LAHORE: The two-day water talks between Pakistan and India ended without any concrete headway being made in Lahore on Thursday.
Islamabad was unable to convince New Delhi to abandon or modify water sector projects design that are being constructed on River Chenab by the Modi-led Indian government.
Officials of the Indian Indus Water Commission insisted during the meetings that the engineering design of Pakal Dul Dam that is being built on the Chenab river’s tributary, has been prepared in line with the provisions of the Indus Water Treaty.
The Indian side made clear that it is not necessary to modify the design on Pakistan’s behest.
New Delhi also claimed that there is no evidence in Pakistan’s case as under the aforementioned treaty India can store water in Western rivers.
Similarly, when it came to Islambad’s concerns over the Lower Kalnai Hydropower Project, the Indian delegation asserted that they would follow through with the initiative.
Sources say that the Pakistan’s Indus Water Commissioner Mehar Ali Shah who spearheaded Islamabad’s stance, failed to convince his Indian counterpart that the design of both reservoirs was not in line with the treaty’s provisions.
It is also believed that Pakistani officials were not fully prepared, resulting in Islamabad failing to underscore its stance.
During the talks Pakistan raised its objections on India’s under-construction projects on the Chenab River.
One of the key projects from Pakistan’s point of view has been Pakal Dul Dam being built, which has been a bone of contention for several years without any headway being made.
Another official privy to the details, told The Express Tribune that the Pakal Dul Dam is of great importance to Islamabad.
The under-construction dam will be the first water storage infrastructure project by India on western rivers.