Gargi Parsai

NEW DELHI: The India- Pakistan Permanent Indus Water Commission will begin its four-day meeting here on Sunday under the shadow of Islamabad's threat to set up a court of arbitration on the Kishanganga project on Jhelum river in Jammu and Kashmir. The Commission was set up under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty.

Likely to object

Having raised the pitch on water sharing issues with India in recent weeks, Pakistan is likely to raise objections to the Uri-II, the Chutak and the Nimoo Bazgo hydel projects in the Kashmir valley.

Pakistan alleges that the projects are a violation of the water treaty between the two countries that governs their rights on six common rivers.

“For every project Pakistan raises a technical objection with the aim to turn water into a political issue,” a Ministry of External Affairs source said. India maintains there is no violation of the treaty.

The 240 MW Uri-II hydel project over Jhelum is in Baramullah, the 45 MW Nimoo Bazgo and the 44 MW Chutak hydel project are proposed for Laddakh.

While the Chutak project would be located on the river Suru, a tributary of the Indus in Kargil district, the Nimoo Bazgo project is proposed to be near Alchi village on the river Indus in Leh district.

Besides discussion on these projects, the Indus Commissioners will exchange flood data and exchange the annual reports. They will also talk about the future programmes and plan any visits that may be required to project sites on either side.