LAHORE: A delegation, headed by the Indian Commissioner for Indus Waters, is set to visit Pakistan in March to attend the annual meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission. The visit was scheduled in January but it was postponed at the request of India due to the Covid-19 restrictions, Dawn has learnt.

“The annual meetings, under the Indus Water Treaty, are always liable to be held before March 31 each year, alternatively in Pakistan and India. Last year, we had attended the annual meeting in India and this time it is their (Indian delegation) turn to attend the same in Pakistan,” Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters Syed Muhammad Mehr Ali Shah said while talking to Dawn on Tuesday.

“They had earlier informed us about the visit on Jan 17 after we wrote to them about the meeting schedule. But later they requested us to postpone it owing to the Covid-related restrictions. Now, they have informed us that they will visit in March. The date has not been decided yet but the meeting will be held before March 31,” Mr Shah added.

Shah said the agenda of the meeting would be finalised after discussion with all the stakeholders.

It may be mentioned that the Pakistani delegation had paid a two-day visit to India (New Delhi) on March 23 and 24 last year. During the meeting, the participants discussed Pakistan’s objections to the design of Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai hydroelectric plants, two new hydroelectric plants — 19MW Durbuk and 24MW Nimu-Chilling and other data-related issues.

The Indian side had shared some information/documents related to 1,000MW Pakal Dul and 48MW Lower Kalnai hydropower projects with Pakistan.

It also agreed on getting the site of the controversial Kishan Ganga hydropower project inspected by the Pakistani experts. Pakistan too agreed allowing India to carry out inspection of Kotri barrage on the Indus.

Published in Dawn, February 2nd, 2022

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