NEW DEHLI: India has accepted Pakistani invitation to attend the meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) to be held in Lahore later this month.

The news came forth soon after the visit of World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva to Delhi, where she met with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, weeks after her visit in January to Islamabad, where she met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The World Bank’s efforts to mediate between Pakistan and India on the Indus Waters Treaty have started to bear fruits as the development ‘signals a major shift in its (India’s) position on talks with Pakistan on the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT)’.

This development occurred after two months of diplomatic negotiations, with World Bank officials playing mediator in encouraging Pakistan to extend the invitation and for India to accept.

The previous PIC talks were held in July 2016. The acceptance of Pakistani invitation came as a “positive” sign, given that India had announced it was “suspending” the talks after the Uri attacks in September.

According to senior Indian government officials at the time, the decision to suspend the talks had been taken when Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with key officials, including National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, to “review” the IWT.