By Ali Imran
ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Council of Research in Water resources (PCRWR), Dr Muhammad Ashraf has said that sustainable water management is the key challenge being confronted by Pakistan due to inadequate water management practices and climate-induced water stress.
He stated this in his opening remarks during a half-day panel discussion on, “Trans-boundary Water Sharing Issues” as part of Grand National Dialogue on November 23, 2022 at PCRWR Headquarters, Islamabad in collaboration with Policy Research Institute (IPRI).
Dr. Muhammad Ashraf further said that the situation is further aggravated in form of flooding and prolonged droughts due to the trans-boundary nature of the Indus River which originates from Tibetan plateau and disposes off into Arabian Sea after passing through India and Pakistan.
On the occasion, Director Research IPRI, Brig. Rashid Wali Janjua shared objectives of the panel discussion and its importance to chalk out policy measurements and strategy for improved cooperation with India and Afghanistan for sustainable water management in Pakistan.
The panel discussion session was moderated by Dr. Rashid Aftab, Director, Riphah Institute of Public Policy, Islamabad.
Key panelists of the discussion were Mr. Ali Tauqeer Sheikh, Consultant, World Bank, Dr. Azeem
Shah, International Researcher and Chief of Party (WMfEP), IWMI-Pakistan,
Dr. Shakil Durani, Former Chief Secretary, KP/Sindh/AJK and
Ex-Chairman-WAPDA, and Mr. Arshad H. Abbasi, Energy & Power Sector
It was deliberated that in the discussion that there is a need for
strengthening of our national allied institutions to develop internal
technical and legal capacity for better negotiations with India and
Afghanistan. The panelists made deliberations on various aspects of
trans-boundary challenges faced by Pakistan and suggested that through
improving cooperation within the existing treaty, shared waters could be
sustainably managed. A number of water experts, professionals from
stakeholder organizations and university students participated in question
answer session with the panelists.