Indian Water officials to visit Pakistan over weekend

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Islamabad, Nov 24 (UNI) An Indian delegation, headed by its Indus Waters Commissioner, will arrive in Pakistan on Saturday to visit Head Marala river in Punjab to assess Pakistan's demand for compensation for the 200,000 acre-feet shortfall in the Chenab river water caused by the filling of the Baglihar dam.

Pakistan's Indus Waters Commissioner Syed Jamaat Ali Shah told mediapersons here today that under the Indus Basin Treaty, India could build dams for storing 2.85 million acre-feet of water for power generation on the rivers entering Pakistan but it could not utilise it.

The visit by the Indian delegation comes weeks after Pakistani water officials inspected the site of the Baglihar dam in Jammu and Kashmir and asked the Indian government to pay the compensation for the loss caused to its crops in the wake of reduction of water flow from Chenab river.

He said the water shortfall, which was met from Mangla dam had been experienced in Sialkot and Narowal for 10 to 12 days. He said there was no danger of any further shortfall in the supply of water from Chenab.

A shortfall could, however, occur in Kabul river, when Afghanistan would build a dam on it. He said Pakistan should make judicious use of its water resources and bring 20 million acres of land under cultivation by utilising 19 to 20 million acre-feet of its river water being wasted due to seepage.

Mr Shah yesterday said India would turn Pakistan into a barren country by 2014 by blocking its waters.

He said India had constructed dams on various rivers and the construction was still continuing. India could generate electricity but not stop Pakistan's water under the Indus Water Treaty, he added.

About the recent water stoppage by India, he said India claimed that it had stopped Pakistan's water from August 19 to 28.

''However, we do not accept the Indian point of view because India had stopped water till September 5, according to our estimates,'' he added.

India had violated the Indus Water Treaty by constructing the Baghlihar dam, Mr Shah said adding, ''If the Pakistani government remained inactive, India would destroy Pakistan's economy and capture the country without a war.'' UNI XC LPB CS1222

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