India, Pakistan Set to Return to Dialogue Table With Indus Water Meet Today

  • Less than a month India and Pakistan agreed to “strict observance of all agreements, understanding and ceasefire along the Line of Control and all other sectors.
  • Both countries, now, are again set to return to the dialogue table, with the annual meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) scheduled to begin in New Delhi.
  • The two-day annual meeting of the Indus Commissioners of India and Pakistan starts soon.
  • The meeting is being held after a gap of more than two-and-a-half years – a period that witnessed Pulwama attack (February 14, 2019), Balakot air strike (February 26, 2019) and abrogation of special provisions under Article 370 that gave special status to J&K.


  • According to sources, during the latest round of PIC meetings, a discussion on Pakistan’s objections about two Indian projects — PakalDul and Lower Kalnai – is expected to be held.
  • India is building PakalDul Hydro Electric Project (1,000 MW) on river Marusudar, a tributary of the Chenab. The project is located in Kishtwar district of J&K.
  • The second project – Lower Kalnai – is being developed on the Chenab.
  • Routine issues such as flood data exchange mechanisms are also expected to be discussed during the meeting.
  • The meeting is being seen as a positive step after both countries agreed to “strict observance of all agreements, understanding and ceasefire along the Line of Control and all other sectors” last month.
  • The last meeting of the PIC was held in Lahore on August 29-30, 2018 – PakalDul and Lower Kalnai projects were discussed then also.
  • After this meeting, the Pakistan Commissioner of Indus Water led a team to inspect PakalDul, Lower Kalnai, Ratle and other hydropower projects in the Chenab Basin on January 28-31, 2019.


  • Under the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty, signed between India and Pakistan in 1960, the Commission shall meet “regularly at least once a year, alternately in India and Pakistan”.
  • This regular annual meeting shall be held in November or in such other months as may be agreed upon between the Commissioners, states one of the provisions of the treaty.
  • The Commission was scheduled to meet in March last year but it had to cancel the meeting in view of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Later, India proposed to hold the meeting virtually but the Pakistan side insisted on holding the talks at the Attari check-post.
  • However, the Indian side conveyed to them that it was not conducive to hold the meeting at the Attari joint check-post in view of the pandemic.
  • According to provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty, all water of the eastern rivers – Sutlej, Beas, and the Ravi – amounting to around 33 million acre feet (MAF) annually – is allocated to India for unrestricted use, and water of western rivers (Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab) amounting to around 135 MAF annually largely to Pakistan.
  • Under the treaty, India has been given the right to generate hydroelectricity through a run of the river projects on the western rivers subject to specific criteria for design and operation.
  • It also gives Pakistan the right to raise concerns on the design of Indian hydroelectric projects on western rivers.
  • India has cleared several hydropower projects in Ladakh: DurbukShyok (19 MW), Shankoo (18.5 MW), Nimu Chilling (24 MW), Rongdo (12 MW), Ratan Nag (10.5 MW) for Leh; and MangdumSangra (19 MW), KargilHunderman (25 MW) and Tamasha (12 MW) for Kargil.


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