Pakistan, India hold talks over water issues


Talks have begun between arch-rivals, Pakistan and India, over water disputes between the two countries, headed by their respective Indus water commissioner.

The talks between the two countries will continue until March 3 and Indus Water Commissioner Mahar Ali Shah represented Pakistan while water commissioner K.P. Saxena represented the Indian side.

According to sources privy to the agenda to be discussed between two sides, Indian projects constructed on the run-of-the-river will be discussed and Pakistan will raise its objections and reservations on the projects.

“Issue related to release of floodwater will also be highlighted with Indian authorities,” they said.

A 10-member delegation of the Indus Water Commission from India arrived in Lahore on Monday to hold talks with Pakistani officials.

The delegation, headed by Indian Water Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Saxena, reached Pakistan via the Wagah border crossing. The Indian water experts team proceeded to Islamabad for holding talks over water disputes between the two countries in their three-day visit of Pakistan.

According to the agenda of the meeting, the discussions will focus on Pakistan’s objections to Indian hydroelectric projects namely Pakal Dul (1,000 MW), Lower Kalnai (48 MW) and Kiru (624 MW) in Chenab basin in Jammu and Kashmir and some small hydroelectric projects in Ladakh.

The previous meeting of the India-Pakistan Permanent Indus Commission was held in New Delhi on 23-24 March last year.

The Pakistan side reiterated its objections to Indian water projects including Pakal Dul, Lower Kulnai, Durbuk Shyok and Nimu Chilling.

Pakistan asked India to share data of water flows as per the provisions of the IWT following the practice in vogue since 1989 while it also emphasized the importance of early resolution of the outstanding issues in accordance with the provisions of the IWT.INP


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