‘Indus water shortage has affected both India, Pakistan’


Lahore : Shortage of water in the Indus due to lower rainfall has affected both India and Pakistan, an Indian official said Wednesday.

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“Pakistan and India are facing water scarcity due to lesser rainfall in the region. India has been affected as much as Pakistan due to water shortage in Indus,” India’s Indus Waters Commissioner G. Ranganathan told reporters here.

He was speaking after signing a memorandum with his Pakistani counterpart Jamat Ali Shah for inspection of barrages – on both sides of the border – on rivers flowing into this country from India.

He said a delegation of Pakistani water officials would visit India in March to continue discussions on issues related to river waters.

The Indian delegation, accompanied by Pakistani water authorities, had earlier visited the Balloki and Sadhnai barrages on the Ravi river.

On its part, Pakistan, while expressing reservations over the shortage of water in the Indus, as also the Chenab and Jhelum rivers, has sought the record from India on the outflow of waters into the rivers, Online news agency reported.

The World Bank had brokered the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty on the sharing of the rivers that flow into Pakistan from India.

This is the one treaty that remained in place in spite of the various hiccups in the Pakistan-India relations that have seen them fighting two full-blown wars in 1965 and 1971 and engage militarily in 1999 in Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Indian delegation’s visit was part of the mechanism to inspect infrastructure and ensure implementation of the treaty, as also to redress concerns and narrow down any differences.