International

Kishenganga off the menu in Indus talks

India’s milestone: A file photo of the headrace tunnel of the Kishenganga hydel project at Bandipora.  

 

India and Pakistan began discussions on the Indus Water Commission on Monday after 22 months amid optimism that the meeting may lead to resumption of the composite dialogue between the neighbours.

After the first day of talks, officials on both sides said the meeting was held in a cordial manner, and they had frank discussions. P.P. Saxena, Indus Water Commissioner of India, is leading a 10-member delegation in talks with his Pakistani counterpart, Mirza Asif Baig.

Sanctity of treaty

Prior to the meeting, Pakistan’s Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif expressed the hope that both countries would respect the sanctity of the Indus Water Treaty.

 

Because of the Pakistani position, Kishenganga and Ratle were not discussed in the latest round of talks. But the designs of the Pakal Dul, Lower Kalnai and Miyar hydroelectric plants were taken up.

The talks will conclude in Islamabad on Tuesday, though the earlier plan was to do so in Lahore.

The talks were suspended in May 2015 after the Pakistani Commissioner objected to the designs of the Kishenganga and the Ratle hydropower projects of India.

Last year, the secretaries of power of both countries agreed to third-party resolution through the World Bank. But the World Bank announced late last year that Pakistan and India should hold bilateral talks.

Following the World Bank’s reluctance to pass an order, both sides would meet in Washington in April on the Ratle project.


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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 10:54:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/kishenganga-off-the-menu-in-indus-talks/article17547656.ece

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