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Pakistan, India to brainstorm over resolution of water dispute today
20 March 2017, 07:48 | Patty Hardy
India wants to bypass WB in water talks
The differences over five hydroelectric projects will likely be the key areas of discussion when Indus water commissioners of India and Pakistan meet in Islamabad next week. Both India and Pakistan seem to have left it to the experts to resolve technical issues related to water-sharing.
Though India had offered to continue discussing the matters at the commission level, Pakistan could not afford delay in the resolution process as construction of the two projects was in progress. The World Bank had brokered the agreement and have a role in dispute resolution. Last meeting between the nuclear-armed neighbours took place in May 2015.
Pakistan has showed restraint and kept on making efforts for resumption of Commission level talks, despite the statements causing media specualtions over the water issues.
Although the 42MW dam would not directly affect Pakistan as it would Iran and Turkmenistan, some sections of the Pakistani media interpreted it as growing Indian influence in Afghanistan.
Pakistan had earlier welcomed the decision of the Indian government to resume the regular talks and arrival of the Indian delegation to Islamabad. He said Pakistan believes that continuation of purposeful talks with honest efforts from both sides would lead to resolution of the matters at the Commission level, in accordance with the provisions of the IWT which has been a symbol of peaceful management of Trans-boundary water resources.
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"As climate change would influence the flow of the rivers, so it can not be excluded from the treaty framework", said a senior official of Pakistan's Indus Waters Commission.
India had suspended the annual PIC talks in Sept 2016 - ostensibly in wake of Uri attack in Occupied Kashmir.
However, there was no official word for the agenda of the two-day meeting between the two countries.
"Afghanistan's authorities with the help of Indian experts have completed the feasibilities and detailed engineering of 12 hydro-power projects with capacity to generate 1,177MW of electricity to be built on the river Kabul", Pakistani newspaper The News reported. The sources, however, reiterated that there will be no compromise on India exploiting its due rights under the 57-year-old pact.
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