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India, Pakistan begin Indus water talks in Delhi

The meeting is part of a graded thaw in India-Pakistan ties that began with last month’s joint ceasefire announcement.
 

India Pakistan begin Indus water talks in Delhi-dnm
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New Delhi, First Published Mar 23, 2021, 11:22 AM IST
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New Delhi: The key meeting of India and Pakistan to discuss the Indus water sharing issue began in New Delhi on Tuesday. This is also the first meeting between the two commissioners after the nullification of special provisions under Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The Indian delegation will be led by PK Saxena who will be joined by his advisors from the Central Water Commission, the Central Electricity Authority and the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation. The Indus Water Treaty (IWT) warrants the two commissioners to meet at least once a year, alternately in India and Pakistan.

Ahead of the meeting, Saxena said, "India is committed towards full utilisation of its rights under the Treaty and believes in an amicable solution of issues through discussion."

Since then, India has cleared many hydropower projects for the region. Among these, Durbuk Shyok (19 MW), Shankoo (18.5 MW), Nimu Chilling (24 MW), Rongdo (12 MW) and Ratan Nag (10.5 MW) are in Leh; Mangdum Sangra (19 MW), Kargil Hunderman (25 MW), and Tamasha (12 MW) have been cleared for Kargil.

Pakistan fears the dams will give India excessive ability to block the flow of the river, giving it strategic leverage during political tension or war. The World Bank has often cleared India-built dams after asking for minor adjustments to account for Pakistani concerns.

The meeting is part of a graded thaw in India-Pakistan ties that began with last month’s joint ceasefire announcement.

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