Pakistan, India conclude water talks in Washington
Pakistan and India have concluded the much-delayed water talks in the US, raising hopes that they will avoid further tensions over an issue with far-reaching consequences, a media report said on Wednesday.
The Secretary of Water and Power, Yousaf Naseem Khokhar, led the Pakistani delegation, including technical experts, at the two-day talks which ended on Tuesday at the World Bank headquarters, the Dawn newspaper said.
The Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources, Amarjit Singh, headed the Indian delegation. The Indian team also included representatives from the External Affairs Ministry.
The meeting was part of the World Bank's efforts to resolve a dispute over Kishanganga and Ratle hydroelectricity projects that India is building in Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan opposes the two projects, saying the plans violate the 1960 Indus Water Treaty that distributes waters of the river Indus and its tributaries between India and Pakistan.
The two countries last held talks over the projects in March in Pakistan.
The projects will allow India to use water of three Indus tributaries to irrigate 912,000 acres of land, up from 800,000 acres, and to produce 18,600 MW of electricity.
Pakistan says the projects would lessen its share granted in the treaty.