Agenda not finalised but India won’t ‘compromise’ on treaty.
New Delhi: A 10-member Indian delegation arrived in Pakistan on Sunday to take part in a meeting of Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) beginning in Islamabad on Monday. The delegation comprises India’s Indus Water Commissioner P.K. Saxena, MEA officials and technical experts.
Speaking to news agency PTI, a government source said India is “always open” to discuss and resolve concerns Pakistan have over its projects under Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) bilaterally.
The source, however, reiterated that there will be “no compromise” on India exploiting its due rights under the 57-year-old pact. However, the agenda for the meeting, taking place nearly six months after India — according to some reports then — had decided to suspend talks on the pact in the wake of the Uri terror attack by Pakistan-based outfits, is yet to be finalised.
Asked whether the delay in reaching consensus over agenda for the meeting will leave little time to resolve issues, the source replied in negative.
“We always go into such meetings with optimistic mindset. In the past too, there had been delays in finalising agenda for the meeting, yet solutions were achieved,” the source added.
To drive the point, the source recalled how Pakistan’s concern over India’s Uri-II hydroelectric project were resolved seven years ago through discussions. Pakistan had raised objections over designs of 240MW Uri-II project in J&K, saying these will deprive it of its water share under the pact.
However, at a meeting in May 2010, the neighbouring country withdrew objections after Indian side provided details of these. Similarly, Pakistan has been flagging concern over designs of India’s five other hydroelectricity projects — Pakal Dul (1000 MW), Ratle (850 MW), Kishanganga (330 MW), Miyar (120 MW) and Lower Kalnai (48MW) — being built/planned in the Indus river basin, contending these violate the treaty. It approached the World Bank in 2016, raising issues over Kishanganga and Ratle projects in J&K.