June 2005 News

India offers to share Baglihar and Kishanganga's electricity

15 June 2005
The Daily Times
Khalid Mustafa

Islamabad: India has asked Pakistan to quit ongoing litigation on water projects through a neutral expert, and instead offered to share the electricity it generates from the controversial Baglihar and Kishanganga hydropower projects and future projects on the Chenab and Jehlum rivers, diplomatic sources told Daily Times.'India has proposed to share electricity across the Line of Control and has assured Pakistan of unrestricted and uninterrupted water supply to the western (Chenab and Jhelum) rivers,' sources said.In return, India wanted Pakistan to remove its objections on the Baglihar and Kishanganga projects, sources said.A joint team of experts from World Bank, Pakistan and India will inspect the site for the Baglihar project in October 2005 as per the decision taken during a meeting held on June 9-10 in Paris.Sources said that India felt its position on the controversial Baglihar project would weaken during the inspection by the joint committee, which was why it had floated this proposal.Foreign Office spokesman Jalil Abbas Jilani denied any such offer by India and called it disinformation. However, he said, Pakistan wanted the sanctity of the Indus Water Treaty at any cost.Syed Jamaat Ali Shah, Pakistan's commissioner on the Indus Water Commission, also did not confirm India's latest offer.Shah said such proposals were out of the Indus Water Treaty's jurisdiction and Pakistan should confine itself to the provisions laid down under the treaty.'We must first harness the water and hydroelectric potential in our country and then we can make joint ventures with friendly countries like Iran and Afghanistan. But as far as India is concerned, both countries have a long history of mistrust and rivalry due to which such a proposal can never materialise,' he said.


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