Taking a step forward, India has announced that it will participate in the meeting of Permanent Indus Commission after Pakistan forwarded the invitation to India to resolve the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) dispute, news agency ANI reported quoting sources. The meeting is scheduled to be held in Lahore this month. The Permanent Indus Commission is a bilateral commission of officials from India and Pakistan, created to implement and manage goals of the Indus Waters Treaty. The agreement covers six rivers – the three eastern rivers of Ravi, Beas, Sutlej and their tributaries and the three western rivers of Indus, Jhelum, Chenab and their tributaries.
The current dispute revolves around the Kishenganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts) hydroelectric plants. India is building the plants on the Kishanganga and Chenab rivers, which Pakistan claims violates the treaty.
Pakistan has strongly established that it will not accept any changes to the IWT after India had said that it is ready to engage in further consultations with Islamabad on the matter of resolving current differences over the Kishenganga and Ralte projects. Islamabad accused India of buying time to complete its two disputed water projects and then insisting that since the project was already complete, it could not be modified.
Tensions heightened after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February threatened to block the flow of water into Pakistan. The World Bank had earlier asked both the countries to consider alternative ways to resolve their disagreements over the Indus Water Treaty dispute.
Last month, Pakistan accused India of not fulfilling its responsibilities under the Indus Waters Treaty as it voiced concerns over India’s construction of new dams. Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, in his written reply submitted in the National Assembly, said Pakistan has expressed concerns over construction of new dams by India along the Indus river system.
The treaty which was signed in 1960 gives India control over the three rivers of the Indus basin, the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej while Pakistan has the three western rivers, the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum.
Source: Indian Express