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The Lahore Times

Published Date: Dec 17, 2013

Mushahid calls upon govt. to immediately revive Ministry of Climate Change

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman of the Senate Defence
Committee, has called upon the government to immediately revive the
Ministry of Climate Change given the importance of this issue, which has
security implications as well.

Mushahid was addressing a conference on climate change organized by
the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) as guest of honour
here on Monday.

Talking to the parliamentarians of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal,
Maldives, Afghanistan as well as representatives of India who attended
the conference, Senator Mushahid Hussain said that climate change was an
issue not only confined to Pakistan but this is an issue of South Asia
as a whole as well as the entire Asia.

In this connection, Senator Mushahid Hussain referred to his recent
role as Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Asian Parliamentary
Assembly (APA), which was the biggest parliamentary conference in the
history of Pakistan with 30 countries participating. The Islamabad
Declaration has also focused on the issue of climate change and
environmental degradation through a collective responsibility of Asian
Parliaments, he said. Mushahid said that the Senate Defence Committee
has already defined climate change as a security issue since it has
implications on our relations with India giving the emerging water
dispute as well as the dislocation of a huge number of population caused
periodically by floods and torrential rains in Pakistan.

He said that during the last floods in Sindh province, over 20
million people were affected and there had been deforestation in
Pakistan to the extent of 33 percent. He said that those living on the
coastline of South Asia were at risk because of global warming and
rising temperature, so it was necessary that there should be a regional
South Asian approach to this problem as well.

The Senator referred to a recent conference organised by the
Communist Party of China on ‘Green Development & Building a
Beautiful Asia’ and said China’s President Xi Jinping had also announced
that ‘ecological red lines must not be crossed’. At the same
conference, held in the Chinese City of Xian, a Global Alliance of
Political Parties on Climate Change was announced to promote awareness
and focus on this all-important issue.

Senator Mushahid Hussain announced that in cooperation with the SDPI,
the APA would hold a workshop on climate change for Asian
Parliamentarians in 2014, and in this regard, he also requested the SDPI
to prepare a special Asia vision policy document on climate change
which the Senate of Pakistan as host of the APA would circulate among
all member parliaments so that a collective Asian strategy on climate
change can be formulated and implemented.