Indian delegation meets Pakistan officials for Indus Commission

APBF urges govt to oppose dams India is making in IHK

As the planet warms, politics of water looms increasingly large over South Asia

Under the Indus Water Treaty, India has exclusive rights to three Indus basin rivers, including the Ravi, which has virtually disappeared on the Pakistani side. Pakistan had raised objections over the designs of three projects on Chenab it considered being built by India in violation of the 1960 IWT.

The agenda of this year's meeting includes deliberations on Pakal Dul, Lower Kalnai and Miyar hydroelectric plants designs, flood data supply by India and programme of tours of inspection and meetings by Pakistan and India to the sites of their interest in the Indus basin.

They are 1000 MW Pakul Dul on Chenab, 120 MW Miyar, located across Miyar Nalla which is a right bank main tributary of River Chenab, and the 43 MW Lower Kalnai hydro project on Lower Kalnai Nalla, a tributary of river Chenab.

"As climate change would influence the flow of the rivers, so it can not be excluded from the treaty framework", said a senior official of Pakistan's Indus Waters Commission.

The speakers at National Farmers Conference, attended by 18 farmer associations including Pakistan Water Movement and United Farmers Front, said that they wouldn't let Pakistan become a desert in result of India's water terrorism.

The Indian High Commission officials were greeted by senior Pakistani officials at Wagah border.

The minister added, however, that Pakistan has successfully defended its stand as per the IWT and, "Pakistan's position on the Ratle project is very strong".

He said that Secretary level talks on Ratle hyderoelectric project will begin on 12th of next month in Washington between the two countries.

Pakistan last September requested World Bank mediate in the matter but the organization later backed out, forcing Pakistan and India to resume direct negotiations.

The Pakistan side will be headed by Indus Water Commissioner Mirza Asif Saeed and he will be assisted by officials of Ministry of Water and Power and other experts.

"Furthermore, Paragraph 29 of Annexure G of Indus Waters Treaty mentions the global conventions and customary worldwide law".

He said Pakistan has welcomed the readiness of India for talks at Indus Water Commissioners level.

Prior to the meeting, Pakistan's Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif expressed the hope that both countries would respect the sanctity of the Indus Water Treaty.

However, the agenda for the meeting, taking place almost six months after India made a decision to suspend talks on the pact in the wake of the Uri terror attack by Pakistan-based outfits, is yet to be finalised.

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