ISLAMABAD, July 29 (Xinhuanet) -- Pakistani and Indian officials here Thursday began their two-day talks on a controversial dam and described the first round of talks productive and positive, according to the Associated Press of Pakistan.
Pakistan's Water and Power Secretary Ashfaq Mehmood
and his Indian counterpart V.K. Duggal led their respective delegations atthe
talks, which will continue Friday.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Mehmood said
the talks were held in a frank and productive manner during which the two sides
exchanged data and discussed technical issues. He hoped thattwo sides could make
"We are hopeful that whatever is decided at the end
of the talks will be a step forward," Duggal told reporters.
The talks on the Wullar Barrage, the first in the
past six years, is part of the composite dialogue process Pakistan and India
initiated early this year to resolve all their outstanding issues including the
Islamabad complained that the Wullar Barrage, which
is about 30kilometers north of Srinagar, capital of the India-held Kashmir,
violates a water sharing treaty by affecting the flow of water andthreatening
irrigation and power projects downstream in Pakistan.
Under the 1960 Indus Water Treaty, the waters of
three eastern rivers in the India-held Kashmir, the Ravi, the Sutlej and the
Beas are allocated to India and those of three western rivers, theJhelum, the
Chenab and the Indus largely to Pakistan
India in 1985 started the construction of the Wullar Barrage
on which Pakistan lodged a strong protest with the Indian
government,saying it was in violation of the Indus Water Treaty. The
construction was halted in 1987.
The two sides are also engaged in talks on the
Baglihar Dam on the river of Chenab in the India-held Kashmir. Their officials
metin New Delhi in June to discuss the issue. Enditem