India-Pak agree on roadmap to resolve water disputes

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Lahore, Feb.11 (ANI): In order to resolve the long pending water issues between them, India and Pakistan have agreed on a 'roadmap' and decided to hold two additional meetings, besides a routine meeting due in May, over the next six months.

Pakistan's Indus Commissioner Syed Jamaat Ali Shah said the two sides have decided to hold one of the additional meetings by the end of March, and the other by the end of June to expedite the pace of deliberations to end the dispute.

"The decision is the biggest achievement made during five days of deliberations," The Dawn quoted Shah, as saying.

The decision was taken on the last of a five-day visit of a three-member Indian delegation.

The three-member Indian team of Permanent Commission on Indus Waters (PCIW) headed by Auranga Nathan inspected the Sutlej, Ravi and Bias river sites.

Shah said the Indian delegation had agreed that settlement of all water disputes must be time-bound because open-ended talks were counter-productive and gave rise to confusion and frustration.

Later, talking to reporters at the Lahore airport before leaving for India, Nathan rejected the notion that the water dispute between India and Pakistan could lead to war.

"After all the two countries have signed an international treaty which includes elaborate dispute resolution mechanism. They not only committed to the treaty provisions but also regularly invoke different provisions to resolve disputes. Under such circumstances, there was hardly any chance of war between Pakistan and India on water issues," Nathan said. (ANI)

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