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Pakistan team in New Delhi to discuss Indus water-sharing

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Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 28

A three-member Pakistani delegation is here for talks under the Indus Water Commission at a time when India is pushing ahead with nearly 10 run-of-the-river hydel projects on three western rivers — the Indus, Jhelum and the Chenab — subject to specific criteria for design.

The meeting comes less than three months after the annual meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) held in Islamabad. India had then maintained that its ongoing projects, including Pakal Dul, Kiru and Lower Kalnai, were fully compliant with the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), signed between India and Pakistan in 1960. Both sides also discussed the issue of the Fazilka drain, and Pakistan assured that all necessary actions will continue to be taken to ensure the free flow of the Fazilka drain into the Sutlej.

Earlier this month, a Pakistani delegation visited Delhi for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) regional anti-terror structure meet.

Pakistan, however, has given mixed signals. It allowed the land transit of Indian wheat aid to Afghanistan and recently announced the appointment of minister (trade) in the depleted Pakistan High Commission here. But its Commerce Ministry later clarified that despite this appointment, there was no change in Pakistan’s policy on trade with India. “The post of minister (trade and investment) in New Delhi exists for more than two decades and has no connection with the operationalisation of trade with India or otherwise in the current context,” it had clarified.

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