India, Pakistan likely to talk on Indus Water Treaty

BK News Bureau/Srinagar
March 3, 2017 TOP STORIES 230 Views
India, Pakistan likely to talk on Indus Water Treaty

India and Pakistan are expected to break the ice over the Indus Water Treaty in Islamabad later this month, reports said on Thursday.
The meeting will be held nearly six months after New Delhi decided to suspend talks over cross border attacks.
Reports, while quoting an anonymous government sources, said that the meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission will be held before March 31 “as it is mandated” under the treaty.
“Under the treaty, it is required that India and Pakistan meet every financial year. If we don’t, then it is going to be a violation of the pact.
“But there are chances we will meet for a day or two in the third or fourth week of this month,” it quoted the sources as saying.
The last meeting of the commission was held in June 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that “blood and water cannot flow together” during a meeting in September to review the treaty in the backdrop of the Uri attack.
After the meeting, officials had announced that the government has decided to suspend further talks and increase the utilisation of rivers flowing through Jammu and Kashmir to fully exercise India’s rights under the pact.
The commission, which has officials from both the countries as its members, was set up under the 57-year-old treaty to discuss and resolve issues relating to its implementation.
The reports said the “major issues of dispute” (Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectricity projects in India) were already before the World Bank, these may not be discussed during the commission’s meeting.
Pakistan had approached the international bank last year, objecting to design of the two projects in Jammu and Kashmir, alleging these violated the treaty.
“However, the agenda for the meeting is yet to be finalised. Pakistan has issues with some other Indian projects too. Whatever be their concern, India is always ready to discuss the issues,” they added.
India’s Indus water commissioner and MEA officials will be part of the Indian delegation for the annual meeting, the report added.

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