India, Pak to discuss Indus Water Treaty from Thursday

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on March 28, 2018 Published on March 28, 2018

Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping   -  Bijoy Ghosh

Notwithstanding the mounting tensions between both the countries, India and Pakistan will once again discuss the thorny issue of water distribution and sharing rights of six Indus rivers from Thursday.

The matter will be extensively discussed during the 114th of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) that meets annually to discuss various provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).

The 113th meeting of PIC was held in Pakistan in March 2017. The meeting is held alternately in India and Pakistan every year.

While all technical aspects of the issue will be discussed, the 114th PIC will specifically deal with issues relating to India’s Ratle hydroelectricity, Pakul Dul and Lower Kalnai projects, located in Jammu and Kashmir, sources told BusinessLine.

The PIC is an established mechanism under the IWT, which was signed by the two countries in Karachi in September1960, under under the aegis of the World Bank.

The treaty mandates the PIC to establish and maintain cooperative arrangements for the implementation of the treaty and to promote cooperation between the two sides in the development of the Indus water systems. Each Commissioner is the representative of their respective government for all matters arising out of the IWT.

India will be represented by PK Saxena, Indus water Commissioner, along with technical experts and a representative of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for the annual meeting. Pakistan's six-member delegation will be led by Syed Muhammad Mehar Ali Shah.

According to the treaty, India will obtain waters from the eastern rivers – Ravi, Sutlej and Beas and water from the western rives – Indus, Jhelum and Chenab – will go to Pakistan.

The IWT had been hit by controversy in 2016 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi threatened to stop water sharing with Pakistan in the backdrop of the Uri attacks, in which several Indian soldiers were killed by terrorists allegedly from across the border.

“Water that belongs to India cannot be allowed to go to Pakistan,” Modi had stated then referring to the hitherto flow of water from Ravi, Sutlej and Beas from India to Pakistan.

Earlier this week the Minister of Transport and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari had said that the water woes of Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab can be resolved if India stops sharing water from its rivers with Pakistan.

He also stated that India will build dams to divert the water to India.

“Under the Indus Treaty, water from 3 rivers being given to Pakistan and water from three rivers are coming to us. Water from our rivers is going into Pakistan. We are making detailed project reports to stop that from happening and water will be given to Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Haryana,” Gadkari added.

Published on March 28, 2018
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