Food, water most important factors  for development of country, says Ahsan Iqbal

Islamabad

Federal Minister for Planning, Education and Reforms Prof. Ahsan Iqbal has said that food, water and energy are the most important factors that are required for the development of a country.

Addressing the 3rd International Water Conference on ‘Water Security & Sustainable Growth’ organised by Riphah International University in collaboration with SHFINT, University of Haripur and PCRWR in Islamabad, he said unfortunately all the successive governments have overlooked them and now we are facing the consequences. The government along with the help of private sector as well as academia can achieve the required target. “We are focusing on the water challenge now and working on Diamir Bhasha Dam. We are also trying to save the coastal areas from corrosion. We are the most inefficient users of water in the country,” he added.

The conference highlighting critical water issues and challenges and to explore way and means for integrated water recourse development and management to attain sustainable development through scientifically-sound advice under the various themes including; Climate change, Water security, trans-boundary, Water quality and Water Policies & practices. Leading national and International Universities and R&D Organization, Water experts are participating in the conference through scholarly paper presentations.

Prof. Ahsan Iqbal appreciated the unique combination of government, educational and development sectors to highlight the most alarming issue of water scarcity. He apprised the audience about the ongoing projects of government to overcome the water challenges that Pakistan is facing.

Fazal Abbas Maken, Federal Secretary S&T, Nisar Memon, Former Federal Minister, Dr. Anis Ahamd, V.C Riphah University, Dr. Naseer V.C, Haripur University, Dr. Ashraf, Chairman, PCRWR and ambassadors of Palestine, Tajikstan and Counselor of Sudan were also present at the conference. They were of the view that water is the key element for the socio-economic development of any country and we must not only view sustainability as a problem of science, engineering, or economics; it is also founded on values, ethics, and the equal contributions of different cultures. It was further stressed that comprehensive consensus oriented National Water Policy is the need of time to pursue an effective water strategy considering climate change factor which is a serious threat to Pakistan’s water supply system.

The conference deliberations and technical sessions taking the holistic approach to address the Water sector of the country which has led to serious issues of; water scarcity, resource depletion and contamination. The uncertainty introduced with climate change has further complicated the scenario. The conference aims to address water sustainability challenges, from the perspective of access, equity, hazards and policy reforms.

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