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117th India-Pakistan Permanent Indus Commission Talks Concluded in Islamabad

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By: Ayanangsha Maitra
Updated: March 4, 2022 14:38
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NEW DELHI:  The 117th round of the India-Pakistan Permanent Indus Commission concluded in Islamabad, Pakistan on Thursday. The three-day talks were held in a “cordial manner”.

“During the meeting, technical discussions were held regarding on-going projects including Pakal Dul, Kiru and Lower Kalnai. The Indian delegation emphasized all its projects are fully compliant with provisions of the Treaty and provided technical details in support of its position,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.

A 10-member delegation from India headed by the Indian Commissioner for Indus Waters, PK Saxena attended the meeting. The Pakistani side was led by Syed Muhammad Mehar Ali Shah, Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters.

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The Indian and Pakistani sides hydrological and flood data during the meeting.

Flowing from the north western foothills of the Himalayas, the Indus river travels 3,180-km and serves over 200 million people directly and indirectly.

In a release, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said India appealed to Pakistan to communicate advance flood-flow information as per the provisions of the Treaty and the practice was in vogue from 1989 until 2018.

“Pakistan reiterated its observations on the Kiru Hydroelectric project (HEP) located upstream river Chenab and India’s new run-of-the-river small HEPs on Western rivers. Response to Pakistan’s objections to Indian projects including Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai was also sought,” it added.

Speaking to The New Indian, Srinivas Chokkakula, Member of the Drafting Committee of India’s National Water Policy, said, “I don’t think it addresses any contentious issue. It is something that we should continue. Such exercises strengthen the Treaty itself. It is institutional issue that is desirable.”

As per the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960, the commission meets in India and Pakistan alternatively every year. The next commission meeting will be held in India. The two sides met in Delhi in March, 2021.

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