Pakistan: Indus Water Treaty: Indian and Pakistani officials hold talks

Officials from India and Pakistan discussed a wide range of water-related issues during a meeting as part of the Permanent Commission on Indus Waters (PCIW), the Foreign Office said on Tuesday.

A six-member delegation led by Pakistan’s Commissioner for Indus Waters Syed Muhammad Mehar Ali Shah attended the 118th meeting of the Pakistan-India Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) in New Delhi on May 30-31, sources said.

The Indian delegation was led by the Indian Commissioner for Indus Waters, AK Pal.

A wide range of water-related issues between Pakistan and India were discussed, including the early sharing of flood information, the program of visits/inspections and the signing of the Indus Permanent Commission report for the year ending March 31, 2022, The Foreign Das shared Office in a communication with.

“Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to implement the Indus Water Treaty in its true spirit,” it said.

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It said Pakistan had also highlighted its objections to India’s hydropower projects on the western rivers and sought an answer to its objections to Indian projects, including 1,000MW Pakal Dul.

The Indian side has also been requested to provide advance information on floods in accordance with the terms of the treaty.

“The Indian side assured to arrange surveys/inspections after the upcoming flood season. The Indian side also assured that the pending objections from Pakistan would be discussed at the next meeting as the Indian side is still in the process of considering the details,” the statement said.

Both sides also expressed hope that the next meeting of the commission will be held in Pakistan soon.

India and Pakistan signed the treaty in 1960 after nine years of negotiations, with the Washington-based World Bank as a signatory.

The treaty establishes a mechanism for cooperation and information sharing between the two countries regarding the use of the rivers. However, there were disagreements and differences between India and Pakistan over the treaty.

Under the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), India is allotted all the water of the eastern rivers – Sutlej, Beas and Ravi – totaling around 33 million acres (MAF) annually, for unrestricted use. The water of the western rivers – Indus, Jhelum and Chenab – amounting to about 135 MAF annually has mostly been allocated to Pakistan.

India is allowed to construct the run-of-river power plants on western rivers with limited storage according to the criteria set out in the treaty.

In accordance with the provisions of Article VIII, paragraph 5, of the Indus Waters Treaty, the Indus Permanent Commission is required to meet regularly at least once a year in India and Pakistan alternately.

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