ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister’s Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said that the presence of Indian forces on Siachen glaciers is a great threat to the environment of Pakistan.
During an interview on Wednesday he said Pakistan is a water scarce country and Indian forces are damaging the virgin snow of Siachen on daily basis, which, he said, is one of the largest sources of Pakistani waters.
He termed the presence of Indian forces on Siachen a big issue and demanded of New Delhi to immediately call back its forces from the glaciers.
He said thousands of Indian soldiers burn and dispose off their wear and tear on daily basis, contributing a direct threat to the very existence of the glaciers.
According to environmentalists, glacial retreat on Himalayas and Karakorum ranges has accelerated during the recent years because of human presence on the glaciers.
Regarding outstanding water issues between Pakistan and India, the advisor said both countries are engaged to resolve them through multiple channels including Pakistan-India composite dialogue and Indus Water Commission.
He said implications of water scarcity are grave, especially when we see it through a climate change prism.
He stressed the proper usage of water in Pakistan, its conservation and building of new water reservoirs. He said Senate has recently formed a committee to deliberate on various dimensions of water related issues and suggest its recommendations.
To a question, he hoped for positive results regarding Afghan reconciliation process as international community is committed to establishing peace in Afghanistan. He said there is enormous international, as well as internal pressure on the stakeholders.
Sartaj Aziz further said Planning Commission’s 2025 Vision will hugely concentrate on water resources and will prepare a comprehensive sustainable development strategy while keeping the water scarcity of the country in its view.
Earlier, inaugurating the South Asian Environmental Assessment Conference 2013, the advisor said fast race development of South Asia is encouraging, however, we must not compromise on environmental protection.
He urged planners to involve people and civil society in decision making and create awareness about the environment.