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Experts Suggest Legal Framework Agreement with Afghanistan

Experts Suggest Legal Framework Agreement with Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD – Leader of the House in the Senate of Pakistan, Shibli Faraz, Thursday observed that Afghanistan’s push to build dams to store and regulate the water is indeed an indirect blow to Pakistan and said that if this shared resource is not mutually regulated through political cooperation, it can lead to a drastic water shortage, the Nation reported.
According to the report, addressing national conference on Water Beyond Boundaries, Advisor to the Prime Minister on climate change Malik Amin Aslam said that the Indus water treaty needs to be revisited to account for climate change variability and sharing ground water aquifer.
The conference was organized by non-governmental organization LEAD Pakistan and was attended by parliamentarians, diplomats and water experts.
Addressing the conference, parliamentarians and experts underscored the need to open diplomatic channels to address water management issues concerning Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.
Shibli Faraz said water was basic human right. However, he added that the population explosion, technological boom, and high demand for water have created global water shortage endangering lives of millions.
He said that cooperative relations between water-sharing nations are also critical to ensure adequate access to water.
He said that India, despite a treaty, threatens Pakistan by blocking its share of water flowing from its borders. He maintained that it is of course a violation of international law to do so, but in case of any conflict, it is one aspect that we must be aware of and prepare for.
Shibli Faraz went on saying that Indus water treaty is a model treaty and a test case that is working between neighbour countries that are in conflict with each other.
Former Chief Water Ministry of Planning Development and Reforms Naseer Gilani while speaking on the occasion said that there is wrong perception among Pakistani experts that Afghanistan cannot use more than 10 to 15 percent of the water of River Kabul.
“In my opinion Afghanistan can utilize 80 percent of water from the River Kabul in case they develop their infrastructure,” he added.
“In case of River Kabul, I will suggest to divert river Kunar in Chitral which will help diverting half of Kabul River’s 8.3 MAF water to irrigate the land in Dir, Swat. For the remaining water from Kabul flowing into Pakistan, we need to construct canal in Nowshera to divert it to southern districts of KP including Kohat,” he suggested.
Speaking to the audience, Advisor to the Pakistani Prime Minister on climate change Malik Amin Aslam said that Pakistan’s challenge is to manage its water resources which are shared. He said that the Indus water treaty needs to be revisited to account for climate change variability and sharing ground water aquifer.
Senator Usman Kakar said that besides making legal framework for trans-border water, we also need to resolve the interprovincial water dispute.
“As far Afghanistan is concerned, I have heard them they have the perception that we want to control their waters. We cannot get water from Afghanistan by making war with them, however with friendship we can get everything,” he suggested.
(Sahar News)

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