What is the issue?
India accepted Pakistan’s invitation to the next round of talks, as it has for the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) in Lahore .
What is a PIC?
- Under the treaty, India has full use of the three “eastern” rivers (Beas, Ravi, Sutlej), while Pakistan has control over the three “western” rivers (Indus, Chenab, Jhelum), although India is given rights to use these partially as well for certain purposes.
- The Permanent Indus Commission mandated to implement the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) has met every year, since 1960.
- The commission has experts who look into issues and disputes on the ground over the utilisation of the waters of six rivers of the Indus system.
What is the impact of the recent move?
- Doubts had been raised over India’s commitment after the terrorist attack on an army camp in Uri.
- In the days that followed, senior officials announced the suspension of talks until there was an “atmosphere free of terror”.
- Prime Minister also made an infamous remark of “blood and water cannot go together”.
- The atmosphere was also charged after the surgical strikes along the Line of Control and subsequent pulling out from the SAARC summit in Pakistan, leading to fears of a freeze in bilateral ties.
- But the move is welcome, as it denotes India’s commitment to the treaty that has stood the test of time and war.
- It also displays India’s sincerity on the issue of water-sharing, given that the IWT is seen to be a model in dispute management.
What are the other positive moves?
- There has been a marked reduction in LoC firing.
- They both exchanged the annual list of their nuclear installations under a bilateral agreement that prohibits them from attacking each other’s atomic facilities.
- There was a release of prisoners by both countries
- India was part of the consensus to elect the Pakistani nominee as the SAARC Secretary-General this week.
- It is premature to expect anything out of the current move.
- owever, they reaffirm the need to keep certain issues such as water-sharing above the politics of the moment.
Source: The Hindu
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