Sunday, 30 April, 2017

Pakistan hold Indus Waters Commission meeting today; 5 things you should know

APBF urges govt to oppose dams India is making in IHK As the planet warms, politics of water looms increasingly large over South Asia
Howard Terry | 21 March, 2017, 00:37

Pakistan contends that the projects were violating the Indus Water Treaty of 1960, which granted control over three "eastern" rivers was given to India, namely the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej, while control over the three "western" rivers, namely the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum was given to Pakistan.

The 10-member Indian delegation led by Indus Water Commissioner P K Saxena held a close door meeting with the Pakistani side which was headed by Indus Water commissioner Mirza Asif Saeed.

The Indus Water Comm-ission, which is mandated to meet at least once every year, alternately in Pakistan and India, comprises Indus Commissioners from both sides and discusses technical matters related to the implementation of the IWT.

Some sections of the Indian media suggested that the idea of abandoning the Indus Water Treaty was to deprive Pakistan of the water from the Indus basin and put pressure on it.

The two-day meeting is taking place after nearly two years, with the last round held in May 2015.

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.

India has fast-tracked the construction of hydropower projects worth 15 billion dollars in occupied Kashmir and is disrupting water flow to Pakistan.

Mr Asif said the meeting would discuss the design aspects of Pakal Dul, Lower Kalnai and Miyar hydroelectric plants and flood data supply by India.

Moreover, Pakistan will put forward a proposal of deploying a monitoring mechanism to assess the adverse affects of climate change on the water flows of Indus rivers system during the meeting.

The two countries have been locked in military skirmishes across the Kashmir border in recent months, raising fears of another war between India and Pakistan.

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.

Initially, it was said that Ratle hydroelectric project will not be discussed but Pakistan side said that it was also discussed in the meeting. "In the past too, there had been delays in finalising agenda for the meeting, yet solutions were achieved", the official added. Asif expressed hope that things will move in the positive direction as a result of the meeting between Permanent Indus Commissioners of Pakistan and India.

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