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India and Pakistan begin high-level talks on Indus Waters Treaty

Sep 15, 2017 09:53 IST
India and Pakistan begin high-level talks on Indus Waters Treaty

The two-day high-level talks on technical issues of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) began between India and Pakistan in Washington, United States on 14 September 2017.

According to a spokesperson from the World Bank, the meetings between two countries are taking place between 14 and 15 September.

The talks are a continuation of a discussion on how to safeguard the treaty for the benefit of the people in both the countries.

Key Highlights

• The World Bank had said in August 2017 that under the water treaty, India is permitted to construct hydroelectric power facilities on tributaries of the Jhelum and Chenab rivers with certain restrictions.

• Secretary-level talks between the two countries on the treaty had taken place in August 2017.

• In a fact sheet issued at the conclusion of the talks, Pakistan opposed the construction of the Kishanganga (330 megawatts) and Ratle (850 megawatts) hydroelectric power plants being built by India.

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About Indus Water Treaty

• The Indus Water Treaty was signed in Karachi on 19 September 1960 by Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and President of Pakistan Ayub Khan.

• The treaty was signed after 9 years of negotiations with the help of the World Bank, which was also a signatory.

• According to the agreement, control over the three "eastern" rivers - Beas, Ravi and Sutlej -was given to India, while control over the three "western" rivers - Indus, Chenab and Jhelum - to Pakistan.

• However, since Pakistan's rivers flow through India first, the treaty allowed India to use them for irrigation, transport and power generation, while laying down precise regulations for Indian building projects along the way.

• It raised a fear in Pakistan that since the source of the rivers is in India, it could potentially lead to droughts and famines in Pakistan, especially at times of war.

• However, the provisions of the treaty only allow India to use 20 percent of the total water carried by the Indus river.

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