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In a significant development, India is set to host a team of World Bank experts and a delegation from Pakistan for discussions regarding hydroelectric power projects in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) that have been a point of contention between the two nations.

These talks will take place under the framework of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), a World Bank-backed agreement that governs water sharing and development of the Indus River system. The treaty allocates the western rivers (Indus, Jhelum, Chenab) to Pakistan for irrigation and hydropower purposes, while the eastern rivers (Ravi, Beas, Sutlej) fall under India’s control.

This upcoming visit marks a crucial step forward. It’s the first time India will be allowing on-site inspections in J&K by a delegation since the World Bank appointed a neutral expert in October 2022 to examine the issue. The IWT allows both countries specific rights to utilize the waters of rivers allocated to the other party.

This development comes after earlier reports in The Times of India on June 10th, which indicated that India would be hosting a Pakistani delegation for Indus water talks. This would be the first such contact between the two countries since the return of the NDA government.