Pakistan sends top diplomat to India to discuss water conflict


Acting Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters (PCIW) Mehar Ali Shah flew off to India on Wednesday to hold talks with his Indian counterpart about the issue of water conflict between the two neighbouring countries. The talks will be held from March 29-30.

Before his departure, Shah told reporters that issues related to water conflict between the two countries would be discussed during the meeting, including the Kishanhganga dam project initiated by India.

He also said that there was a possibility that a strategy would be formulated for the early resolution of all water-related conflicts between Pakistan and India.

Earlier this week, a statement by Indian Union Minister for Transport and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari raised tensions between the two countries when he said that India was planning to dam three Uttarkhand rivers to restrict water flow to Pakistan.

Last year in December, India had pushed forward its controversial decision to initiate work on a dam project to store water from a disputed water source in Kathua district of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). Pakistan opposed the project and said that it was a clear example of “water terrorism”.

Disregarding the Indus Waters Treaty altogether, the Central Water Commission of India had completed a detailed report on the Ujh project. Once completed, the dam could store around 0.65 million-acre feet of water from Ujh to provide irrigation water for 30,000 hectares and to produce around 200 megawatts of electricity.