New Delhi, May 30
A three-member Pakistani delegation has arrived in India for the annual meeting under the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) signed between the two nations in 1960.
The two-day meeting is scheduled to get underway on Monday.
With new Indus Commissioner of India Ashish Pal heading the Indian side, the meeting comes within three months of the last such meeting held at Islamabad. The 117th meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) was held from March 1-3 in Islamabad. The Indian team was led by P.K. Saxena, the then Indus Commissioner for India.
Asked if the issues that the World Bank will be taking up – as raised by both the parties about hydropower projects in UT of Jammu & Kashmir – will be part of the agenda for the meeting, Pal said: "Now those issues are out of the purview of Indus Commissioners. We are meeting to finalise the annual report."
The meeting will also be more of a familiarisation meeting for Pal, who took over as the new Indus Commissioner after Saxena retired on March 31 on his super annuation.
As per the provisions of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) 1960 – between India and Pakistan over sharing of the waters of the six rivers of the Indus basin – both the countries are to have Indus Commissioners and the Permanent Indus Commission is to meet at least once every year, alternatively in India and Pakistan. Of the six rivers in the Indus Basin, India has complete rights over three eastern rivers – Sutlej, Beas and Ravi, while Pakistan has rights over the western rivers – Chenab, Jhelum and Indus.