LAHORE - India has invited Pakistan for talks on four controversial hydel power projects with a capacity to generate more than 2000MW of energy that it is building on Chenab River.
New Delhi has sent a letter to Pakistan proposing September 21-25 for talks, which well informed sources say is the result of back channel diplomacy between special envoys of prime ministers of the two countries.
Shehryar Khan and Lamba met in Dubai last week to exchange views on different contentious issues between the two countries to improve relations.
Officials of the Ministry of Water and Power in Lahore said the letter had been written by Indian Indus Water Commissioner to his Pakistani counterpart Asif Baig Mirza. Ministry of Water and Power and Foreign Office are now considering the offer of dialogue.
The projects identified in the letter for talks include 850MW Ratle hydro electro project for which foundation stone was laid on June 25, 2013, 1000MW Pagil, 850MW Ratley and 120MW Mayyar. According to documents, India is building sixty back to back water-cum-power projects over Chenab in Himachal Pradesh and occupied Kashmir.
Pakistan has exclusive rights over the water of Chenab River under the Indus Basin Treaty, but document shows India has chalked out plans to store 20MAF water on Pakistan's rivers with the purpose to get power out of them and harness the capacity to regulate water releases to Pakistan.
Sources said India had been refusing to hold meeting of Indus Water Commission during the last four months, but now through the letter Pakistan has been invited for the meeting.