ISLAMABAD - Director Conflict Monitoring Centre Abdullah Khan has said that Indian water aggression is a direct threat to Pakistan’s energy and food security.

He was giving briefing as a keynote speaker to the audience of Pakistan Dehqan Forum on the pretext of World Water Day. The theme of World Water Day 2012 is ‘Water and Food Security’. World Water Day is observed by all UN member states on March 22 every year.

Abdullah Khan while highlighting the water and food security issue said that energy security and food security are two important components of comprehensive national security. Indian water aggression has direct impacts on energy crisis and food shortage in the country. He said that availability of water for per capita is shrinking in Pakistan over the years and only 1000 cubic meter per capita water is now available which was five times higher when Pakistan came into being. Water shortage in Pakistan is hampering the health and well-being of Pakistani citizen and economic activities are also affected. He said that if the government will not take appropriate measures to address the water shortage issue, Pakistan would be forced to import grains for domestic use.

He said that India has initiated 52 water projects illegally upon Pakistani rivers but our government has failed to stop this water aggression at right time. There is a question mark on the performance and code of conduct of Pakistan’s former Water Commissioner Jamat Ali Shah who misled the nation on the issue of Indian Water aggression. He said that if the water dispute is not addressed at right time and in a proper manner than it may become a reason for another armed conflict between the two nuclear states in South Asia.

Abdullah Khan said Pakistan requires 117.35 MAF water for irrigation while 104.23 MAF water is available. A shortage of 11 percent is likely to increase in near future if adequate measures are not taken by concerned quarters. He said that average storage capacity in the world is 40 percent of average annual flow but in Pakistan average storage capacity is only 13 percent, which shows our national complicity in growing water crisis.

Dr Shahid Zia Spokesman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on Agriculture while talking to the audience over videoconference from London said that dispute over water can lead Pakistan and India to a nuclear conflict which will be a disaster for the whole region.

He said that there should be no cheating and stealing of water and both the countries should solve this dispute according to internationally agreed upon norms and rules. He said that water theft by India is a delicate issue and it should be immediately addressed.