ISLAMABAD  - Pakistan is close to signing a memorandum of understanding with India for import of 500-MW power as the Indus water commissioner, planning commission, finance and foreign ministries have already issued a no objection certificate.

Sources in Water and Power Ministry told The Nation the Indus water commissioner had assured the authorities that water rights of Pakistan on its rivers would remain intact under the Indus Water Treaty and that India would not assert its right on Pakistani rivers, if Islamabad imported power from New Delhi.

They said following the issuance of NOC by the authorities concerned and assurance of the IWC, signing of the MoU between the two countries was very likely.

Energy experts, however, say India, after providing power to Pakistan, may go for more hydel projects on Pakistani rivers originating from Indian-held Kashmir to meet its power demands and that of Pakistan as well.

They say if Pakistan objects to it, then India may approach the International Court of Arbitration and it could probably get the nod of the ICA on the basis of this proposed power purchase and import agreement.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had advised to have all controversial and trivial issues settled with India in the first place. He had also approved a summary in this respect.

Nevertheless, prime minister’s adviser on water & power, Musaddaq Malik, has already declared the power import on Indian conditions as impracticable.

He said India would have to invest $100 million that would not be in Pakistan's favour.