ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal directed the Ministry of Water and Power for finalising the National Water Policy in three months to save the country from water crisis.

He said that all relevant government institutions and stakeholders should gear up efforts to finalise the National Water Policy expeditiously keeping in view sensitivity of the water issue. “The issue should not be ignored like power sector in the past which turned to worst proportion due to lack of proper planning and failure to assess its demand and supply,” the minister said this while chairing a meeting of the Central Development Working Party (CDWP).

He also stressed the need for involving engineering fora and universities in formulation of water policy. The minister said that water resource management is need of hour because of frequent floods due to climate change. “Whenever the issue of water rights is raised at international forums, the neighboring country resorts to arguments that Pakistan can’t manage its surplus water,” he pointed out. He said that water issue is of utmost importance for future of country. “The coming generations would not forgive us if we do not take appropriate steps immediately to address water needs of growing urbanization,” he added.

Meanwhile, chairing a meeting on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform Ahsan Iqbal directed the provinces and federal ministries to prepare the local versions of SDGS for a broader national action plan to achieve the desired goals in stipulated time frame. He said: “We have to face great embarrassment for failing to meet MDGs. We can’t afford replay of the same. SDGs have to be met for development of country and Vision-2025 lays special emphasis on attainment of these goals.”