Sun, 20 Sep 2020

New Delhi [India], Aug 9 (ANI): India has proposed a virtual meeting with Pakistan to discuss the Indus Water Commission, in view of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, sources said on Sunday. Islamabad, however, say sources, remains adamant on holding physical talks at the Attari border.

"India has asked Pakistan to hold virtual meet of the Indus Water Commission. Pakistan remains adamant on holding the meet at Attari border. India has sought to meet virtually due to COVID19 situation," the sources said.

The Permanent Indus Commission (OIC) is a bilateral commission of officials from India and Pakistan, created to implement and manage goals of the Indus Waters Treaty 1960, brokered by World Bank. It comprises the Indus Commissioners from both sides and discusses technical matters related to the implementation of the treaty.

The last India-Pakistan Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) was held in Lahore, Pakistan in August 2018. The Indian delegation was led by PK Saxena, the Indian Commissioner for Indus Waters.

The Indus Waters Treaty was signed between then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and former Pakistan President Ayub Khan in 1960.

The treaty sets out a mechanism for cooperation and information exchange between the two countries regarding their use of the rivers, known as the Permanent Indus Commission which includes a commissioner from each of the two countries. It also sets out a process for resolving so-called "questions", "differences" and "disputes" that may arise between the parties.

India and Pakistan have engaged a long outstanding water dispute over two hydroelectric projects.

Pakistan has raised objection to the building of the Kishanganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts) hydroelectric plants by India, saying that it violates the provisions of the treaty. India insists on its right to build these projects and hold that their design is fully in compliance with the guidelines of the treaty.

The World Bank had asked both the countries to consider alternative ways to resolve their disagreements over the Indus Water Treaty Dispute 1960. (ANI)

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