Pakistani delegation leaves for India for Indus water talks
“India has assured that it will submit a report on the construction of the reservoirs to address Pakistan’s concerns
ISLAMABAD: A five-member Pakistani delegation, led by Indus Water Commissioner Mehr Ali Shah, left for India via Wagah Border on Sunday to discuss issues pertaining to sharing of water resources under the Indus Water Agreement. Speaking before his departure, Mehr Ali Shah said the two-day talks would begin in New Delhi on Monday, which would focus on issues of sharing flood data in the upcoming monsoon season.
In addition, deliberations and aftermath strategy to be formulated while assessing the forecast information regarding floods in rivers coming from India are also the part of meeting’s agenda.
Indus Water Commissioner also apprised that Pakistan would raise objections before Indian authorities over New Delhi’s attempt to construct three mega hydel projects on River Chenab. “India has assured that it will submit a report on the construction of the reservoirs to address Pakistan’s concerns,” he said. Shah said their visit was aimed at attending the session and further review of the Indian projects will be planned later. It is pertinent to mention here the 116th meeting of the India-Pakistan Permanent Indus Commission was held in New Delhi on 23-24 March 2021.
The Foreign Office in a statement said that under the relevant provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), the meeting is held annually alternately in Pakistan and India.
A host of issues related to the IWT were discussed during the meeting. Pakistan reiterated its objections to Indian water projects including Pakal Dul, Lower Kulnai, Durbuk Shyok and Nimu Chilling, read the statement. Pakistan asked India to share data on water flows as per the provisions of the IWT following the practice in vogue since 1989. The Pakistan side emphasized the importance of early resolution of the outstanding issues in accordance with the provisions of the IWT.
Both sides agreed to make endeavours to resolve the issues, conduct tours of inspection and hold the next meeting of the commission in Pakistan at an early date.