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Pakistan invites India to inspect Indus basin as mandated under waters treaty


Pakistan invites India to inspect Indus basin as mandated under waters treaty
This tour was originally scheduled in October 2018 but later postponed because of local bodies and panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir. Image Credit: Wikimedia

Pakistan has invited India to undertake a visit to the Indus basin on its side as mandated under the Indus Waters Treaty, a senior official of the Water Resources Ministry said Thursday. The invitation was extended after the Pakistani delegation led by its Indus commissioner concluded a four-day site visit to the Chenab basin on the Indian side on Thursday.

Pakistani Indus Commissioner Syed Mohammad Mehar Ali Shah and Indian Commissioner PK Saxena, along with advisers, visited the under-construction Indian hydropower projects in Chenab basin, namely Pakal Dul (1000 MW), Ratle (850 MW) and Lower Kalnai (48 MW). The delegation also visited under operation Baglihar hydroelectric project (900 MW).

"The Pakistani commissioner extended an invitation to his counterpart to undertake a visit of the Indus basin on the Pakistani side. The visit of the Indian commissioner and his advisers shall be undertaken in Pakistan at a mutually convenient date to be decided between the two commissioners," the official said. This tour was originally scheduled in October 2018 but later postponed because of local bodies and panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

This tour is mandatory under the Indus Waters Treaty signed between India and Pakistan in 1960. The delegations returned to Delhi in the evening. The Pakistan delegation, which arrived in India on January 27 will return to Pakistan on Friday.

The last tours of the commission in Pakistan and India were held in July 2013 and September 2014 respectively. No tour could be held in the current five years block which ends in March 2020. Under the Indus Water Treaty, waters flowing in three of Indus tributaries, the Sutlej, the Beas and the Ravi, have been allotted to India, while the Chenab, Jhelum and Indus waters have been allotted to Pakistan.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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