LAHORE: Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif Monday said that Pakistan would take such initiative on the Yemen issue that was not only in the best interest of the country but also the entire Muslim Ummah.
Addressing a seminar held in connection with ‘World Water Day’ at WAPDA House here, he said that that Pakistan would extend all help to Saudi Arabia in defending its sovereignty and integrity.
Khawaja Asif said that Pakistanis were regarded highly in Yemen and repatriation of 3000 Pakistanis stranded in the strife-hit country had been started for which, the PIA and Pakistan Navy’s role was commendable.
He said that that Pakistan needs to change agricultural methods by switching over from flood irrigation to drip irrigation that will not only ensure an increased agri production but also stop water pilferage and the fields from being barren.
He said that a National Action Plan was inevitable on the water conservation issue, as unfortunately a huge quantum of water was being wasted in the country and even being arsenide that ultimately caused Hepatitis and other fatal diseases.
He said, the World Water Day highlighted the necessity of building more water reservoirs, since Pakistan, South Asia and even the Far East was faced with the grave problem of water scarcity, and there was a general perception that water would be the major cause of wars in future.
Though Pakistan was a land of rivers, 100,00 cusecs of water, passed recently through Head Marala for the first time, could not be conserved due to absence of water reservoirs, he said.
He asserted, Pakistan had the resources but what needed was streamlining them so as to have fulfilled our needs in years to come.
The population control was another important component to prolong resources life, he added.
Khawaja Asif said, ‘Water is essence of life and we should renew our pledge on the World Water Day to save and conserve water for its long-time availability.’
To a query, he said, the government had the funds and the Neelum-Jehlum Hydropower Project would be completed within its stipulated time.
He said, Pakistan could easily save 1500 mega watts of electricity provided the markets were closed timely, continuing that on the other hand, building of power houses of 15000MW capacity would required two billion dollars cost.
He urged the media that being an effective tool to mould public minds, it should work for promotion of energy conservation habits.
The Federal Minister said that unfortunately, many golden chances had been spoiled for construction of water reservoirs in the past, and that was why, today millions of rupees from public money, wasted due to non-construction of Dasu Dam.
To another query, Khawaja Asif said that since coming into power, the PML-N government had been taking concrete measures to eliminate terrorism and extremism, asserting that PML-N government had the credit of launching an effective operation in Karachi to restore the port-city’s peace.