india stands by indus treaty commitment, rejects pakistan reports

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India on Saturday (October 20) rejected reports in Pakistani media that New Delhi has refused "permission" to Pakistan from inspecting water projects being built on the River Chenab.

In the last meeting of Indus Waters Commission held in August, 2018 in Lahore, an understanding was reached on schedule of tours on both the sides.

However, the said tours had to be rescheduled after the declaration of elections of local bodies and panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir. Sources told India Today that the Indian side iterated its position that the agreed tours will be held after the completion of these elections.

Meanwhile, sources in Pakistan told India Today that Pakistan commissioner for Indus Waters Syed Mehr Ali Shah had telephoned his Indian counterpart PK Saxena on this account. Shah reminded him of talks held in Lahore two months ago where both sides had spoken about Pakistani experts inspecting the projects.

Shah had written to his Indian counterpart in this regard too. In the letter, he emphasised Pakistan's right to inspect water projects being built on the river in accordance with the Indus Waters Treaty. Commissioner Saxena had responded to the letter writing to Shah emphasising on India's commitment to the Treaty.

Pakistani team was expected to visit India this month to inspect the water projects. India postponed the planned visit on account of local body and panchayat elections being held in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Visit of the Pakistani delegation would require security which cannot be spared till the election process is complete.

The panchayat elections would be held in nine phases on November 17, 20, 24, 27, 29 and December 01, 04, 08 and 11.

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