India-Pakistan Hold Talks on Water Sharing After Over 2 Years
India and Pakistan return to the dialogue table with the annual meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC).
India and Pakistan return to the dialogue table with the annual meeting of Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) scheduled to begin in New Delhi on Tuesday, 23 March.
The two-day meet is being held after a gap of more than two and a half year – following the Pulwama attack in February 2019 and the subsequent Balakot air strike.
Commissioner (Indus) Pradeep Kumar Saxena will lead the Indian delegation, while the Pakistani side will be led by Syed Muhammad Meher Ali Shah, the country’s Commissioner for Indus Waters.
“We are committed towards full utilisation of India’s rights under the treaty and believe in amicable solution of issues through discussion,” Saxena told The Indian Express last week.
The meet also comes less than a month after India and Pakistan agreed to “strict observance of all agreements, understanding and ceasefire along the Line of Control and all other sectors.”
What’s the Indus Waters Treaty?
As per the the Indus Waters Treaty, all the water from the eastern rivers – Sutlej, Beas, and the Ravi – amounting to around 33 million acre feet (MAF) annually – is for India to use.
Water from western rivers (Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab), amounting to around 135 MAF annually, largely goes to Pakistan.
Under the treaty, India has the right to generate hydroelectricity through a run of the river projects while Pakistan the right to raise concerns on the design of the former’s hydroelectric projects on western rivers.
‘Important For Delhi-Islamabad To Work Together’: Pak Envoy
Meanwhile, on the sidelines of another event, Pakistan High Commission charge d'affaires Aftab Hasan Khan said it was important that New Delhi and Islamabad work towards eliminating poverty and illiteracy, .
“Pakistan wants to have good relations with its neighbours. It’s important that instead of war, we work towards eliminating poverty and illiteracy. It would only be possible if there is peace. For peace to prevail, issues must be resolved through dialogue.”Aftab Hasan Khan
The envoy’s remarks came after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced that they will be attending the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference in Tajikistan capital Dushanbe later in March.
(With inputs from The Indian Express.)
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