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India, Pakistan talks on water issues conclude

04 Mar, 2022
According to the Ministry of Water Resources, visit of Indian Indus Commissioner is in fulfillment of implementation of the Treaty. Reuters/File
According to the Ministry of Water Resources, visit of Indian Indus Commissioner is in fulfillment of implementation of the Treaty. Reuters/File

Indus Waters Commissioners of Pakistan and India have concluded three days’ parleys started from March1, 2022 on disputed projects and other water-related issues.

Indian Commissioner for Indus Waters PK Sexena along with his members of delegation attended the Islamabad 117th Meeting of Permanent Indus Commission, whereas, Pakistani delegation comprised Mehar Ali Shah, Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters and representatives of Wapda, Pakistan Met Department, Punjab Irrigation, NESPAK, MoFA, Flood Commission and officers of the PCIW.

The focus of the meeting was to discuss Pakistan’s observations on various Indian new run-of-river hydroelectric plants. The matter relating to sharing of flood information by the Indian side would also be one of the agenda items.

The agenda of meetings is as follows;(i) finalisation and signing of Record of 116th PICM;(ii) discussion on Pakistan’s objections on Tamasha HEP, Kalaroos-Il HEP, Baltikulan Small HEP, Durbuk Shyok HEP, Nimu Chilling HEP, Kiru HEP, Kargil Hunderman HEP, Phagla HEP, Kulan Ramwari HEP, and Mandi HEP;(iii) continued discussion on Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai Hydroelectric Plants;(iv) arrangement regarding communication of advance information of flood flows during the Flood Season 2022;(v) maintaining free flow of water into river Sutlej and;(vi) programme of future meetings and tours of inspection of the PIC.

The sources said, Pakistan has conveyed its concerns on the design of hydroelectric projects and other issues.

Pakistan has sought details replies of questions, it raised on the projects in Held Kashmir.

According to sources, India delegation has promised to send its comments on the queries of the Pakistani side.

According to the Ministry of Water Resources, visit of Indian Indus Commissioner is in fulfillment of implementation of the Treaty.

According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the 117th meeting of the India-Pakistan Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) was held in Islamabad from 1-3 March, 2022. Under the relevant provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) 1960, the meeting takes place alternatively in Pakistan and India annually.

Official statement says the entire gamut of water-related issues between Pakistan and India were discussed in the meeting. Pakistan reiterated its observations on the Kiru Hydroelectric project (HEP) located upstream river Chenab and India’s new run-of-the-river small HEPs on Western rivers. Response to Pakistan’s objections to Indian projects including Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai was also sought. The Indian side was also urged to communicate advance flood-flow information as per the provisions of the Treaty and the practice in vogue since 1989 until 2018.

Both sides reiterated their commitment to implement the Indus Waters Treaty in its true spirit and expressed the hope that the next meeting of the Commission would be held at an early date in India.

This story was first published in Business Recorder on March 4, 2022.