Indus treaty talks to begin tomorrow
01, Aug 2018
Prelims level : Mains level : Mains: Paper - II Important International institution.
Why in news?
Officials of India and Pakistan will meet in Lahore to continue ongoing dialogue on the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), having held the last round in March this year.
- The 115th meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC), led by the Indus Commissioners on both side and comprising technical experts.
- This will be the first round of official dialogue on the subject since the Imran Khan government took over this month.
- The two-day talks are expected to focus on Indian hydropower projects at Lower Kalnai (48 MW) and Pakal Dul (1000 MW) under construction in Jammu and Kashmir in Chenab basin.
- While Pakistan objects to the construction and calls the designs violative of the treaty, India dismisses the objection as baseless.
- The two sides may also discuss data sharing, flood information and administrative matters.
- In the March meeting, according to sources, Pakistan had requested India to allow tours to the Indus Basin, including to Kishenganga and Ratle hydro projects. The request has been pending since 2014 and as per norms under the PIC, the tour has to take place within five years of request.
Indus River Treaty:
- The 1960 Indus Waters Treaty, brokered by the World Bank and signed by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and former Pakistan President Ayub Khan, administers how the waters of the Indus River and its tributaries that flow in both the countries will be utilised.
- 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.
- The meeting of the PIC is held alternately in India and Pakistan at least once every year as mandated by the treaty.