Indian delegation leaves for Indus commission meeting in Islamabad

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The 10-member delegation, led by Indian Commissioner for Indus Waters Pradeep Kumar Saxena, is scheduled to hold talks with Pakistani counterparts from March 1 to 3

A delegation of Indian officials left for Pakistan via the Attari-Wagah border on Monday to take part in the 117th annual meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) to be held in Islamabad from March 1 to 3.

The 10-member delegation, led by Indian Commissioner for Indus Waters Pradeep Kumar Saxena, is scheduled to return on March 4 after talks with their Pakistani counterparts led by Syed Muhammad Mehr Ali Shah.

Under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), India and Pakistan share waters of six rivers in the Indus basin. Of these, India has complete rights over three eastern rivers — Sutlej, Beas and Ravi — while Pakistan has rights over the western rivers—Chenab, Jhelum and Indus. The PIC is a bilateral commission consisting of officials from the two countries, created to implement and manage the goals and objectives of the treaty.

What’s on agenda

According to sources, the two teams will be discussing Pakistan’s objections to the hydropower projects Pakal Dul (1,000 MW), Lower Kalnai (48 MW), and Kiru (624 MW) in Chenab basin in Jammu and Kashmir besides a few small hydroelectric projects in Ladakh.

During the last meeting of the commission, held in New Delhi in March 2021, the Pakistani delegation had sought information on design of other Indian hydropower projects being planned. The Indian side had assured their counterparts that the information will be given as and when required to be supplied under the provisions of the treaty.

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