India, Pak Agree To Tours On Both Sides Of Indus basin For Power Projects

India and Pakistan have agreed to undertake the Indus Waters Treaty mandated tours by their Commissioners in the Indus basin on both sides to resolve issues on the various hydroelectric projects, including the Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai in Jammu and Kashmir.

After the conclusion of the two-day high-level bilateral talks on the Indus Waters Treaty in Lahore, the first official engagement between India and Pakistan since Imran Khan became Prime Minister on August 18, the External Affairs Ministry said deliberations were held on further strengthening the role of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) for matters under the 1960 Treaty.

About the treaty:

Signed in 1960 by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and then Pakistan President Ayub Khan, the treaty allocates 80% of water from the six-river Indus water system to Pakistan.

Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab, and Jhelum from the Indus water system that flows from India to Pakistan. The Indus river basin spans parts of 4 countries (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and China) in an area that is more than 30% arid.

Under the treaty, control over six north Indian rivers was divided between the two countries. India got control over the rivers Beas, Ravi, and Sutlej whereas Pakistan got control over Indus, Chenab, and Jhelum.

This is a unique treaty involving a third party. It was brokered by the World Bank.

A Permanent Indus Commission was set up as a bilateral commission to implement and manage the Treaty. The Commission solves disputes arising over water sharing.

The Treaty also provides an arbitration mechanism to solve disputes amicably.

The treaty sets out a mechanism for cooperation and information exchange between the two countries regarding their use of the rivers. However, there have been disagreements and differences between India and Pakistan over the treaty.

The water commissioners of Pakistan and India were required to meet twice a year and arrange technical visits to projects’ sites and critical river head works, but Pakistan had been facing a lot of problems in timely meetings and visits.

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