After cancellation of foreign-minister level talks with Pakistan, India has reportedly snubbed the neighbour yet again by deferring the inspection of two hydropower projects – Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnal. According to Pakistan-based Dawn News, India decided to postpone the inspection of the projects by Pakistani experts citing “some local issues”.
A senior Pakistan government official, on condition of anonymity, told Dawn News that the decision by New Delhi can be a “fallout” of the cancellation of talks between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York.
A decision about the inspection of the hydropower projects was reportedly taken during a visit of Indian delegation to Pakistan for talks on Indus Water treaty in August. The Indian delegation was led by Water Commissioner PK Saxena.
It was for the first time that India and Pakistan discussed Indus Water Treaty since Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan was elected the Prime Minister of the country.
India and Pakistan signed the treaty in 1960 after nine years of negotiations, with the World Bank being a signatory.
The treaty sets out a mechanism for cooperation and information exchange between the two countries regarding their use of the rivers. However, there have been disagreements and differences between India and Pakistan over the treaty.
Earlier this year, a Pakistani delegation had raised concerns about the treaty with the World Bank. The World Bank had said that it had failed to reach an agreement with the Pakistani delegation over the same.
The development comes amid war of words between India and Pakistan over the cancellation of talks between Sushma Swaraj and Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Pakistan has blamed India for stalling diplomatic process that could have brought peace in the region.