ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India, after a long pause, are set to resume talks ongoing water disputes. The agenda of the two-day talks includes discussions on the design aspects of Pakal Dul, Lower Kalnai and Miyar hydroelectric plants, flood data supply by India, and programme of tours of inspection and meetings by Pakistan and India to the sites of their interest in the Indus basin.
Indian delegation consisting of ten members arrived in Pakistan to attend the 113th Permanent Indus Commission (PIC), comprises of India’s Indus Water Commissioner PK Saxena, MEA officials and technical experts.
The meeting is taking place after almost two years – last such meeting of took place in May 2015. The long pause occurred after Pakistan commissioner announced the failure of the talks after protracted discussions at Commission level on design aspects of Kishenganga and Ratle Hydroelectric Plants that India was constructing on Kishenganga/ Neelum River (a tributary of Jhelum River) and Chenab River in 111th meeting of PIC in Jan-Feb 2015.
Though India had offered to continue discussing the matters at the Commission level, Pakistan could not afford delays in the resolution process as the construction of the two plants were continuing. After the two days bilateral meeting between the Secretary Water and Power with the Indian Secretary for Water Resources in New Delhi on 12-13th July 2016, both matters were referred to the World Bank for third party resolution.
Pakistan has been pursuing the matter of regular meetings of the Indus Water Commission with India to bring the other remaining issues under discussion. Despite various media statements causing speculations, Pakistan showed restraint and kept on making efforts for the resumption of commission level talks.
Pakistani government appreciates the decision of the Indian government to resume the regular talks and welcomes the Indian delegation to Islamabad. Pakistan believes that continuation of purposeful talks with sincere efforts from both sides would lead to resolution of the matters at the commission level, in accordance with the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty which has been a symbol of peaceful management of Trans-boundary water resources.
Pakistan would continue its efforts for resolution of the matters according to the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty and expects that our goodwill will be reciprocated from the Indian side.