M A I N   N E W S

Indo-Pak talks on Wullar barrage today
K.J.M. Varma

Islamabad, June 21
Senior Indian and Pakistani officials are holding talks here tomorrow on resolving the dispute over India’s plans to construct a barrage over the Wullar lake in Jammu and Kashmir.

A 10-member delegation, headed by Secretary of Water Resources Ministry, J Hari Narayan, will hold talks with his Pakistan counterpart Ashfaq Mahmood on finding a solution to the Wullar barrage, known as the Tulbul Navigation project, stalled following objections raised by Pakistan in 1986.

The talks are being held under the third round of the Composite Dialogue(CD) process. The two-day talks, scheduled to be held in the middle of April, had been postponed.

After the Wullar talks, the India-Pak Indus Commissioners will meet in Lahore to discuss the Krishenganga project, which Pakistan says violates the 1960 Indus Water Treaty.

India’s Indus Commissioner D K Mehta, who is part of the delegation, is expected to convey recent decisions taken by the Indian Government to change the design of Kishenganga to accommodate Pakistan’s reservations.

The Wullar barrage dispute arose when Pakistan objected to India’s proposal to build a barrage on the Jhelum at the mouth of the Wullar near Sopore in Jammu and Kashmir in 1984.

India said it wanted to construct the barrage on the Wullar lake to make the river more navigable in summer.

Pakistan objected to the project saying that it violated the 1960 Indus Water treaty and argued the project empowered India to control the flow of the river and release large amounts of water during hostilities. — PTI





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