Nuaman Ishfaq Mughal,
Islamabad: To discuss the looming water crises in Pakistan and the mechanisms to mitigate the challenges and devise an extended policy framework, Center for Global and Strategic Studies (CGSS) organised a conference on Water Security: Issues/Way Forward on Aggression and Conservation.
In the opening remarks, Lieutenant General Muhammad Zahir Ul Islam HI(M), (Retd) – Chairman, CGSS, stated that Pakistan had suffered from severe water shortages, flooding and declining water quality. “The worsening water crisis must be resolved if the country is ever to achieve stability and progress,” he said.
Minister of State for Climate Change, Zartaj Gul, was the chief guest of occasion. She presented a keynote speech on Water Security and its Importance for Pakistan. She stated, “Our country is suffering from history’s worst water crisis that requires coordinated efforts at multiple fronts; individual, community, tehsil, district, provincial and national.” “There is a need to create public awareness through capacity-building,” she said.
Major General Hafiz Masroor Ahmed, (Retd) – Vice President, CGSS, presented speech on Indian Water Aggression in South Asia. He said, “India wants Pakistan to give up on core issues with India and become a pliant state therefore India is now focusing to weaken our agro based economy.”
Dr. Muhammad Munir Ahmad, Director, Climate Energy and Water Resources Institute, National Agricultural Research Center (NARC) presented speech on Water Smart Irrigation Technologies to manage water scarcity. He enlightened the participants about the major constraints in food security that includes water availability but no land, underutilization of available water, conventional energy scarcity and less command area development. Dr. Muhammad Ashraf, Director General, Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) presented speech on Groundwater Potential in Indus Plains. He stated that it has been reported that out of 43 canal commands, the water table was declining in 26 canal commands due to rapid increase in groundwater abstraction.
The last speaker of the Conference, Mr. Shams ul Mulk, Former Chairman, Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) presented speech on Futurist Profiling of River Indus with Special Emphasis on Water Flowing from Western Borders. He stated that Pakistan had the potential to become the Asian tiger, but unfortunately that potential had been undone by India. He furthermore stated that we needed to build many more dams rather just focusing on Diamer Bhasha and Kalabagh dams.
The Conference ended by the concluding remarks of the Chairman CGSS and distribution of mementos.
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