New Delhi, March 28 (IANS) Buoyed by the common resolve of their leaders to intensify their dialogue, India and Pakistan Wednesday concluded their two-day talks to resolve differences over the Tulbul navigation project in Jammu and Kashmir with New Delhi agreeing to provide additional technical date for the early settlement of the dispute.
The talks on the Tulbul navigation project on the Jhelum river in Jammu and Kashmir's Baramullah district took place even as the leaders of the two countries underlined their resolve to intensify the dialogue process when they met in Seoul Tuesday.
The Indian delegation led by Dhruv Vijai Singh, secretary in the water resources ministry, held talks with a Pakistani delegation led by his counterpart Imtiaz Kazi over all issues relating to the Tulbul Navigation/Wullar Barrage Project.
"The talks were held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere. The two sides reiterated their commitment to bilateral engagement in a spirit of constructive cooperation," a joint statement said.
"They discussed their respective positions on the project while reaffirming the commitment to the Indus Waters Treaty 1960."
The two sides stressed the need for "an early and amicable resolution of the issue within the ambit of the Indus Waters Treaty", said the statement.
In an important step, the Indian side agree to provide additional technical data to Pakistan. The Pakistan side shall examine all the data and furnish its views before the next round of the talks.
"Both sides further agreed that, if required, they will explore the way forward for resolving the issue under the provisions of the treaty."
The two sides have held nine rounds of secretary-level talks since India suspended work on the project in 1987 following Pakistan's objections.
India had defended controlled release of water from the Wullar lake during the lean-season months of October to February, saying it helps facilitate year-round navigation for trade, employment and tourism. India has rebutted Pakistan's charge saying that no "pondage" of water was being created over Jhelum.
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