Indus treaty talks to begin tomorrow

India, Pakistan will hold two-day discussions

India and Pakistan will resume their talks on various aspects of the Indus Waters Treaty in Lahore on Wednesday, the first bilateral engagement since Imran Khan took office as Prime Minister.

India’s Indus Water Commissioner P.K. Saxena was expected to reach here on Monday for the discussions with his Pakistani counterpart, Syed Mehr Ali Shah, on August 29 and 30, said the Pakistani daily Dawn , quoting a government official.

The last meeting of the Pakistan-India Permanent Indus Commission was held in New Delhi in March, during which both sides had shared details of the water flow and the quantum of water being used under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty.

Pak.’s objections

The Pakistani side will reiterate its objections over two water-storage and hydroelectric projects being built by India during the talks.

The official said Pakistan would raise its concerns over the 1000-MW Pakal Dul and the 48-MW Lower Kalnai hydroelectric projects on the Chenab river.

The session is also expected to discuss ways and means for the timely and smooth sharing of hydrological data on shared rivers.

The official said the two sides would finalise the schedule of future meetings of the Permanent Indus Commission and visits of the teams of the Indus commissioners.

He said the water commissioners of Pakistan and India were required to meet twice a year and arrange technical visits to project sites and critical river head works, but Pakistan had been facing a lot of problems in timely meetings and visits. The 1960 Indus Waters Treaty, brokered by the World Bank and signed by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and former Pakistan President Ayub Khan, administers how the waters of the Indus River and its tributaries that flow in both the countries will be utilised.

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