114th Permanent Indus Commission meeting held in Delhi
The 114th meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) between India and Pakistan was held in New Delhi. Representatives from both sides discussed Indus Water Treaty (IWT) dispute and resolution of outstanding issues.
India’s Indus water commissioner PK Saxena and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) officials were part of Indian delegation for annual meeting. Pakistan’s six-member delegation will be led by Syed Muhammad Mehar Ali Shah.
The meeting took place in backdrop of continuing tension between two neighbouring countries over host of issues, including alleged harassment of diplomats. Pakistan has been expressing concerns over India’s Pakal Dul (1000 MW), Ratle (850 MW) and Lower Kalnai (48 MW) projects — located in Chenab basin – contending they violated IWT, signed in 1960. India, however, has been maintaining that designs of these projects are very much in accordance with IWT.
Permanent Indus Commission (PIC)
The Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) was signed in 1960. It covers the water distribution and sharing rights of six rivers of Indus river system viz, Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum. The treaty specifies that waters from three western rivers viz. Indus, Jhelum and Chenab are reserved for Pakistan, while waters from eastern rivers viz. Ravi, Sutlej and Beas are for reserved for India.
The PIC is established mechanism under IWT. Its mandate is to establish and maintain cooperative arrangements for implementation of water distribution pact and promote cooperation in development of Indus water systems between India and Pakistan. The meeting of PIC is held alternately in India and Pakistan at least once every year as mandated by treaty. The PIC had last met in Islamabad in March 2017.