Talks over water between Pakistan, India kicked off in Islamabad



Islamabad, Aug. 29 (TNS): Talks between Pakistan and India commenced on Wednesday to discuss the pressing issue of water distribution and construction of two dams on the Indian side of river Chenab under the ambit of the Indus Water Treaty of 1960.

The first round of the two-day moot kicked off at National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK). The Indian delegation is led by Commissioner PK Saxena whereas interim commissioner Syed Mehar Ali Shah and his delegation are representing Pakistan. Authorities from both countries shall raise their concerns on the matter.

The focus of the discussions will include Indian hydropower projects at Lower Kalnai and Pakal Dul which will have installed capacity of 48 and 1,000 megawatts respectively. As a result of these projects, India will be able to control 108,000 acre-feet of water from river Chenab.

Both the projects constitute a violation of the Indus Water Treaty 1960. The treaty allotted the waters of three eastern rivers namely Ravi, Beas and Sutlej exclusively to India while that of Western rivers namely Indus, Chenab and Jhelum to Pakistan. However, India has some rights on Western rivers which include unrestricted rights to develop hydroelectric power within the specified parameters of the design.