Pakistan, India to brainstorm over resolution of water dispute today

Pakistan, India to brainstorm over resolution of water dispute today

Pakistan contends that the projects were violating the Indus Water Treaty of 1960, which granted control over three "eastern" rivers was given to India, namely the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej, while control over the three "western" rivers, namely the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum was given to Pakistan.

He expressed the hope that things will move in the positive direction as a result of meeting between Permanent Indus Commissioners of Pakistan and India, which began today in Islamabad. Meanwhile, the Pakistani team will be headed by Pakistani Commissioner for the Indus Water, Mirza Asad Saeed and would be assisted by the Ministry of Water and Power among other experts.

After a bilateral meeting between the Secretary Water and Power with the Indian Secretary for Water Resources, held in New Delhi in July 2016, both the disputed matters were referred for a third party resolution through the World Bank (WB).

The last meeting of the commission took place in May 2015, but a spike in political and military tensions prevented the two sides from holding the usually-annual meeting in 2016.

The 113th Indo-Pak Indus Water Commission conference will begin in Islamabad on Monday.

The agenda of the two-day talks includes discussions on the design aspects of Pakal Dul, Lower Kalnai and Miyar hydroelectric plants, flood data supply by India and the tour programme of inspection and meetings by Pakistan and India to the sites of their interest in the Indus Basin, the statement concluded.

While India has resumed talks with Pakistan on water-related issues, it has refused to resume a wide-ranging bilateral dialogue aimed at normalizing political ties and finding solutions to outstanding disputes, including Kashmir.

Though India had offered to continue discussing the matters, Pakistan could not afford delays in the resolution process as construction of the two plants was continuing. Pakistani officials said the meeting was held in cordial atmosphere. The World Bank had brokered the agreement and have a role in dispute resolution. The IWT makes it mandatory for the two countries to hold talks at least once a year. The sources, however, reiterated that there will be “no compromise” on India exploiting its due rights under the 57-year-old pact.