ISLAMABAD Punjab and Sindh on Tuesday settled their dispute on water distribution, as Punjab agreed to close Chashma-Jhelum Link Canal, the major bone of contention between the two provinces. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani appreciated sagacity of the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Sindh for amicably resolving the dispute over the water issue between the provinces. At the conclusion of the meeting between the two Chief Ministers and their teams, the Prime Minister was apprised that the reservations of Sindh regarding procedure adopted by the IRSA for water regulation as per order dated 06.07.2010 was agreed to be withdrawn by consensus and with immediate effect. As per order, Acting Chairman of Indus River System Authority, Shafqat Masud, had asked the Water and Power Development Authority to open Chashma-Jhelum Link Canal and start releasing 10,000 cusecs through the Canal despite opposition of members representing the Federal and Sindh Governments. Now with the revocation of the order dated July 6, both the IRSA meeting was called for July 14(today) to review the whole situation and regulate the water supplies keeping in view the current water availability and provincial intents of various canal system. Earlier, in the first session held under the chair of Prime Minister Gilani the teams of Punjab and Sindh could not strike some common ground regarding the water distribution and it was decided that both sides would have another session to hammer out differences on water sharing formula. Later, the Prime Minister was apprised that it was also agreed that IRSA would be requested to convene an urgent meeting on 14 July, 2010 to review the regulations keeping in view the current water availability and provincial indents of various canal system for subsequent necessary orders to regulate the water supplies. Both the Chief Ministers lauded the Prime Minister for his bipartisan approach, reconciliatory role and guidance given during the meeting earlier, which helped reaching an understanding. Earlier, in his opening remarks at the start of the talks between the two sides in the opening session, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani observed, All provinces have stake in one another and what binds us together is greater than what drives us apart. He has said that consensus adoption on the 18th Amendment, the NFC Award, Gilgit-Baltistan empowerment, fight against terrorism and successful load-management through the National Energy Conference bespeak the political maturity and sagacity of both the national and provincial leadership. Besides the Chief Ministers of Punjab and Sindh along with their teams Federal Ministers for Water and Power, and Petroleum and Natural Resources, provincial ministers, members of the provincial assemblies, federal and provincial secretaries and experts participated in the meeting. The Premier said that his Government would protect the rights of all the provinces and ensure equitable distribution as per the 1991 Water Accord. He also emphasised on the need to de-politicise the IRSA and be made more effective.