New Delhi (Sputnik) — In a major thaw in the intense bilateral relations, India and Pakistan have agreed to undertake mandated tours of each other's hydropower projects on the Indus River. The hydropower projects on the Indus River have been a bone of contention between the two countries with each blaming the other of violating the Indus Water Treaty of 1960 that aimed to clearly demarcate the resources of trans-border rivers.
"Both countries agreed to undertake the Treaty mandated tours of both the Indus Commissioners in Indus basin on both sides," a statement issued by India's Ministry of External Affairs on Friday read.
On Thursday, Pakistan's water resource secretary Shamail Ahmad Khawaja told local media that a Pakistani team comprised of experts will visit the sites in India by the end of September.
"During the visit, our experts will minutely examine the sites, construction in the light of the provision of Indus Water Treaty and the objection raised by Pakistan to the Pakal Dul (1000 MW) and Lower Kalnai (48 MW) projects which are being executed by India on the Chenab River," Khawaja added.
Pakistan had approached the World Bank to resolve concerns about the project but the Washington-based multilateral institution cited its limitations asking the concerned parties to resolve it amicably.
At the 115th meeting of the India-Pakistan Permanent Indus Commission, the two countries also agreed to further strengthen the authority of the commission.
"Deliberations were also held on further strengthening the role of the Permanent Indus Commission for matters under the Treaty," India's Ministry of External Affairs said on Friday.