Pakistan and Indian officials hold important talks in Islamabad
ISLAMABAD – Islamabad and New Delhi hold talks in Islamabad from today (Tuesday) as an Indian delegation arrived via the Wagah border to discuss bilateral water issues.
Reports in local media said the 117th session of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) begins in the country’s federal capital.
The Indian delegation will be led by Indian Commissioner for Indus Water Pradeep Saxena while Indus Water Commissioner Commissioner Mehr Ali Shah will represent Pakistan.
Both sides meet every year to discuss cooperation on the Indus River system under Article VIII of the Indus Water Treaty which was signed in 1960 with the intervention of the World Bank.
A statement issued by government officials cited “During the meeting, Pakistan’s observations on various Indian New Run-of-River Hydro-Electric Plants will be discussed and matter relating to sharing of flood information by the Indian side would also be reviewed”.
Pakistan will also raise objections to Indian hydroelectric projects namely Pakal Dul (1,000 MW), Lower Kalnai (48 MW), and Kiru (624 MW) in the Chenab basin in Jammu and Kashmir and a few small hydroelectric projects in Ladakh.
Islamabad has opposed some other Indian projects saying they violate the Indus water treaty. New Delhi has been given the right to generate hydroelectricity through run-of-the-river projects on the western rivers while Pakistan has the right to raise objections to designs of Indian projects on the western rivers.
Under the IWT, Pakistan has been given control over the three western rivers – the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab while the waters of the eastern rivers – the Sutlej, Beas and Ravi – have been allocated to India.