Permanent Indus Commission meet begins in Delhi

The last such meeting was held in Islamabad in March 2017, a significant move at the time as it came after the “surgical strikes” by India across LoC.

March 28, 2018 09:56 pm | Updated March 29, 2018 04:21 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Kishen Ganga hydro power project. File

Kishen Ganga hydro power project. File

India and Pakistan went ahead with talks on the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) on Thursday despite an upsurge in tensions over LoC crossfire and allegations of harassment of diplomats in Delhi and Islamabad.

On Wednesday, sources in the Ministry of External Affairs sources said, “According to the treaty provisions, the 114th meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) will take place in India on March 29-30, 2018 in New Delhi to hold technical deliberations on various issues.”

India’s Indus water commissioner P.K. Saxena, technical experts and a representative of the Ministry of External Affairs are meeting a six-member delegation from Pakistan, led by Syed Muhammad Mehar Ali Shah.

The last PIC meeting was held in Islamabad in March 2017, a significant move at the time as it came after the “surgical strikes” by India across the Line of Control, and the government’s announcement that it would reconsider its position on the 1960 treaty with Pakistan after terrorist attacks in Uri. While the government kept its treaty commitments to meet, it has been exploring ways to utilise its share of the Indus waters more efficiently and to the maximum permissible.

Ahead of the Thursday meeting, Minister for Water resources Nitin Gadkari announced that three dams would be built in Uttarakhand to further that effort. “Water from our [share of] rivers was going into Pakistan. We are making detailed project reports to stop that from happening and water will be given to Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Haryana,” Gadkari said in Rohtak.

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