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Pakistan and India discuss barrage

Senior Pakistani and Indian officials met in New Delhi recently to discuss the Wuller Barrage issue. A joint statement said that both sides have agreed to resolve the matter in line with the Indus Water Treaty of 1960. Syed Shahid Hussain, Secretary of Ministry of Water and Power led Pakistan in the talks; his Indian counterpart was Zafar-ul-Hasan.

The bone of contention is India’s plan to construct a barrage to control the flow of the river Jhelum between the months of October and February. Pakistan says the barrage, which is in contravention of the Indus Treaty, will block off its share of water from the river.

New Delhi started work on the controversial project in 1984 but has held it in abey-ance since 1987, with Pakistan raising objections. The two countries last discussed the issue in 1992. The recent joint statement said that the discussion between the water experts of the two countries were held in ‘a frank and constructive atmosphere’. Both sides also took note of previous discussions of the subject, which took place between October 1987 and August 1992.