India, Pak to hold Permanent Indus Commission meet from Thursday
New Delhi, Mar 27 : India and Pakistan will hold a two-day meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission here from Thursday to discuss various issues under the Indus Waters Treaty, sources said today.
This will be the 114th meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC), which should meet at least once a year as per the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), they said.
India’s Indus water commissioner PK Saxena, technical experts and a representative of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will be part of the Indian delegation for the annual meeting. Pakistan’s six-member delegation will be led by Syed Muhammad Mehar Ali Shah.
The meeting will take place in the backdrop of the continuing tension between the two countries over a host of issues, including the alleged harassment of diplomats.
“The meeting will be held on March 29 and March 30,” a government source said.
According to the sources, the issues relating to India’s Ratle, Pakul Dul and Lower Kalnai hydroelectricity projects, located in Jammu and Kashmir, may come up for discussion during the meeting.
Pakistan contends that Ratle (850 MW), Pakal Dul (1000 MW) and Lower Kalnai (48 MW) projects — located in the Chenab basin — were violating the IWT, signed in 1960.
“But India is very clear that designs of the projects are in accordance with the treaty,” sources said.
The sources said that the issues concerning the 340 MW Kishanganga hydroelectric project, located on river Jhelum’s tributary in Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir, may not figure during the meeting since the project has already been commissioned.
The PIC had last met in March 2017 in Islamabad. The meeting of the PIC is held alternately in India and Pakistan every year.
The IWT covers the water distribution and sharing rights of six rivers — Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum.
The treaty specifies that waters from the three western rivers — Indus, Jhelum and Chenab — are reserved for Pakistan, while waters from eastern rivers — Ravi, Sutlej and Beas — are for reserved for India.