Indus water talks begin in Delhi

Indus water talks begin in Delhi
NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan began their mandatory talks over the 1960 Indus Water Treaty here on Monday. The talks began as propitious news came in of the monsoons arriving in Kerala ahead of time. Pakistan side is led by its Indus Water Commissioner Mehr Ali Shah. India is being represented by its Water Commissioner AK Pal.


The Pakistani delegation had crossed over from Wagah-Attari border on Sunday.
Speaking to WION TV, Mr Shah described the visit as a routine one. “The talks are a part of treaty obligation that we have to fulfill under the Indus Water Treaty. It is a continuous process. So, it should continue, but in a meaningful manner. In this way, we can resolve issues bilaterally. It also depends on the Indian side on how they respond.”
Pakistan has objected to upstream Indian hydel projects on rivers they share. India says its projects are in compliance with the treaty.
This is the second Pakistani delegation to visit India in the last few weeks. Earlier this month, a Pakistani delegation visited New Delhi for Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) Regi­onal Anti-Terror Structure (RATS) meeting. The two-day talks are expec­ted to see both sides talking about water sharing, advance information on flood waters and other related issues.
Earlier this year, in March, the Indian delegation had visited Islama­bad for the talks. It was led by the then Indus Water Commissioner PK Saxena. During the March talks, the Indian side underscored that all its projects were fully compliant with the provisions of the Indus Water Treaty and provided technical details in support of the position. Both sides also discussed the issue of the Fazilka drain and Pakistan assu­red that all necessary actions will continue to be taken to ensure the free flow of Fazilka drain into the river Sutlej.
Under the Indus water treaty of 1960, waters of three eastern rivers — Sutlej, Beas and Ravi — are allocated to India for unrestricted use while the waters of three western rivers — Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab — go to Pakistan. Additionally, New Delhi has the right to generate hydroelectricity through the run of the river projects on the three western rivers, subject to specific criteria for design. Pakistan can under the treaty raise objections on the design of Indian hydroelectric projects on western rivers. In the past, several issues have been resolved.