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India has kept its Indus Waters Treaty commitments

Permanent Indus Commission’s 114th Meeting between India and Pakistan was held on March 29 and 30, 2018 in New Delhi to discuss Indus Water Treaty (IWT) dispute and resolution of outstanding issues. India’s Indus water commissioner PK Saxena and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) officials were part of Indian delegation and Pakistan’s six-member delegation was led by Syed Muhammad Mehar Ali Shah for this annual meeting, to hold technical deliberations on various issues related to Indus River.

Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), a water-distribution treaty between India and Pakistan, brokered by the World Bank, was signed on September 19, 1960 in Karachi by the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and President of Pakistan Ayub Khan.

  • As per the treaty, Waters of three western rivers: Jhelum, Chenab, and Indus itself, were allocated to Pakistan, and those of the three eastern rivers: Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej were allocated to India.
  • Treaty provides arbitration mechanism to solve disputes amicably.
  • Treaty mandates that India and Pakistan meet every financial year.
  • Treaty did not include China although Indus originates from Tibet.

Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) is a bilateral commission of officials from India-Pakistan, created to implement and manage goals of Indus Waters Treaty. The Indus Commission is the first step for conflict resolution. If an agreement cannot be reached at the Commission level, the dispute is to be referred to the two governments. If the governments too fail to reach an agreement, the Treaty provides an arbitration mechanism. The meeting of the PIC is held alternately in India and Pakistan every year. The last PIC meeting was held in Islamabad in March 2017,

India after terrorist attacks in Uri had announcement that it would reconsider its position on the 1960 treaty with Pakistan. Union Minister for Transport and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari while addressing the concluding session of Agri Leadership Summit-2018 in Rohtak, on March 27, 2018 has said that three dams will be constructed in Uttarakhand to stop the unutilised waters of India’s three rivers, mentioned in Indus Water Treaty, from flowing to Pakistan. “Water from our (share of) rivers was going into Pakistan. We are making detailed project reports to stop that from happening and water will be given to Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Haryana,”

Pakistan has been raising concerns over India’s Pakal Dul-100MW, Ratle-850 MW and Lower Kalnai-48 MW projects located in Chenab basin, contending that these violate IWT, signed in 1960; whereas India has maintained the designs of these projects are very much in accordance with the treaty.

Indian government has been exploring ways to utilise its share of the Indus waters more efficiently and to the maximum permissible. However, till date India has kept its treaty commitments.

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