Pakistan working closely with US to unlock climate resilient ecosystem: Masood Khan

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Pakistan Ambassador to the United States Masood Khan said that Pakistan was working closely with the US to unlock a climate-resilient ecosystem.

He said the recent initiatives, namely, ‘Green Alliance and Climate Smart Agriculture’ would benefit farmers and create a framework for conserving water, building small dams and improving yields of staple crops like wheat, rice and cotton.

“We will leverage Pakistan-US partnership to transition to renewables, water conservation and efficient use of water,” Ambassador Masood Khan made these remarks as key-note speaker during a discussion, attended virtually, on “Pakistan’s energy and water security landscape” organized by Baker Institute, Rice University Houston, a press release said on Saturday.

US policymakers, members of the think-tank community, intelligentsia and area experts participated in the discussion.

The ambassador said that Pakistan’s entire ecosystem was sensitive to extreme weather patterns.

“With the help of the international financial institutions, we have initiated reforms for water conservation, transition to modern agricultural technologies, re-afforestation, waste-water management and water metering,” he added.

Masood Khan said that Pakistan, fully cognizant of the serious challenges being faced in the fields of energy and water security, was taking consistent steps to improve its power generation through diversification of its energy-mix.

He said that in the past decade, Pakistan had commissioned more than 10GW of new power generation and 1GW of wind and solar power-based projects, however, he observed, the gap was still very wide that needed to be bridged.

“We need to further diversify our energy mix and decrease our dependence on oil and gas imports by focusing on indigenous resources,” he stated.

Masood Khan highlighted that alternate energy, especially solar and wind, was a growth industry in Pakistan and may well be a long-term viable solution for meeting Pakistan’s energy demands.

Highlighting solid foundations of Pak-US partnership in agriculture, water and energy sectors, Ambassador Khan said that the country was working with the US to improve the efficiency of agriculture sector and water management.

“What we value most is the growing interest and exposure of the US private sector in these areas, independently and through the US International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC),” he continued.

“Import of US energy and agriculture technology, as well as US-supported indigenous production of green technologies, is of critical importance,” he stressed.

Highlighting efforts to promote mutual linkages, university-to university partnerships, especially between agriculture universities, he said that Pakistan had a nascent interface with US in agri-tech which was poised to develop further.

The ambassador also underscored the need for a fair and just distribution of waters under the Indus Waters Treaty which, he said, was key to energy and water security and regional stability.

“Building a number of dams on the upper riparian parts of the rivers under Indian control eroded trust and creates myriad crises for Pakistan that included flooding, droughts, water scarcity and disruption of energy supplies. The outstanding issues must be resolved quickly and definitively,” he concluded.