India and Pakistan have resolved their differences over three projects that were pending resolution for two years, but the 45 MW Nimoo Bazgo project in Leh remained unresolved with Pakistan hinting at “further action” if India was not able to respond to its concerns. India has said that it will come back with its response in a week.
For the rest, the four-day meeting of the Permanent Indus Water Commission here was described as “positive” by the Pakistan Commissioner, while the Indian side said the talks were “cordial and friendly.” The meeting concluded on Wednesday with the finalisation of the record of the meeting.
Pakistan Indus Commissioner Jamait Ali Shah led the Pakistan delegation, while the Indian side was headed by G. Aranganathan.
Glitches were removed in three projects (240 MW Uri-II on Jhelum, 44 MW Chutak on Indus and initial filling of Baglihar dam on Chenab) that were discussed. However, on the 45 MW Nimoo Bazgo project, the Pakistan side raised objections on six counts, mainly on the pondage level and silt flushing outlet.
“The talks were positive because three project issues could be resolved. In addition, India has agreed to provide flood information data,” Mr Shah told The-Hindu before leaving for his country.
He said his side had expressed its concerns on the Nimoo Bazgo project, to which India has said that it would come back in a week. Asked if Pakistan would go in for a neutral expert on this project, as it did for Baglihar dam on the Chenab river in Doda district, he said, “How can I say till I know India's response?”
According to him, providing timely information was important. “If India provides timely information, then things will fall in place and go for resolution. And if information is not provided to us, then India will have to provide it through arbitration. India should not hesitate to provide information, [only] then can there be convergence at the level of the Commission.”
India maintained that its initial filling of the Baglihar dam in 2008 was “as per the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty.” However, it has given assurance that in future, projects concerns of both the countries would be taken into consideration.