THE National Assembly Standing Committee on Interprovincial Coordination has been told that India has stopped the World Bank from funding the Bhasha Dam with the argument that the area of construction, Gilgit-Baltistan, was a disputed territory. This was revealed to the Committee on Friday by the Member (Water) WAPDA, Syed Raghab Abbas Shah, when he testified to it. This reveals the Indian mindset, which did its best to cause damage to Pakistan, but it also speaks volumes about the World Bank, which joined in the conspiracy to prevent Pakistan from developing its water resources, as well as ensuring the Indian sabotage of the Indus Waters Treaty. That is despite the fact the Bank itself is the guarantor of the Treaty, and the party which is responsible under the Treaty to help settle any disputes that might arise over the Indus Waters. This should show Pakistan also how lowly it is rated by the USA when compared to India, despite the help it has rendered in its war on terror, with the Bank so much under American control that its President is an appointee of the US President. The refusal of the loan means that the component, which the World Bank was supposed to put in, of the Rs 900 billion cost of the dam, will now have to be raised by other means. However, this should not ignore the fact that the Bhasha Dam decision came prematurely, and should have been preceded by the Kalabagh Dam, an eminently feasible project to which the World Bank is already committed. Because of this refusal by Pakistan to undertake the use of Indus Waters, India has been encouraged to violate the Indus Waters Treaty. It must also be noted that the Mangla Dam, which lies in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and thus in a disputed territory, was included in the Treaty, and was part of the deal the World Bank then brokered. There was then no objection raised about its status; and to raise it now merely indicates that Indian posturing in the region also carries American backing, as it builds India as a regional counterweight to China. Even if the World Bank is not investing in the disputed territory on the Indian side, its massive investments in India are freeing up resources for it to engage in heavy spending there, all meant to sabotage the Treaty. The consequences of this American backing are unthinkable, as they mean that even for as basic a resource as water, Pakistan would have to seek Indian good wishes. All this is a direct consequence of Islamabads subservience to Washington, and only in bringing this to an end, can Islamabad hope to regain any semblance of national independence. Also, the decision to build dams must not be left with regionalists, or internationalists, but nationalists.