By Ansar Mahmood Bhatti in Dushanbe
Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif has said Pakistan will support and back all efforts meant for ensuring clean drinking water adding cooperation in water resources can also help reduce poverty.The prime minister was speaking on the the occasion of Water for Life 2015 conference held in the Tajikistan capital Dushanbe on Tuesday. The prime minister was accompanied by Water and Power Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif and Prime Minister Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.
The prime minister further said, millions remain without access to water, while for billions access to sanitation facilities continues to be an out of reach facility.
He said Pakistan is committed to achieving 100 per cent access to improved drinking water and sanitation and sufficient and unhindered supply of various purposes, domestic, agriculture and industrial, through implementation of sectorial development plans and strengthening institutional capacities with well-defined human resource development plans.
He added, in addition expanding existing infrastructure improved governance and efficient management of water resources and use including through use of modern technology, investing in improving water quality and most importantly, safeguarding our national water resources, constitute some of our fundamental priorities in the water sector.
The prime minister further said, our vision 2025 includes the objective of inclusive growth through water security, value addition, and research, modernization and best practices of water management.
He added, it is heartening that together we have secured a comprehensive goal on water in the proposed sustainable development goals, which will be the operational part of the new agenda for the next 15 years.
He added, the challenge once again will be to ensure its meaningful implementations. “We will need to draw upon multiple best examples for enhanced national, regional and global cooperation on water and sanitation related challenges.
Prime minister said we will need an integrated, coordinated and balanced approach with strengthened regional and global partnership at all levels to ensure effective implementation of the renewed water related goals, targets and commitments.
“Provision of enhanced means of implementation will be critical in this regard. Resource mobilization capacity building and technological assistance will require special attention.
He said, he was sure these and many other important aspects will be the subjects of our deliberations here. In conclusion, the prime minister said, water is one of the main pre requisites to succeed globally in our march towards a prosperous and sustainable future we want for our present and future generations.
He further said, Pakistan being home to some of the world’s biggest glaciers and at the same time one of the most climate vulnerable and water stressed country and also because the agriculture sector is the backbone of our national economy, it is but natural that Pakistan should attach high importance to water related issues.
He said, we have made steady progress in improving access to safe drinking water, in pursuance of the MDGs. On sanitation the progress is relatively modest. We are very much conscious of the economic impact of inadequate sanitation.
He said last year we adopted in New York an ambitious and transformative universal post 2015 development agenda. Water constitutes the core of sustainable development as it has impact on all its three dimensions.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said indeed water is an absolute requirement for our existence and the survival of the ecosystem. It is therefore appropriate that we focus our attention on sustainable use of this vital resource for life.
He said, provision of safe and affordable water to all, sanitation, sustainable management of water resources, investment in water infrastructure, and trans-boundary cooperation have been some of the issues on the global agenda for quite some time.
The Decade for Action has brought Water related issues further to the center stage. I am pleased to recall that Pakistan was one of the co-sponsors of the UN resolution that established the international decade. On the eve of completion of the international decade we can identify several milestones to take note of our collective efforts, he added.
Let me assure our full support for the success of the conference under the able stewardship of our hosts Tajikistan, the prime minister added.
UN Secretary Ban ki-moon also spoke on the occasion. The UN Secretary General highlighted the UN efforts to ensure clean drinking water to millions of people. He also gave some facts and figures throwing light on UN initiatives taken worldwide to ensure clean drinking water and better sanitation facilities.
Among others Chief Executive of Afghanistan Dr. Abdullah Abdullah also spoke on the occasion. = DNA
Pakistan, Tajikistan agree to enhance communication links
): Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says Pakistan has strong desire to further deepen and broaden bilateral relations with Tajikistan an integral part of his vision to enhance engagement with Central Asia.
He said this at the Joint Press conference with Tajik President in Dushanbe Tuesday.
The Prime Minister said Tajikistan is our closest neighbor in Central Asia. Similarly, Pakistan offers the shortest possible route to the sea to countries in the region through its ports.
Nawaz Sharif said he had wide-ranging consultations with President of Tajikistan covering the whole spectrum of bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual concern.
He said the two countries have decided that the Joint Commission on Energy and Infrastructure, established in June 2014, would meet twice a year to explore the possibilities of mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of energy and infrastructure.
The Prime Minister said the two countries have agreed on enhancing connectivity by air, road and rail for the promotion of our economic relations, people-to-people contacts and tourism.
Earlier, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held a meeting with Tajik President Imam Ali Romanov and discussed matters of bilateral interest and ways to expand mutual cooperation in various fields.
Talking to the Tajik President, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the main thrust of our engagement is on trade, investment, energy, connectivity, people to people contacts, tourism and culture. He said collective efforts are needed to increase bilateral trade.
Nawaz Sharif said there should be regular exchanges of parliamentary friendship groups to take our friendship to grassroots level.
The Prime Minister thanked Tajikistan for inviting 20 children and five faculty members of Army Public School, Peshawar, to enable them to recover from the psychological trauma after December 2014 attack. Welcoming Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, the Tajik President said we are very pleased to receive the high level delegation from Pakistan.
He said relations between Tajikistan and Pakistan have a long history based on shared culture and a common religion.
The Tajik President said relations with Pakistan is one of the priorities of Tajikistan foreign policy. More than 40 bilateral agreements have been signed so far between our two countries since early 1990s. He extended gratitude to Pakistan for the support given to CASA 1000 project and said we are keen for its early completion. Tajikistan President also accepted Prime Minister’s invitation to him for visiting Pakistan