Monday, May 29, 2017 | Last Update : 08:43 PM IST

Pakistan: Indus treaty amicable solution to water issues

THE ASIAN AGE. | SHAFQAT ALI
Published : Mar 21, 2017, 2:44 am IST
Updated : Mar 21, 2017, 6:34 am IST

The lunch was also attended by the Heads of Mission of all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in Pakistan.

Khawaja Muhammad Asif (Photo: AFP)
 Khawaja Muhammad Asif (Photo: AFP)

Islamabad: Pakistan minister for water and power Khawaja Mohammed Asif reiterated on Monday that the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) was an international agreement which provided an amicable solution to serious water issues between Pakistan and India.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Asif — who also holds the defence portfolio — said secretary-level talks on Ratle hyderoelectric plant would begin on April 12 in Washington between the two countries.

He expressed hope that things would move in a positive direction as a result of meeting between Permanent Indus Commissioners of Pakistan and India. He said outstanding problems relating to the Indus Basin would be discussed during the two-day meeting in Lahore.

Mr Asif said the meeting would discuss the design aspects of Pakal Dul, Lower Kalnai and Miyar hydroelectric plants and flood data supply by India. He said dialogue relating to Indus Waters Treaty was suspended in 2015 and are now taking place after almost a two-year break.

He said Pakistan has welcomed the readiness of India for talks at Indus Water Commissioners level. To a question, he said Pakistan was pressing for the implementation of arbitration court’s decision on Kishanganga.

Meanwhile director general of Saarc Dr Mohammad Faisal, summoned Indian deputy high commissioner J.P. Singh and condemned the “ceasefire violation by Indian forces” on March 17 on the Line of Control (LoC) in Kotli, resulting in the death of a 60-year-old woman.

“The deliberate targeting of civilians is indeed condemnable and contrary to human dignity and international human rights and humanitarian laws,” said an official statement.

The director general urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding, investigate this and other incidents of ceasefire violations, instruct Indian forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC.

Also on Sunday, special assistant to the Prime Minister on foreign affairs, Syed Tariq Fatemi, said Saudi Arabia was a “true and trusted friend” of Pakistan.

Mr Fatemi was speaking at a luncheon ceremony hosted in honour of the outgoing ambassador of Saudi Arabia Abdullah Marzouk A-Zahrani here, Mr Fatemi appreciated the contribution made by the outgoing Saudi ambassador in further strengthening the existing excellent bilateral ties between the two countries.

 He expressed the desire that the bilateral relations between the two countries would continue to grow in years to come. The lunch was also attended by the Heads of Mission of all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in Pakistan.

Tags: indus waters treaty, saarc, line of control (loc)