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India refuses permit to Pakistani team for inspection of contentious dams

NEW DELHI: The government of India has taken back its decision to allow Pakistani delegation to inspect contentious dams over Chenab River in the Occupied Kashmir.

It is reported that the Indus Water Commissioner in India P.K. Saxena has written a letter to his Pakistani counterpart and informed about the decision.

Pakistan has condemned the Indian decision to bar Pakistani delegation from dams inspection despite earlier commitment.

Pakistan protest that the design of two under-construction hydroelectric projects of India in Chenab basin, namely Pakal Dul (1000MW) and Lower Kalnai (48MW), violate the provisions of Indus Water Treaty, while the Indian side claims that it has right to build these projects and holds that their design is fully in compliance of set guidelines.

The Indian delegation had arrived in Pakistan on Aug 29 to attend the two-day meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) meeting to discuss water issues between the two countries.

Soon after the Indian delegation left the country, it decided to allow the Pakistani delegation to inspect the contentious dam. However, the Indian government today backtracked from their earlier statement.

The Permanent Indus Commission was formed under Indus Waters Treaty, signed between India and Pakistan in 1960, it includes the Indus commissioners of both the countries. The treaty provides for both the commissioners to meet at least once every year, alternately in India and Pakistan.

The treaty specifies that the waters of three eastern rivers namely Ravi, Beas and Sutlej, had been reserved for India while that of western rivers, namely Indus, Chenab and Jhelum, are for Pakistan. However, India claims it has unrestricted rights to develop hydroelectric power projects on the western rivers, within the specified parameters of design.

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