Indo-Pak talks on Tulbul project begin
Pakistan lodged a strong protest over the project saying it violated the 1960 Indus Water Treaty.india Updated: Jun 22, 2006 15:49 IST
Pakistani and Indian officials began two-day talks on Thursday to resolve water disputes over a barrage that India is constructing on river Jhelum in the Kashmir region.
The third round of talks on the Wullar Barrage, also known as Tulbul Navigation project, is being held under the ongoing composite dialogue process the two south Asian rival neighbours started in February 2004 to resolve their outstanding disputes.
India's Water Secretary J Hari Narayan is leading the Indian side at the talks with his Pakistani counterpart Ashfaq Mehmood to discuss the issue that surfaced in 1984 after India began constructing the barrage in its part of Kashmir.
Pakistan lodged a strong protest over the project, saying it violated the Indus Water Treaty the two countries had signed in 1960 to resolve disputes over water sharing.
The treaty allocates waters of three western rivers of Indus, Jhelum and Chenab to Pakistan while India has rights over eastern rivers of Ravi, Sutlej and Beas.
However, the treaty allows India certain uses in the upper catchments of the three western rivers in its-administered Kashmir.
"We are satisfied with the progress in talks over the Wullar Barrage but such issues take time to be resolved," Mehmood told reporters ahead of the talks.
India halted construction work in 1987 after Pakistan raised objection to its design but it has not abandoned the project.