NEW DELHI: A three-member Pakistani team accompanied by their Indian counterparts left for Kashmir on Monday to inspect hydro-power projects — the 1000MW Pakal Dul and 48MW Lower Kalnai— on the Chenab River under the Indus Waters Treaty.
The Pakistani delegation, which arrived across the Wagah border on Sunday, is led by its Commissioner for Indus Waters Syed Mehr Ali Shah, while the Indian side is led by Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Saxena.
They will return to Delhi on January 31, and the Pakistani team will fly out that evening. Just before leaving Pakistan, Shah described the tour as a “positive development.”
Often described as the “most generous water-sharing agreement in the world”, the Indus Water Treaty was signed on September 19, 1960, by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan’s President General Ayub Khan, the country’s first military ruler.
Brokered by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which later became the World Bank, the treaty gives Pakistan unrestricted access to the waters of the three rivers of the Indus water system—the Indus, Jhelum and Chenab, while India can use the waters of the three ‘eastern’ rivers, the Sutlej, Beas and Ravi.
Given that the western rivers have a far heavier flow, this means Pakistan gets almost 80 per cent of the waters from the Indus system.
The pact also mandates regular inspections of the rivers by members of the Indus Water Commission on each side to check violations.