Asia

Pakistan, India will consider new talks on water dispute

  • FILE - In this Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011 file photo, Pakistan's Indus water commission official, Shiraj Mamon, center left in red jacket, walks with Indian officials on the banks of the river Tawi in Jammu, India. Officials say on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016 Pakistani and Indian experts are expected to resume talks over the construction of two controversial hydropower projects by India on Indus river system, the only source of water for Pakistan's agriculture-based economy. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

    FILE - In this Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011 file photo, Pakistan's Indus water commission official, Shiraj Mamon, center left in red jacket, walks with Indian officials on the banks of the river Tawi in Jammu, India. Officials say on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016 Pakistani and Indian experts are expected to resume talks over the construction of two controversial hydropower projects by India on Indus river system, the only source of water for Pakistan's agriculture-based economy. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)  (The Associated Press)

  • Very little water flows in the Ravi River in Lahore, Pakistan, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016. Under the Indus Water Treaty, India has exclusive rights to three Indus basin rivers, including the Ravi, which has virtually disappeared on the Pakistani side. Pakistani and Indian officials said Wednesday they would consider resuming direct talks over water sharing after the World Bank halted a process to arbitrate a longstanding dispute over two Indian hydroelectric projects. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

    Very little water flows in the Ravi River in Lahore, Pakistan, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016. Under the Indus Water Treaty, India has exclusive rights to three Indus basin rivers, including the Ravi, which has virtually disappeared on the Pakistani side. Pakistani and Indian officials said Wednesday they would consider resuming direct talks over water sharing after the World Bank halted a process to arbitrate a longstanding dispute over two Indian hydroelectric projects. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)  (The Associated Press)

  • Fowl gather along a backwateer of the Ravi River, in Lahore, Pakistan, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016. Under the Indus Water Treaty, India has exclusive rights to three Indus basin rivers, including the Ravi, which has virtually disappeared on the Pakistani side. Pakistani and Indian officials said Wednesday they would consider resuming direct talks over water sharing after the World Bank halted a process to arbitrate a longstanding dispute over two Indian hydroelectric projects. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

    Fowl gather along a backwateer of the Ravi River, in Lahore, Pakistan, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016. Under the Indus Water Treaty, India has exclusive rights to three Indus basin rivers, including the Ravi, which has virtually disappeared on the Pakistani side. Pakistani and Indian officials said Wednesday they would consider resuming direct talks over water sharing after the World Bank halted a process to arbitrate a longstanding dispute over two Indian hydroelectric projects. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)  (The Associated Press)

Pakistani and Indian officials say they will consider resuming direct talks on water sharing after the World Bank halted a process to arbitrate a longstanding dispute over two Indian hydroelectric projects.

Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said Wednesday that his country remains "fully conscious" of its international obligations and is "ready to engage in further consultations."

A Pakistani official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters, confirmed that direct negotiations would resume soon, without elaborating.

Officials feared the World Bank process, which would have included both a neutral mediator and a court of arbitration, could produce conflicting rulings, endangering a 1960 water treaty between the nuclear-armed rivals as tensions are already soaring over the disputed Kashmir region.