Steering committee takes stock of modification process of Indus Waters Treaty

The sixth meeting of the Steering Committee on matters related to the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 was held today, to take stock of the ongoing modification process of the Treaty.

New Delhi, Apr 17: The sixth meeting of the Steering Committee on matters related to the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 was held today, to take stock of the ongoing modification process of the Treaty.

The meeting comes after India in January this year notified Pakistan of plans to amend the Indus Waters Treaty due Islamabad’s “intransigence” in implementing the pact.

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The Steering Committee is chaired by Secretary, Department of Water Resources, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra also attended the meeting.

The meeting took stock of the on-going modification process of the Indus Waters Treaty.

Matters related to the ongoing Neutral Expert proceedings pertaining to the Kishenganga and Ratle Hydroelectric Projects were also discussed, said an official statement.

India had on January 25 conveyed the “notice for modification” of the treaty to Pakistan through the Commissioners for Indus Waters of the two sides. India was forced to issue the notice as Pakistan’s actions had “adversely impinged” on the provisions of the treaty and their implementation.

The action was necessitated as Pakistan had refused to discuss and resolve the issue of India’s Kishenganga and Ratle Hydro Electric Projects for the last five years, despite India’s efforts.

Pakistan had raised objections to India’s construction of the Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric power projects, located in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Indus Waters Treaty was signed in September 1960 brokered by the World Bank, which too is a signatory. The treaty aims to allocate the use of and resolve disputes over the Indus River and its tributaries, which flow through both countries.

According to the treaty, the waters of the three eastern tributaries – the Ravi, Beas and Chenab go to India, while that of the western rivers – the Chenab, Jhelum and main Indus river go primarily to Pakistan.

In 2015, Pakistan requested the appointment of a Neutral Expert to examine technical objections to India’s Kishenganga and Ratle Hydroelectric Projects. In 2016, Pakistan unilaterally retracted this request and proposed that a court of arbitration adjudicate its objections.

Following this, India made a special request for the matter to be referred to a neutral expert.