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Islamabad: Federal Minister for water and power, Khawaja Muhammad Asif said on Monday that both countries – India and Pakistan – should respect Indus water treaty (IWT).  He expressed these views during a press conference held earlier today.

The talk process halted due to the tense bilateral ties, it could not hold mandatory annual meetings since then despite repeated requests by Islamabad

He said that it is in the interest of both countries to respect Indus water Treaty signed under the arbitration of World Bank in 1960. The minister also spoke about the controversial Kishanganga and Rattle hydroelectric projects for which Pakistan is seeking an international court of arbitration (ICA) through the World Bank.

An Indian delegation comprising 10 members led by Indian Indus Water Commissioner P.P. Saxena arrived in Islamabad on Sunday for two-day talks. Mirza Asif Beg, Pakistan’s Indus Water Commissioner, is leading Pakistani delegation.

The talks are resuming after two years since water experts of the two sides last met in May 2015 in New Delhi at the level of Permanent Indus Commission. However, the talk process halted due to the tense bilateral ties, it could not hold mandatory annual meetings since then despite repeated requests by Islamabad.

Read more: World Bank backs out of arbitration on Indus Water Treaty: Implications for Pakistan?

The blame game

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi previously stated that ‘water and blood can’t flow together’

India accuses Pakistan of sponsoring terrorism into their land; however, last year, tension escalated between both countries when a militant attack was conducted on Indian army camp in Uri district in IoK. India put all the blame on Pakistan for the assault and vowed to isolate Pakistan internationally as a punishment. However, India has failed so far to achieve its ominous goal.

Read more: Pakistan Warns India Over Talk Of Scrapping The Indus Water Treaty

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi previously stated that ‘water and blood can’t flow together’. He implied that India has an option to stop rivers flooding from IoK to Pakistan; three rivers, Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab came into Pakistan’s part under IWT. Pakistan reacted furiously to Modi’s statement and maintained that if India tried to abandon Indus water treaty, it will be considered as an ‘act of war’. India and Pakistan fought three wars – 1965, 1971 and 1999- over Kashmir, however, experts fear that water conflict could spark forth and deadliest war between nuclear countries in the future.

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