Indus Water Talks To Resume Between Pakistan And India

Pakistan and India resume their Indus water talks on Monday during the warning of the immediate scarcity of water in the region arouse by the callous abuse and climate change.

The overall background of depleting water resources and melting of glaciers might add urgency to the two-day talks and headed by Syed Muhammad Mehr Ali Shah commissioner for Indus waters arrived on Sunday to resume the talks.

According to the sources, an improved atmosphere was expected for the intense and sensitive conversation which is always involved in the water-sharing dialogue.

The last meeting was held in Islamabad in March by the two sides, in which Pakistan raised its objections to Indian hydel projects as both the countries were scorched by the white heat. Interdicted water flow and floods are two types of problems both man-made and natural.

Pakistan’s chief delegation Mehr Ali Shah stated that there will be discussions on the flood forecast data sharing and during the negotiations, the Pakistan Commission for Indus Waters (PCIW) annual report would also be discussed.

Pakistan had shared its reservations in previous talks over the freeboard of the Pakal Dul project and spillway and early may desire a visit to the site, but the suggestion was rejected by India, due to which delegation from Pakistan will not be visiting the site.

Commissioner for Indus waters of Pakistan Mehr Ali Shah stated that the delegation of Pakistan will not be visiting the Lower Kalnaj and Pakal Dul dams which are under construction, but this matter and other issues will be taken up with the Indian counterpart. 

Mehr Ali Shah also stated that the implementation of the Indus Waters Treaty has been always insisted on by Pakistan which always raised its voice on Indian behavior in a timely manner.

Debate on this matter might be made part of the annual report and PCIW minutes.

Sherry Rehman, heading the climate change task force set up by the PM Shebaz Sharif, this week cautioned that Pakistan is among the most water-stressed three countries in the world and by 2025 might become a scarcity hit country if proper steps are not taken for conservation of water and to reduce the climate change impact.

Hardliners from India have regularly advised the diversion of river waters flowing into Pakistan, which would be an act of war according to the analysts.

Both Pakistan and India had agreed in March and reiterated their commitment to implementing the Indus Waters Treaty in its true spirit.

According to the mandate of the treaty, Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) would maintain the cooperative arrangements for implementing the agreement and improve the cooperation between the two countries for the development of water systems. As per the treaty, the mandate PIC has to meet at least once a year alternately in Pakistan and India.

The Indus Waters Treaty is the foundation of the proper sharing of waters of the Indus river and its branches between Pakistan and India. The government of India remains committed to addressing all the matters within this treaty’s scope bilaterally with Pakistan through proper mechanism according to the IWT.