The tour of the Pakistani side was originally scheduled in October 2018 but was postponed because of local bodies elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Subsequently, the Pakistani team visited India in the last week of January to inspect projects in the Chenab basin in the state.
The Indian delegation will be led by the country’s Commissioner for Indus Waters P K Saxena, and consist of technical experts, and Pakistan will be led by its Indus Commissioner Syed Muhammad Mehar Ali Shah, sources said.
Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 330 MW Kishanganga hydroelectric project in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan had protested the inauguration claiming that the project on a river flowing into Pakistan will disrupt water supplies.
Referring to the Indus water treaty (signed by India and Pakistan in 1960), Nitin Gadkari said the two countries each had got three rivers after Partition in 1947, claiming that Indian share of water was also going to Pakistan.
The uncalled-for role of the World Bank to mediate between India and Pakistan on the Indus Waters Treaty cannot serve the long-term interest of both parties, except vested interests emanating from constituencies in both nations as well as the World Bank.
The IWT was signed in 1960 after nine years of negotiations between India and Pakistan with the help of the World Bank, which is also a signatory. The World Bank's role in relation to "differences" and "disputes" is limited to the designation of people to fulfill certain roles when requested by either or both of the parties.