India, Pakistan to hold meeting of PIC in Islamabad

  • India, Pakistan to hold meeting of PIC in Islamabad

India, Pakistan to hold meeting of PIC in Islamabad

The 113th Meeting of Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) is being held on March 20-21 after a gap of nearly two years - last such meeting took place in May 2015 in New Delhi.

A 10-member Indian delegation led by Indus Water Commissioner P K Saxena arrived here yesterday to attend the the meeting. But the designs of the Pakal Dul, Lower Kalnai and Miyar hydroelectric plants were taken up.

After a two-day meeting between the secretary water and power and the Indian secretary for water resources in New Delhi on July past year, the two disputed matters have been referred for third party resolution through the World Bank. Pakistani officials said the meeting was held in cordial atmosphere.

In a statement, Pakistan welcomed the decision of the Indian government to resume the regular talks and welcomes the Indian delegation to Islamabad. Asif expressed hope that things will move in the positive direction as a result of the meeting between Permanent Indus Commissioners of Pakistan and India.

During the meeting, Pakistan highlighted concerns about the three Indian hydro projects being built on the rivers flowing to Pakistan.

"I am happy to announce that the process of bilateral talks has been set in on the Indus Waters Treaty following efforts by Pakistan", he said.

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"Respect and implementation of this agreement.is in the interest of both countries and this region", Asif told reporters, adding that the Islamabad meeting would focus on three Indian projects for generating hydroelectric power on the Neelum and Jehlum rivers that flow through the disputed Kashmir. Pakistan had already taken up both the issues at the World Bank level, he said.

Modi suggested that the sharing of water resources could be conditional on Pakistan preventing militants from undertaking cross-border terrorist attacks in India and divided Kashmir.

Pakistan on Sunday said it believed that continuation of purposeful talks with honest efforts from both sides would lead to resolution of the matters at the Permanent Indus Commission level in accordance with the provisions of the IWT which was a symbol of peaceful management of trans-boundary resources. The IWT makes it mandatory for the two countries to hold talks at least once a year.

However, there was no official word for the agenda of the two-day meeting between the two countries.

The source, however, reiterated that there will be "no compromise" on India exploiting its due rights under the 57-year-old pact. However, the September 2016 meeting had been cancelled by India after the Uri terror attacks. "We always go into such meetings with optimistic mindset".

He further added that delays had been witnessed in the past in the handling of the Kishanganga project.