SARGODHA - India cannot hinder supply of water from its side due to geographical reasons, as it does not have enough storage capacity to take water out of rivers or divert it from Kash­mir. Therefore water of three rivers -- Indus, Jhelum and Chenab -- will remain in their basin, according to Dr Danish Mustafa, professor at Geog­raphy Department of King’s College London.

Addressing the webinar, he stressed paying more atten­tion to social and environ­mental aspects of water man­agement as mismanagement of water had created scarcity.

“Improving water use ef­ficiency and its efficient de­livery could produce better results in getting more eco­nomic, social and environ­mental benefits,” he added.

The webinar on United Na­tions (UN) Sustainable Devel­opment Goal (SDG) 6, ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’, was organised by the Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR), Sargodha University, under the title ‘Water Crisis: Why Pakistan is Running Dry’.

The webinar was attended by Dr Danish Mustafa, profes­sor Department of Geogra­phy, King’s College London, Dr Shaheen Akhtar, professor Department of International Relations, National Defense University (NDU) Islamabad, Dr Rizwan-Ullah Kokab, as­sociate professor History and Pak Studies, Government Col­lege University (GCU), Fais­alabad. It was moderated by Imran Abbas, assistant pro­fessor of the DPIR, Sargodha University.

Dr Shaheen Akhtar dis­cussed the challenges of population growth, saying climate change, urbaniza­tion, degradation and demo­graphic changes are the main reasons behind the crisis. She said that the issue had also been exacerbated by climate change, poor water manage­ment and a lack of political will to deal with the crisis.

Dr Kokab said “Water scar­city is an international issue and Pakistan is at 8, in most water scarcity countries. In­dus Water Treaty was meant to protect interests of Paki­stan, but India has taken un­due advantage from it.” He said that power generation rules were required to ensure equitable water use and right of every individual to have water access.

Commenting on the issue, Abdul Aijaz said: “Water is an inter-disciplinary object of the study that lies between natural and social distribu­tion. There is need to create mechanism to address the challenge.” He also stressed accelerating efforts and to tak­ing ownership of partly man-made water crisis in overcom­ing the challenge by declaring their intention to tackle it.