The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said the World Bank was taking “legally untenable action” on the Kishanganga project dispute between India and Pakistan. The global financial body’s move to pursue “parallel mechanisms” to resolve technical problems between the two neighbours was not in accordance with the Indus Waters Treaty, the ministry added.

By “two parallel mechanisms’, MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup was referring to New Delhi’s request for the appointment of a neutral expert to resolve the matter and Islamabad’s demand for the creation of a Court of Arbitration. The bank has “decided to proceed with both steps simultaneously”, despite objections from New Delhi, Swarup added.

The World Bank’s decision to proceed with both moves had raised questions about the “viability and workability” of the 56-year-old Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan, Swarup said, adding that the Centre was examining the options available to it and would “take steps accordingly”.

The World Bank had coordinated negotiations between the nations to ink the Indus Waters Treaty, which divides the flow of six rivers between the rival countries, in 1960. According to the accord, India controls Beas, Ravi and Sutlej, while Pakistan holds reign over Indus, Chenab and Jhelum. On August 19, Pakistan had requested the Court of Arbitration’s intervention in the resolution of disputes related to India’s Kishanganga hydroelectric plant project on river Neelum, which merges with the Jhelum in Pakistan, and the Ratle project on river Chenab.

Islamabad had also sought the International Court of Justice’s intervention in the matter, after India decided to review the treaty after the attack on an Army base in Kashmir’s Uri sector. New Delhi believes that the strike, in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed, was sponsored by Islamabad. However, Pakistan said the allegations levelled against it are baseless.