No Decision On Indus Waters Treaty Yet; India-Pak Talks On

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 3, 2017

Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh on Thursday informed the Rajya Sabha that Pakistan is constructing six dams on the Indus river in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) with China's assistance and India has made demarches to both Islamabad and Beijing conveying it is in violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Brokered by the World Bank, the treaty gave the right to use waters of the first three rivers to India and of the other three rivers to Pakistan.

"The parties have agreed to continue discussions and reconvene in September in Washington", it added.

India and Pakistan disagree about the construction of the Kishenganga (330MW) and Ratle (850MW) hydroelectric power plants being built by India.

It noted that the talks on the technical issues of the IWT took place this week "in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation".

So the concern was raised by Pakistan over establishing these power plants.

The IWT was signed in 1960 after nine years of negotiations between India and Pakistan with the help of the World Bank, which is also a signatory.

A WB fact-sheet said that the two countries would continue talks next month. Earlier, the World Bank had assured its "continued neutrality and impartiality in helping the parties to find and amicable way forward".

The World Bank hosted the two-day secretary-level discussions between India and Pakistan on the technical issues over the Indus Waters talks, which concluded on Tuesday in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation and agreed to meet during the next round of talks which will also be held at the bank's headquarters in Washington.

In March, India and Pakistan held the annual Indus Waters Treaty talks in Lahore after a gap of two years. India asked for the appointment of a neutral expert for the same goal. But, India objected to this and WB asked the two countries to look for a way out separately. Following this, the global lender had in November 2016 initiated two simultaneous processes - for appointing neutral expert and establishment of court of arbitration to look into technical differences between the two countries in connection with the projects.

The treaty came close to being jeopardized following the cross-border terror attack on September 18 past year on an Indian Army base at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir that left 19 Indian soldiers dead.

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