Islamabad: The schedule of talks between Indus Water Commissions of Pakistan and India was changed Monday as the Indian delegation, led by P.K. Saxena, will reach Lahore through Wagah border on Tuesday (today).
The delegation will meet Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Water Syed Mehr Ali Shah and was earlier scheduled to arrive on Monday. During the meeting, Pakistan will reiterate its serious objections over construction of 1000-MW Pakal Dul and 48-MW Lower Kalnai hydroelectric projects by India on two different tributaries of River Chenab, officials said.
The nine-member delegation will be led by Indian Commissioner P.K. Saxena and caretaker commissioner Syed Mehar Ali Shah and his delegation will represent Pakistan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on several occasions, has vehemently announced to scrap Indus Waters Treaty, an agreement signed between Pakistan and India in 1960.
According to this agreement, control over the three eastern rivers was given to India, while control over the three western rivers was given to Pakistan.
The earlier venue for the two-day huddle was Lahore, which was later changed to Islamabad. In 2012, Pakistan objected over Pakal Dul’s design for violating the Sindh Taas Agreement.
On the occasion, Pakistani officials demanded that the freeboard height should be reduced from seven-feet to two-feet and that the installation of the seal way gates should be done with an additional 40 metres in order to bring it to 1620 metres and align it with sea level.
Despite Pakistan repeatedly dissenting the storage of water in the dam and the provision of data in regards to its operation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the projects in May.
Following this development, a statement issued by the Foreign Office said that despite several rounds of bilateral negotiations as well as mediation under the auspices of the World Bank, India continued with the construction of the project.
Both the projects constitute a violation of the Indus Water Treaty 1960. The treaty allotted the waters of three eastern rivers namely Ravi, Beas and Sutlej exclusively to India while that of Western rivers namely Indus, Chenab and Jhelum to Pakistan.
However, India has some rights on Western rivers which include unrestricted rights to develop hydroelectric power within the specified parameters.of the design. Permanent Indus Commission, formed under the treaty signed between India and Pakistan in 1960 comprises of Indus commissioners for both the countries. The treaty provides for both the commissioners to meet at least once every year, alternately in Pakistan and India.