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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

World

Floods in Pak caused by Siachen militarisation: Envoy
PTI
Washington, September 24, 2010
First Published: 15:19 IST(24/9/2010)
Last Updated: 15:23 IST(24/9/2010)

In an unusual remark, Pakistan's Ambassador in Washington Hussain Haqqani has said that one of the reasons for recent devastating floods in his country could be human activity on the heavily-militarised Siachen glacier.

Haqqani told the American lawmakers that snowmelt pattern on the glacier was changing over the past few years, because of intense military activities and scientists in his country were studying whether this was adding to warming factor leading to bizarre climatic changes.

Besides, the activity on the glacier, Haqqani said other contributing reasons for unprecedented rains in his country could be greenhouse gas emissions.

Briefing the house select committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming on recent floods in Pakistan, Haqqani claimed that Islamabad was making efforts to get the glacier de-militarised.

"So it is something that requires more study and it is one of the subjects that climatologists in India and Pakistan were studying together," he told the lawmakers.

He told the lawmakers that rising greenhouse emissions by factories, motorways, and even farm animals across the world was contributing to the rising global temperatures.

Noting that Pakistan's carbon footprints were miniscule, Haqqani said Pakistan was bearing the burden of profligate use of Earth's natural resources by others.

Responding to queries by Congressmen, he acknowledged that the devastating floods would have its adverse impact on the ongoing fight against terrorism in the country.

"We have a potential for unrest, which has security implications. There will be prospective possibility of insurgent and extremist groups taking advantage of the circumstances. In the flood relief we have seen, we have had to divert our security forces towards providing immediate flood relief," he said.

Haqqani said there is already tension between India and Pakistan for political reasons and water becomes another issue between the countries. "It is also a potential issue between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Management of a disaster of this nature would require greater cooperation in the region and probably on a wider scale," he added.

"So all of those factors have security implications and to the extent that to the United States's own security is directly linked to security in our region, it's something that the America public and decision makers need to consider," he cautioned US lawmakers.

The Pakistani Ambassador thanked India for its humanitarian gesture of contributing $25 million for flood relief in his country.

"The gesture was appreciated in Pakistan," he said. He said that the assistance that came from India through the United Nations became part of a bigger pool of resources that were made available to the flood victims.


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