A top official of the Pakistan Commission for Indus Water has sought a state-sponsored visit of Indian officials to the Mangla and Tarbela dams.
In a proposal sent to the Ministry of Water and Power, Deputy Indus Water Commissioner Shiraz Jamil Memon asked the government to pledge funds for arranging a visit by Indian officials to the two dams, of which one lies in the disputed area of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
A source familiar with the matter said Memon was also seeking funds to present some gifts to the Indian officials, who he believes should be received as state guests.
Sources say Memon directly forwarded the summary to water and power secretary Imtiaz Qazi without first consulting the Indus water commissioner. Shiraz Memon could not be contacted despite repeated attempts, but an official in the law ministry maintains that the request has been approved by Qazi. “We have received a summary from the water and power ministry to furnish legal opinion on providing funds to treat Indian officials visiting the Mangla and Tarbela dams as state guests.”
Reports had earlier suggested that former Indus water commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah was in favour of India constructing the Nimoo Bazgo Dam in Indian Kashmir.
After Shah stepped down from his post as commissioner, Memon was made the acting in-charge. Later the government appointed a new commissioner.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2012.
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