PaK-India dialogues on water disputes ends without any agreement

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India dialogues on longstanding water disputes in Washington has ended without any agreement to resolve the issue.

The talks were held by the World Bank in Washington “on the technical issues of the Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric power plants within the framework of the Indus Waters Treaty”.

“While an agreement has not been reached at the conclusion of the meetings, the World Bank will continue to work with both countries to resolve the issues in an amicable manner and in line with the Treaty provisions,” the press release stated.

The Pakistani delegation was headed by Secretary Water Resources Division Arif Ahmed Khan and included Secretary Water and Power Yousaf Naseem Khokhar, Indus Water High Commissioner to Pakistan Mirza Asif Baig and Joint Secretary Water Syed Mehar Ali Shah, according to Geo News.

According to sources, Pakistan was to reiterate its reservations under the Indus Waters Treaty over the design change in the 330 MW Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant being constructed at River Neelum by India, as well the design of the 850 MW Ratli Hydroelectric Plant being constructed on River Chenab.

The Pakistani side was to also raise the objection that the design of these projects being constructed on Pakistan’s share of the rivers will obstruct water flow in the country’s rivers.

India has also begun electricity projects including the 1,000 MW Pakal Dul, 120 MW Miyar and 48 MW Lower Kalnai projects on River Chenab’s tributaries. Pakistan planned to raise its reservations over these projects too.

The last secretary-level talks between the two countries were held in the last week of July in Washington.

Pakistan and India share the waters of Indus River Basin which has been a major source of contention between the two states since independence.

In order to resolve the disputes, both countries signed the treaty in 1960 with the help of World Bank which has survived over five decades of hostilities between the two states.