‘Secretary-level talks between India, Pak on IWT delayed’

Secretary level talks between India Pak on IWT delayedISLAMABAD: The secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan on the Indus Water Treaty relating to two controversial hydropower projects have been postponed until the end of this month, a Pakistani media report today said.

The talks were scheduled for April 11-13 but have been delayed until the end of April, The Nation reported quoting sources, but didn’t cite any reason for the postponement.

Pakistan’s Minister for Power and Water Khawaja Asif last month had said the two sides would meet in Washington on April 11-13 to resolve the issues related to Kishanganga (330MWs) and Ratle (850 MWs) projects India is constructing in Jammu and Kashmir.

However, Indus Water Treaty Commissioner Asif Baig told the newspaper that April 11-13 were not the scheduled dates for the meeting as these dates were only a proposal.

He said the World Bank with the consensus of both the countries will provide new dates for the meeting.

He said he does not know about the new dates.

Pakistan has reservations over the designs of both the hydropower projects and is seeking the International Court of Arbitration (ICA) through the World Bank – the so-called guarantor of the 1960 treaty – while India insists to resolve the issue through neutral experts.

Under the Indus Water Treaty, New Delhi has to share all details of any hydropower project on the rivers on which Pakistan has water rights under the treaty.

Pakistan says no design of these projects was shared, which is a violation of the 57-year-old treaty.–PTI

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