'Troops in Siachen caused Pak floods' | world | Hindustan Times
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'Troops in Siachen caused Pak floods'

world Updated: Sep 25, 2010 02:12 IST

Pakistan's Ambassador 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 US 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.

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.

"It requires more study and it is one of the subjects that climatologists in India and Pakistan are studying together," he said. He also told the lawmakers that rising greenhouse emissions by factories, motorways, and even farm animals globally were contributing to the rising 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 extremist groups taking advantage of the circumstances. In the flood relief we had to divert our security forces towards," he said.

Haqqani said there is already tension between India and Pakistan for political reasons and water becomes another issue between them. "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 on a wider scale," he added.

"So all of those factors have security implications and to the extent that to the US'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.

He thanked India for its humanitarian gesture of contributing USD 25 million for flood relief to Pakistan.