Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

India, Pakistan to hold Indus Water Commission talks

India, Pakistan to hold Indus Water Commission talks

He expressed hope that things would move in a positive direction as a result of meeting between Permanent Indus Commissioners of Pakistan and India.

The two nuclear rivals have not held the routine meeting of the Indus Water Commission as New Delhi has sought to maximize the use of water it has been entitled to under the treaty.

The demand was made on the first day of the two-day Indus Water Commission meeting which began here today after a gap of almost two years following the tensions in bilateral ties after the Uri attack.

The minister said that flood data supplied by India and tour programs of inspection, as well as meetings by Pakistan and India to the sites of interest in the Indus Basin, are also on the agenda of the talks.

Though India had offered to continue discussing the matters, Pakistan could not afford delays in the resolution process as construction of the two plants was continuing. Pakistan has been pursuing the matter of regular meetings of the Permanent Indus Commission with India to bring the other remaining issues under discussion.

The official statement appreciated India's decision to resume the regular talks and welcomed the Indian delegation to Islamabad.

It comprises the Indus Commissioners from both sides and discusses technical matters related to the implementation of the treaty.

The statement added that Pakistan would continue its efforts to resolve the matters according to the provisions of the IWT and "expects that our goodwill will be reciprocated from the Indian side". "If the 12 projects get completed, they will store 4.7 million acre-feet of water squeezing the flow in the river reaching Pakistan".

"I am happy to announce that the process of bilateral talks has been set in on the Indus Waters Treaty following efforts by Pakistan", he said.

In September last Pakistan approached the World Bank amid Indian threat to revoke the 56-year-old treaty and requested for Arbitration Article IX of the IWT. The World Bank had brokered the agreement and have a role in dispute resolution.

Modi suggested that the sharing of water resources could be conditional on Pakistan preventing militants from undertaking cross-border terrorist attacks in India and divided Kashmir.

The bilateral talks were halted in March 2015 at the time when both the countries were on table to take up issues like Kishan Ganga and Ratal power projects by India. He said dialogue relating to Indus Waters Treaty was suspended in 2015 and are now taking place after nearly a two-year break.

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