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Pakistan asks India to share data of Kishanganga dam

ISLAMABAD: With water dispute lingering between the two neighbouring countries, Pakistan has asked India to share the data showing inflow and discharge of water at the Kishanganga hydropower project.

Pakistan’s Commissioner for Indus Waters Syed Muhammad Mehr Ali Shah was quoted as saying in a report that Pakistan recently asked the Indian authorities to give dates for inspection of the Kishanganga dam as soon as possible.

It may be noted here that government of India has already taken back its decision to allow Pakistani delegation to inspect contentious dams over Chenab River in the Occupied Kashmir.

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.

“Through a letter, we have also pressed Indian authorities to immediately share the data concerning flows of water at the river and releases/discharges, in/outflows at the dam with us under the relevant provisions of the Indus Water Treaty,” Mr. Shah said.

He said Pakistan was receiving water at Jhelum basin in its territory, “but to ascertain our need or requirement we need data India is obligated to share with us time to time,” he added.

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 on Sep 26 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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