Islamabad: Pakistan will launch an aggressive campaign against India to highlight its concerns over the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) after New Delhi failed to let Pakistani officials visit two hydropower projects in Jammu and Kashmir, a media report said on Tuesday.
Pakistan’s Commissioner on Permanent Indus Water Commission Syed Mehr Ali Shah said the Indian water commissioner had promised on the conclusion of the August 29-30 annual meeting to arrange a visit to the 1,000MW Pakal Dul and 48MW Lower Kalnai in Jammu and Kashmir in the last week of September.
But the visit was delayed to October 7-12 due to local government elections in Jammu and Kashmir, he said.
Shah alleged that the Indian side did not honour its revised schedule as well, saying Panchayat elections were being held in the state after 20 years. Shah said he wrote a letter of disappointment and then talked to his counterpart a few days ago on phone and based on that discussion he did not expect a visit soon, Dawn newspaper reported.
“We do not foresee an inspection visit of (the two projects being executed by India over) the Chenab River in the near future based on my telephonic discussions with my Indian counterpart,” Shah said.
Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda said he did not want to go into a threatening mode, but would launch an aggressive campaign at home and abroad as India had seriously violated the 1960 treaty to Pakistan’s disadvantage.
Without explaining, the minister said he would trap India to its own bluff card because the matter also pertained to Pakistan’s security and he was in the process of consultations with stakeholders to resolve the challenges with India on a war footing.
India and Pakistan signed the Indus Waters Treaty in 1960 after nine years of negotiations, with the World Bank being a signatory.
The water commissioners of Pakistan and India are required to meet twice a year and arrange technical visits to projects’ sites and critical river headworks.
The treaty sets out a mechanism for cooperation and information exchange between the two countries regarding their use of the rivers. However, there have been disagreements and differences between India and Pakistan over the treaty.