between India and Pakistan regarding construction of hydro-electric plants through establishment of a court of arbitration.
The Prime Minister stated this while talking to Ms Kristalina I. Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer (IBRD/IDA), World Bank Group, who called on him here at the PM House.
He discussed the resolution of disputes, specifically Kishenganga and Ratle Hydroelectric 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 welcomed the World Bank CEO on her first visit to Pakistan and congratulated her on appointment as Chief Executive Officer of the WBG. Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan highly placed its partnership with the World Bank since 1952 and appreciated its investment of $31.0 billion (from 1952 till date) in social, infrastructure, water and energy sectors.
He also appreciated the disbursement of $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. He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to take the reforms forward. The support of the WB in the energy sector projects, including Tarbela-IV, Tarbela-V and Dasu Hydropower projects, was also valuable to Pakistan, he added.
The Prime Minister emphasised 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, he said, 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 $75 million and informed that the return process of the TDPs was on fast track. He said that the government was spending huge resources from its own budget to rehabilitate the TDPs.
He said the government was focused on economic revival and requires huge investments in energy, infrastructure and social protection. The results of the measures taken by the government were already visible, he said and added that structural reforms were on track and economic growth had picked up.
In order to maintain the momentum, the government would need enhanced support of the development partners in energy, infrastructure particularly rail and roads network, education and skill development, he added.
The Prime Minister thanked Ms. Kristalina I. Georgieva on her first bilateral visit as CEO to Pakistan, which was indicative of interest and commitment for the mutual relationship between Pakistan and the World Bank.
The World Bank CEO stated that Pakistan had made great progress in energy, infrastructure and overall economic stability.
“I am impressed to see the infrastructure while visiting the Tarbela 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.”
Annette Dixon, Vice President, South Asia Region, World Bank conveyed a message from the World Bank President to the Prime Minister stating that `During the tenure of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan has achieved political & economic stability and has improved security situation considerably. Pakistan is now on a higher growth trajectory’.
The World Bank CEO congratulated the Prime Minister on exceptional performance of Pakistan’s economic indicators and said the World Bank would support all measures that would sustain the rate of economic growth.