The Indus Water Commissioners of Pakistan and India plan to meet on March 23 and 24 in New Delhi after two years of break, following successful backdoor diplomacy.
Indus Water Commissioner Syed Muhammad Mehr Ali Shah and Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri will represent Pakistan, the diplomatic sources said.
This will be the 116th meeting of the Pakistan-India Indus Water Commissioners. The last meeting was held in Lahore in 2018.
The meetings were suspended for two years owing to tensions between the two countries, pandemic and other factors.
According to The Hindu, the Indian delegation will be led by PK Saxena, India’s Indus Commissioner, with his advisers.
This will also be the first meeting between the two commissioners after the Modi’s government had revoked Article 370 of the Indian constitution in August that gave Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) territory a special status.
The historic Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) 1960 was signed by both countries but India has been violating the treaty in the cases of Kishanganga, Ratle Hydro Electric Power Projects, and other projects. Pakistan has raised the issue with the World Bank and at other global forums.
The decision comes weeks after Pakistan and India announced agreement to observe a ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) and all other sectors.
The announcement was made simultaneously by both Islamabad and New Delhi after a telephonic conversation between senior military officials of the two countries.
The rare joint statement came against the backdrop of worsening relations between the two countries since the Pulwama incident in February 2019.