India, Pakistan agree on official visits to both sides of Indus basin
The 115th meeting of the India-Pakistan Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) was held in Lahore on August 29-30.Updated: Aug 31, 2018 22:34 IST
India and Pakistan have agreed to undertake the Indus Waters Treaty mandated tours by their commissioners in the Indus basin on both sides to resolve issues on the various hydroelectric projects, including the Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai in Jammu and Kashmir.
After the conclusion of the two-day high-level bilateral talks on the Indus Waters Treaty here, the first official engagement between India and Pakistan since Imran Khan became Prime Minister on August 18, the external affairs Ministry said deliberations were held on further strengthening the role of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) for matters under the 1960 Treaty.
As per the provisions of the treaty, technical discussions were held on implementation of various hydroelectric projects under the provisions of Indus Waters Treaty including Pakal Dul (1000 MW) and Lower Kalnai(48 MW) in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Both the countries agreed to undertake the treaty mandated tours of both the Indus commissioners in the Indus basin on both sides, the ministry said in a statement in New Delhi.
According to news reports in Pakistan, India has invited Pakistani experts to visit the sites of the Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai hydropower projects on the Chenab river next month to address Islamabad’s concerns over the construction of the projects.
During the talks India rejected Pakistan’s objections to the construction work, Dawn newspaper reported. “India has hinted at continuation of the work on both the hydropower projects,” an official said.
Earlier, both delegations reiterated their stance over the construction of the projects. The Indian Water Commission led by commissioner PK Saxena reviewed Pakistan’s objections . It also presented its point of view, the report said.
India and Pakistan signed the Indus Waters Treaty in 1960 after nine years of negotiations, with the World Bank being a signatory. The water commissioners of both the countries are required to meet twice a year and arrange technical visits to projects’ sites and critical river head works.
First Published: Aug 31, 2018 16:15 IST