ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said the presence of Indian forces on Siachen Glacier is a serious threat to the environment of Pakistan and demanded their withdrawal.
In an interview with the state-run radio on Wednesday‚ he said Pakistan is a country facing water shortage and Indian forces were damaging the virgin snow of Siachen on a daily basis‚ which is one of the largest sources of Pakistani waters.
Sartaj Aziz termed the presence of Indian forces on Siachen a big issue and urged India to resolve it on priority basis by pulling out its troops from the glacier.He said that items of daily use disposed of by thousands of Indian soldiers were threatening the existence of the glacier.
According to environmentalists‚ the glacial retreat on Himalayas and Karakoram ranges had accelerated during the recent years because of human presence on the glaciers.
Regarding the outstanding water issues between Pakistan and India‚ the adviser said both the countries were engaged in resolving them through multiple channels, including the Pakistan-India Composite Dialogue and Indus Water Commission.
He said the implications of water scarcity were grave in view of the climate change.Sartaj Aziz stressed on the proper use of water in Pakistan‚ its conservation and building of new water reservoirs. He said that the Senate had recently formed a committee to deliberate upon various dimensions of water related issues and suggest its recommendations.
Sartaj Aziz further said the Planning Commission’s 2025 Vision would concentrate on water resources and would prepare a comprehensive sustainable development strategy while keeping the water scarcity of the country in its view.
To a question‚ he hoped for positive results on the Afghan reconciliation process as the international community was committed to establishing peace in Afghanistan. He said there was enormous international and internal pressure on all the stakeholders.
Earlier, inaugurating the South Asian Environmental Assessment Conference 2013‚ the adviser said that fast development of South Asia was encouraging, however‚ wemust not compromise on environmental protection. He urged the planners to involve the people and civil society in decision making and create an awareness about the environment.
Online adds: Sartaj Aziz said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s recent visit to Afghanistan had made sufficient headway in improving the bilateral relations between the two countries.He said Pakistan and Afghanistan had bilateral and regional programmes and progress in this regard was reviewed during the prime minister’s visit.
Sartaj Aziz said the Joint Commission meeting will soon be held at the finance ministers’ level which will help make further progress in bilateral relations. He said three important transitions were going to take place in Afghanistan, including the security transition‚ political transition and economic transition. In this regard‚ he said, Pakistan was making efforts to maintain good relations with Afghanistan and help it in every possible way in these transitions.
He said President Hamid Karzai’s visit to Pakistan in August this year was very important and positive.Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan supports an Afghan led and Afghan owned initiative for peace and stability in that country. He said Pakistan’s policy of non-interference in the affairs of other countries was well received in Afghanistan.
Source: The News