Indus Waters Treaty In Troubled Waters?


Indus Waters Treaty In Troubled Waters?

The 10-member Indian delegation, led by Indus Water Commissioner PK Saxena, held a closed-door meeting with the Pakistani side.

Leaders of eighteen farmer associations from across the country on Sunday said that Indus Water Treaty must be protected as Pakistan has a right on the waters of three rivers, reported Daily Dunya.

The last meeting of the commission was held in 2015. He said outstanding problems relating to the Indus Basin would be discussed during the two-day meeting in Lahore. But the designs of the Pakal Dul, Lower Kalnai and Miyar hydroelectric plants were taken up.

Asif also said the controversial Kishanganga and Ratle hydropower projects over which Pakistan was seeking International Court of Arbitration through the World Bank would not be part of the talks.

During the meeting, Pakistan highlighted concerns about the three Indian hydro projects being built on the rivers flowing to Pakistan.

The two countries have been locked in military skirmishes across the Kashmir border in recent months, raising fears of another war between India and Pakistan. Pakistan has been pursuing the matter of regular meetings of the Permanent Indus Commission with India to bring the other remaining issues under discussion.

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The ministry spokesman said Pakistan appreciates India's decision to resume the regular talks and welcomes the Indian team to Islamabad.

The bilateral talks were halted in March 2015 at the time when both the countries were on table to take up issues like Kishan Ganga and Ratal power projects by India.

It said Pakistan would continue making efforts for resolution of the matters according to the Indus Waters Treaty provisions and "expects that our goodwill will be reciprocated by the Indian side".

The Minister for Water and Power hailed the start of talks between Pakistan and India on the contentious issue of water, saying it is good for bilateral relations. The IWT makes it mandatory for the two countries to hold talks at least once a year.

The meeting is taking place almost six months after India chose to suspend talks on the pact in the wake of the Uri terror attack by Pakistan based outfits. "In the past too, there had been delays in finalising agenda for the meeting, yet solutions were achieved", the official added.



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