Indus Water Commission talks to start in Islamabad today

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Indus Water Commission talks to start in Islamabad today

As per the fourth point of agenda of the 113th meeting of Permanent Indus Waters Commission, Pakistan has communicated to India that discussion would be held on the monitoring of the parameters relevant to the climate change for the Indus system's rivers.

He said Pakistan has welcomed the readiness of India for talks at Indus Water Commissioners level.

The 1000 MW Pakal Dul is being built on Chenab, while 120 MW Miyar located across Miyar Nalla which is a right bank main tributary of Chenab and the 43 MW Lower Kalnai hydro project is located on Lower Kalnai Nalla, another tributary of river Chenab.

The two countries have been locked in military skirmishes across the Kashmir border in recent months, raising fears of another war between India and Pakistan.

After a two-day meeting between the secretary water and power and the Indian secretary for water resources in New Delhi on July previous year, the two disputed matters have been referred for third party resolution through the World Bank.

Despite various media statements causing speculations, Pakistan showed restraint and kept making efforts to resume commission level talks. He said Pakistan believes that continuation of purposeful talks with honest efforts from both sides would lead to resolution of the matters at the Commission level, in accordance with the provisions of the IWT which has been a symbol of peaceful management of Trans-boundary water resources.

The statement added that Pakistan would continue its efforts to resolve the matters according to the provisions of the IWT and "expects that our goodwill will be reciprocated from the Indian side".

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Monday Asif said that Pakistan has successfully defended its rights under the Indus Water Treaty. Under the treaty, the World Bank has an important role in establishment of the Court of Arbitration.

On the other hand, India complains Pakistan benefits hugely from a greater volume of water under the agreement.

Pakistan has raised objection to the building of the Kishanganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts) hydroelectric plants by India, saying that it violates the provisions of the treaty. Indian and Pakistan have been at loggerheads about the Indus Water treaty, both countries wanting more out of the deal. The IWT makes it mandatory for the two countries to hold talks at least once a year.

The two-day meeting between the countries is taking place after a gap of two years.

The Indian delegation is led by India's Indus Water Commissioner PK Saxena, and officials of the Ministry of External Affairs and technical experts.

Another meeting planned in September 2016 was cancelled due to tension following the Uri terror attack by Pakistan- based outfits. "We always go into such meetings with optimistic mindset".

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