Says restart of dialogues between Pakistan and India over the Indus Water Treaty is in benefit of both countries and whole region
Says Neelum Jhelum Power Project will become functional in March next year
Pakistan, India water talks resumes in Islamabad
ISLAMABAD, Mar 20 (SABAH): Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif has expressed the hope that things will move in the positive direction as a result of meeting between Permanent Indus Commissioners of Pakistan and India. He said the restart of dialogues between Pakistan and India over the Indus Water Treaty is in interest of both countries and whole region. He said Pakistani interests will be protected while remaining under the framework provided in Indus Water Treaty.
Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Monday, he said outstanding problems relating to Indus Basin will be discussed during the two day meeting. He said that dialogues have been restarted between Pakistan and India in the result of the efforts of Pakistani government after two years.
Khawaja Asif said the meeting will discuss the design aspects of Pakal Dul, Lower Kalnai and Miyar hydroelectric plants, flood data supply by India. He said programme of tours of inspection and future meetings by Pakistan and India to the sites of their interest in the Indus basin.
He said Pakistani delegation is being headed by Water Commissioner Mirza Asif Saeed while India’s Indus Water Commissioner P K Saxena is leading the Indian delegation at the two days meeting.
He said dialogue relating to Indus Waters Treaty was suspended in 2015 and now taking place almost after two years break.
He said Pakistan has welcomed the readiness of India for talks at Indus Water Commissioners level. He said it is Pakistan’s consistent stand that the Indus Waters Treaty is one of world agreements which provides amicable solution of serious water issues between the two countries.
He said Secretary level talks on Ratle hyderoelectric plant will begin on 12th of next month in Washington. To a question, he said Pakistan is pressing for implementation of arbitration court’s decision on Kishanganga. He said Pakistan has successfully protected its interests regarding Kishanganga power project by following the Indus Water treaty. He said secretary level dialogues between Pakistan and India over the Ratla power project will be held in Washington on 11th, 12th and 13th April this year.
Khawaja Asif said the Neelum Jhelum Power Project will become functional in March next year.
Meanwhile the two-day long 113th meeting of Permanent Indus Commission between Pakistan and India began in Islamabad on Monday.
Water Commissioner Mirza Asif Saeed is heading the Pakistani delegation while India’s Indus Water Commissioner P K Saxena is leading the Indian delegation.
The agenda of the talks includes discussions on the design aspects of Pakal Dul, Lower Kalnai and Miyar hydroelectric plants, flood data supply by India and programme of tours of inspection and meetings by Pakistan and India to the sites of their interest in the Indus basin.
The meeting is taking place after almost two years break. Earlier, these talks were held in May 2015.
Despite various media statements causing speculations, Pakistan showed restraint and kept on making efforts for resumption of Commission level talks.