Concern over water conveyed to India

Post Source: Dawn – Staff Reporter

LAHORE, March 28: At the three-day annual talks on the Indus Waters Treaty which started here on Sunday, Pakistan raised its objections to construction of two new power projects on the Indus river by India. An Indian delegation led by G. Aranga Nathan handed over construction plans and maps of the Nimoo Bazgo power plant being built on the Indus to the Pakistani delegation led by Syed Jamaat Ali Shah.

It also gave a briefing on technical aspects of the project.

The Pakistani team expressed reservations on the Nimoo Bazgo and Chutak power plants and said it feared the Indian projects might obstruct smooth supply of water to Pakistan.

Both sides, however, agreed to keep the height of free board in Nimoo Bazgo project up to one metre.

The issue would be further discussed on Monday because the Indian team agreed to consider installation of telemetric system at the projects to allay Pakistan’s fears about alleged theft of water, but said a final decision would be taken after consultations with experts.

Mr Nathan said the objections raised by his Pakistani counterpart would also be discussed and another meeting could be convened soon if the two sides failed to resolve the dispute.

PPI adds: “We don’t believe in controversial steps and will try to remove all reservations of the Pakistani government,” Mr Nathan told reporters.

He said he was confident about the success of the dialogue and adding that his team was ready to address all concerns raised by the Pakistani Water Commission.

Mr Shah said the Indian commission had come to get Pakistan’s point of view and hoped that a positive development would follow.

“We will try to convince the Indian guests that all requirements of the treaty would be fulfilled,” he said.

Farmers to protest on border

LAHORE, March 28: Farmers will lodge a peaceful protest against violations of Indus Water Treaty on the 1,700km Indo-Pakistan border on Sept 19.

Pakistan Muttahida Kissan Mahaz president Ayub Khan Meo and Human Rights Movement president Nasir Iqbal Khan made the announcement while talking to newsmen at the Indus Water Treaty office here on Sunday.

They visited the office to present a memorandum to the visiting Indian Indus Water Treaty Commissioner Aranga Nathan.

They said India was required to inform Pakistan about its water projects on Chenab, Jhelum and Indus rivers under the Indus Water Treaty but it kept its plans secret so that Islamabad could not go for an arbitration. India was also building tunnels on the Indus near Kargil, at Kishan-Ganga on Neelam-Jhelum and near Bandipura on the Chenab to divert the flow. — Reporter


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