Wednesday Sep 13, 2017
ISLAMABAD: The delegations of Pakistan and India will meet in the United States to hold talks on the long-standing water dispute between the two countries.
The Pakistani delegation, headed by Secretary Water Resources Division Arif Ahmed Khan, has left for the talks, which are to be held on September 14 and 15 under the supervision of the World Bank.
According to sources, Pakistan will reiterate its reservations under the Indus Waters Treaty over the design change in the 330 MW Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant being constructed at River Neelum by India, as well the design of the 850 MW Ratli Hydroelectric Plant being constructed on River Chenab.
The Pakistani side will raise the objection that the design of these projects being constructed on Pakistan’s share of the rivers will obstruct water flow in the country’s rivers.
India has also begun electricity projects including the 1,000 MW Pakal Dul, 120 MW Miyar and 48 MW Lower Kalnai projects on River Chenab’s tributaries. Pakistan will raise its reservations over these projects too.
The Pakistani delegation also includes Secretary Water and Power Yousaf Naseem Khokhar, Indus Water High Commissioner to Pakistan Mirza Asif Baig and Joint Secretary Water Syed Mehar Ali Shah.
The last secretary-level talks between the two countries were held in the last week of July in Washington.
Pakistan and India share the waters of Indus River Basin which has been a major source of contention between the two states since independence.
In order to resolve the disputes, both countries signed the treaty in 1960 with the help of World Bank which has survived over five decades of hostilities between the two states.