Pakistani delegation leaves for India to hold water talks

A five-member Pakistani delegation led by Indus Water Commissioner Syed Maher Ali Shah has left for India to hold talks on water issues between the two countries.

The delegation also comprised of director-general met office, and representatives from the irrigation department, foreign office and NESPAK left for New Delhi via Wagah border.

“We will hold talks over water issues for two days from tomorrow in New Delhi,” he said and added the last meeting was held in Islamabad.

The commissioner said that they will hold talks with India on sharing flood data besides also raising objections on three water reservoir projects at the River Chenab.

“India has assured that it will submit a report on the construction of the reservoirs to address Pakistan’s concerns,” he said.

Syed Maher Ali Shah said that their visit was aimed at attending the session and further review of the Indian projects will be planned later.

It is pertinent to mention here that the 116th meeting of the India-Pakistan Permanent Indus Commission was held in New Delhi on 23-24 March 2021.

The Foreign Office in a statement said that under the relevant provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), the meeting held annually alternately in Pakistan and India.

Host of issues related to the IWT were discussed during the meeting. The Pakistan side reiterated its objections to Indian water projects including Pakal Dul, Lower Kulnai, Durbuk Shyok and Nimu Chilling, read the statement.

Pakistan asked India to share data of water flows as per the provisions of the IWT following the practice in vogue since 1989. The Pakistan side emphasized the importance of early resolution of the outstanding issues in accordance with the provisions of the IWT.

Both sides agreed to make endeavours to resolve the issues, conduct tours of inspection and hold the next meeting of the commission in Pakistan at an early date.

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