LAHORE:The second round of dialogue between water experts from Pakistan and India ended on a fruitless note as India refused to change the designs of its Kishanganga Dam.
Pakistan’s Indus Water Commissioner, Mirza Asif Baig, said that they are currently in talks with their Indian counterparts over this issue. However, if India continues to adopt a rigid position, Pakistan would have to request the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to intervene and broker a settlement.
A 10-member Indian delegation from the Indus Water Commission in India is on a three-day visit to Lahore to discuss the prolonged water issues between the two countries.
“Our objections over the design on Kishanganga dam are logical and we have also raised serious doubts on Kishanganga project at Neelum distributory point on River Jhelum and four other points on River Chenab,” Baig said. He added that the Indus Water Commission is trying its best to persuade the Indian team to accept its objections in light of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) ratified in 1960.
Under the provision of the IWT, the western rivers – Indus, Jhelum and Chenab – were allocated to Pakistan and the eastern rivers – Sutlej, Beas and Ravi – were given to India. But only India was allowed to use the rivers to generate hydropower.
According to Baig, the second day of the meetings with the Indian team remained largely ineffective. On the contrary, both sides simply put forward their own proposals, justifications and feedback on the designs for the hydro-power project.
The talks will resume on Tuesday (today).
However, Baig insisted that Pakistan cannot wait for such a long period of time to resolve the issues through, what appear to be, a series of inconclusive dialogues.
“If these talks do not have the desired effect, we will ask the government to request ICJ to resolve the matter. We are willing to complete all the requisite procedures through our ministries just to ensure that the matter is finally dealt with,” he said.
Pakistan’s stance on the Indian projects was both clear and logical and authorities would try to prove this in the ICJ, he said.