Indian delegation to leave for Pakistan tomorrow for PIC meet

By: | Published: March 19, 2017 1:32 AM

An Indian delegation will tomorrow leave for Pakistan to take part in the meeting of Permanent Indus Commission (PIC), beginning March 20 in Islamabad.

flagsThe meeting will take place nearly six months after India decided to suspend talks on the pact in the wake of the Uri terror attack by Pakistan-based outfits. (Reuters)

An Indian delegation will tomorrow leave for Pakistan to take part in the meeting of Permanent Indus Commission (PIC), beginning March 20 in Islamabad. The 10-member delegation, which will take part in the two-day meeting, comprises India’s Indus Water Commissioner PK Saxena, MEA officials and technical experts.

Government sources said India is open to discuss concerns Pakistan has over its projects under Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) bilaterally. They, however, reaffirmed that there will be no compromise on India exploiting its due rights under the 57-year-old pact.

“The treaty mandates that the meeting be held at least once in a fiscal. Accordingly, the parleys will be held,” a senior official said.The meeting will take place nearly six months after India decided to suspend talks on the pact in the wake of the Uri terror attack by Pakistan-based outfits.

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India has already downplayed its participation in the meeting, saying it does not amount to “resumption” of government-level India-Pakistan talks.

Declaring that “blood and water cannot flow together”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held a meeting in September to review the treaty in the backdrop of the terror strikes, including the Uri attack.

After the meeting, officials had announced the government’s decision to suspend further talks and increase the utilisation of rivers flowing through Jammu and Kashmir to fully exercise India’s rights under the pact. The PIC had last met in May 2015 here.

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