Nearly six months after suspending talks with Pakistan on the Indus river pact, India has agreed to participate in the next meeting of Permanent Indus Commission, which will be held in Lahore before March 31.
The Permanent Indus Commission is a bilateral commission of officials from India and Pakistan, created to implement and manage goals of the Indus Waters Treaty.
The announcement comes close on the heels of World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva visit to India, weeks after her visit to Pakistan.
After string of terror attacks in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting in September to review the treaty. “Blood and water cannot flow together”, Prime Minister had said referring to the state-sponsored terrorism by Pakistan.
Under the treaty, it is required that India and Pakistan meet every financial year. If we don’t, then it is going to be a violation of the pact. But there are chances we will meet for a day or two in the third or fourth week of this month,” government sources told PTI. The last meeting of the commission was held in May 2015.
Pakistan has registered its protest against the construction of Kishenganga and Ralte dams calling it a violation of the treaty.
Pakistan has firmly stated that it will not accept any alterations or changes to the IWT after India had said that it is ready to engage in further consultations with Islamabad on the matter of resolving current differences over the Kishenganga and Ralte projects under the treaty.
Islamabad has argued that India was buying time to complete its two disputed water projects and then insisting that since the project was already complete, it could not be modified.
World Bank had earlier asked both the countries to consider alternative ways to resolve their disagreements over the Indus Water Treaty Dispute 1960.