|BAGLIHAR Hydroelectric Plant:
Expert Determination on points of difference referred by the Government of Pakistan under the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty.
Executive Summary | Annexes
Baglihar Decision to be released to India and Pakistan On Monday, February 12, 2007
WASHINGTON, February 8, 2007- Professor Raymond Lafitte, the Neutral Expert appointed to address a “difference” between the Governments of India and Pakistan concerning the construction of the Baglihar Dam on the Chenab River in India, will release his decision to representatives of the two governments on Monday, February 12, 2007 in Bern, Switzerland.
Professor Lafitte is a Swiss national, civil engineer and professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. Under the terms of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty, he was appointed by the World Bank, after consultations with the two governments, on May 10, 2005 to render a decision on a "difference" between the two governments regarding the Baglihar project. According to the provisions of the Treaty, the decision of Professor Lafitte on all matters within his competence is final and binding.
>>> Read the press release
World Bank Names Neutral Expert on Baglihar
WASHINGTON, May 10 2005 -The World Bank today announced that, after consultation with the Governments of India and Pakistan, an agreement has been reached on the appointment of a Neutral Expert to address differences concerning a hydropower scheme under construction on the Chenab River in India.
Professor Raymond Lafitte, a Swiss national, civil engineer and professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, will be asked to make a finding on a "difference" between the two governments concerning the construction of the Baglihar project.
>>>read the press release
>>>download Raymond Lafitte's resume (16kb pdf)
World Bank to Appoint Neutral Expert
WASHINGTON D.C. April 26, 2005 – The World Bank yesterday informed the Governments of India and Pakistan that it has determined that it is required to comply with the request of the Government of Pakistan to appoint a Neutral Expert under the terms of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty. The Bank has now begun the process of consultation required by the Treaty for the appointment of the Neutral Expert. >>>contact
This page offers the full text of the Treaty and its annexures and a short description of the World Bank’s remaining roles and obligations under the Treaty.
Following a request from the Government of Pakistan to the World Bank to appoint a neutral expert to help resolve a difference that has arisen between the two parties to the Treaty, India and Pakistan (press release), a video made in February 2004 of a World Bank legal expert conducting an academic workshop about the Treaty and its long history has been taken down from the website.
While the February 2004 workshop was of an academic and hypothetical nature, regrettably some of the comments made in this context have been taken to apply to the current context in which the difference and dispute resolution mechanism of the Treaty has been triggered. To avoid further confusion, and for the World Bank to meticulously pursue the exact procedures as laid out in the Treaty, this historical discussion will be put aside for the moment and the text of the Treaty will be allowed to speak for itself. The World Bank has every confidence that the procedures envisaged in this sound and long-standing Treaty will serve all parties as originally agreed by the signatories.
The Indus Waters Treaty was concluded by India and Pakistan on September 19, 1960. The World Bank is a signatory to the Treaty for certain specified purposes. It is not a guarantor of the Treaty. Many of the purposes for which the World Bank signed the Treaty have been completed.
There are now three remaining responsibilities for the World Bank under the Treaty, relating to settlement of differences and disputes.
Disagreements by the parties on the interpretation of the provisions of the Treaty are classified into three categories:
questions are examined by the Permanent Indus Commission;
differences by a Neutral Expert;
and disputes by a Court of Arbitration.
According to the Treaty, the remaining responsibilities of the World Bank are:
One, a role for the World Bank in the appointment of a Neutral Expert. The first step under the Treaty is to resolve any "question" through the Permanent Indus Commission itself. If the "question" is not resolved there, it becomes a "difference" and is referred to a Neutral Expert, to be appointed by the two countries, or by a third party agreed upon by the two countries. In the absence of such an agreement, the appointment of the Neutral Expert would be made by the World Bank, in consultation with the two countries. The decision of the Neutral Expert on all matters within his competence shall be final and binding.
Two, the management by the World Bank of a trust fund to meet the expenses of a Neutral Expert.
Three, a role for the World Bank in the establishment of a Court of Arbitration. If the “difference” does not fall within the mandate of the Neutral Expert, or if the Neutral Expert rules that the “difference” should be treated as a “dispute”, then a Court of Arbitration would be established. The role of the World Bank, along with other institutions such as the Secretary General of the United Nations, is to participate in the selection of three appointees to the seven-person Court. The parties to the Treaty each select two members of the Court. The World Bank itself plays no part in the actual hearing or determination of the issues before the tribunal.
related World Bank sites
>>>World Bank Receives Request From Pakistan Under Indus Waters Treaty (Jan. 18, 2005)
>>>Press Release: World Bank Reviews Indus Treaty Correspondence (Jan. 28, 2005)
For more information, contact:
Dale Lautenbach (202) 473-3405