Pakistan asked India on Monday to give the information of the plans of hydroelectric projects being developed in Kashmir and grant access to Pakistani authorities to verify that the Indus Water Treaty is not being violated.
The demand was made on the first day of the two-day Indus Water Commission conference which started in Islamabad on Monday after a pause of nearly two years following the tensions in two-sided ties after the Uri attack.
During the Water Commission conference, officials from India and Pakistan discussed problems linking to the Indus Basin.
The 10-member Indian committee led by Indus Water Commissioner P K Saxena took a close door meeting with the Pakistani side which was headed by Indus Water commissioner Mirza Asif Saeed.
While the meeting, Pakistan highlighted concerns about the 3 Indian hydro projects being constructed on the rivers running to Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif had earlier said the meeting will discuss the plan of Pakal Dul, Lower Kalnai and Miyar hydroelectric plants and flood data supply by India.
The 1000 MW Pakal Dul is being constructed on Chenab, while 120 MW Miyar placed across Miyar Nalla which is a right bank main tributary of Chenab and the 43 MW Lower Kalnai hydro project is located on Lower Kalnai Nalla, another tributary of river Chenab.
An official said Pakistan asked India to give the details of the pictures of the three projects and also provide permission to Pakistani experts to verify that the Indus Water Treaty was not being violated.
“So far India has not provided the designs and they are also not feeling to give access to the sites of the projects,” he said.
Another officer said Pakistan also asked Indian side to give the data of floods and “they have accepted to share it with us.”
Initially, it was said that Ratle hydroelectric project will not be presented but Pakistan side that it was also discussed in the meeting.
Khawaja Asif said that Secretary-level discussions on Ratle matter will begin on April 12 in Washington.
The minister for water and power hailed the start of talks between Pakistan and India on the controversial issue of water, saying it is good for two-sided relations.
Asif said that Indus Waters Treaty is one of the world agreements which provides a friendly solution of serious water issues between Pakistan and India.
Pakistan contends that the projects were breaking the Indus Water Treaty of 1960.
Asif expressed hope that things will move in the positive way as a result of the conference between Permanent Indus Commissioners of Pakistan and India.
He said Pakistan is pressing for implementation of arbitration court’s judgment on Kishanganga.
Today’s meeting is the 113th session of the Permanent Indus Waters Commission which was established in 1960. The last meeting of the commission was held in 2015.
Another meeting planned in September 2016 was stoped due to tension following the Uri terror attack by Pakistan- based outfits.
Pakistani officials said the conference was held in the friendly atmosphere. The Indian High Commission in Islamabad has so far not announced any report about the conference.