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The 118th meeting of the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC), with Indus Commissioners from India and Pakistan, concluded in a cordial manner on Tuesday, as stated by the Ministry of External Affairs. During the two-day meeting, the annual report for the year ending on March 31, 2022, was finalized and signed, with Indian Commissioner AK Pal and Pakistani Commissioner Syed Muhammad Mehar Ali Shah leading their respective delegations.

Both sides expressed appreciation for the commitment to frequent interactions and issue resolution through bilateral discussions under the Indus Water Treaty-1960. They agreed to hold the next PIC meeting in Pakistan on mutually convenient dates.

In a statement from Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson’s office, a variety of water-related issues between Pakistan and India were discussed, including sharing flood information, inspection programs, and objections to India’s hydroelectric projects on the Western rivers. India assured to address Pakistan’s objections in the upcoming meeting and to provide flood-flow information as per treaty provisions.

Both sides reiterated their commitment to uphold the Indus Waters Treaty and expressed hope for an early meeting in Pakistan. The previous talks in March 2022 in Islamabad addressed issues such as ensuring the free flow of Fazilka drain and the compliance of Indian hydropower projects with the treaty provisions.

As per the Indus Waters Treaty, India has rights to water from the eastern rivers for unrestricted use, while Pakistan largely receives water from the western rivers. India can generate hydroelectricity on the western rivers with specific criteria, but Pakistan can raise concerns about the design of Indian projects on those rivers.

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