Pakistan to take up Wuller Barrage issue with Mukherjee

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Islamabad, Apr 18 (UNI) Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmud Qureshi today said he would discuss Wuller barrage and other controversial water projects, taken up by India with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee during his visit to Islamabad next month.

He said this while responding to a calling attention notice by opposition members including Marvi Memon in the National Assembly seeking to discuss construction of controversial water projects by India on Cheanab and Jhelum rivers in its part of Kashmir in violation of Indus Water Treaty.

Mr Qureshi said the Wuller barrage issue was now part of the ongoing composite dialogue process and ''We will take it up and other controversial water projects with Mr Mukherjee when he arrives in Islamabad on May 21.'' He added that there was an effective mechanism in place in form of Indus Water Treaty and Pakistan has been taking up all violations of the treaty with India.

Recalling the verdict of a World Bank's neutral expert on Baglihar hydro power project, he said this verdict vindicated Islamabad's position that the dam's design was in violation of the treaty that the two countries signed in 1960.

''We will protect our interests and rights,'' Mr Qureshi said, adding that his government wanted to maintain and promote cordial relations with all friendly countries including India.

UNI XC PD PM1510

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