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Water and food security are two main issues of world at the moment: Minister of State Baligh Ur Rehman

Islamabad, January 19, 2016 (PPI-OT): Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training Engr Muhammad Baligh Ur Rehman attended the Regional Workshop on the challenges in Water Security to meet the Growing Food Requirement jointly organized by AASSA (Association of Academies and Societies of Sciences in Asia and PAS (Pakistan Academy of Sciences) today.

Minister of State appreciated the efforts of PAS for arranging this workshop on an issue of high importance that is water and food security. He also thanked the AASSA for coming to Pakistan for the first time and participating in the workshop. Talking about the role of PAS, minister of State said that PAS has a very important role of an advisor to the government on various important issues and I am glad to see that this workshop has been arranged for the benefit of people and the government both.

Water and food security are the two of the main issues of the world at the moment, said the minister. We all are witnessed to the water conflict with our neighbour India and apprehensions about the Indus Water Treaty within Pakistan. Further he added that we have also seen the political controversies like one over the Kalabagh Dam recently. So I would like all the participant scientists and think tanks to ponder over such issues and come up with solutions which would be beneficial for the country. Because it is high time we talk about equity in water sharing, consideration in per hectare consumption of water and other resources and diversity/choices of crops, stated the minister. Our religion also teaches us about the moderation and conservation of water so we should follow the basic principles of Islam.

Minister of State also talked about the initiatives taken by the present government regarding water and food security. We have covered both demand and supply sides in order to tackle this issue. Prime Minister of Pakistan has given the directives to WAPDA to conserve water and take measures to handle the situation. On the demand side we have been given the task to control the population, use water efficiently, and using different crops and cropping measures. On the supply side we are given directions to build storage capacity, repair and control leakages and seepage, lining of canals, water conservation, flood water management, recycling and usage of saline water, management of drainage of ground and surface water, and building new dams. Bhasha Dam project is one of the examples of the initiative taken by our government.

Anything without a vision is the wastage of time, resources and energy, by the grace of Allah we have got our vision i.e. Vision 2025 which is the first step towards the progress, stated the minister. I would not say that all of the targets of Vision 2025 can be achieved in one government’s tenure as it requires loads of resources. But we should be thankful that finally we have got a vision to follow for the right direction.

In the end, Minister of State again thanked PAS and AASSA and further said that outcomes/results of this regional should not be shelved but it should be put forward for its implementation in true letter and spirit.

Workshop was attended by the international and national scientists, members and executives of AASSA and PAS.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323 and +92-51-9252324
Fax: +92-51-9252325 and +92-51-9252326
Email: piopid@gmail.com

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