- Says climate-smart agriculture and food security remain vital for the country
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Wednesday that the people of Tharparkar are undergoing severe issues in accessing clean water, facing food shortages and stunted growth. Qureshi called upon the Sindh government not to deprive the locals of their basic rights.
“I appeal to the authorities in Sindh not to neglect the people of Tharparkar and Umerkot, who have elected you to resolve their basic problems,” the foreign minister said while speaking at an event titled ‘Climate Smart Agriculture and Food Security’ here at the National Agriculture Research Center (NARC).
The conference was organized by the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC), German non-governmental organization Welthungerhilfe (WHH), and Thardeep Rural Development Programme (TRDP) to highlight the importance of climate-smart agriculture for sustainable livelihoods and the food and nutrition secure communities.
Recalling his visit to Tharparkar and Umerkot during the election campaigns of 2013 and 2018, Qureshi said the locals had made many demands regarding the non-availability of clean water.
“Unfortunately, in the last seven decades, governments have not been able to provide them with clean water,” he said.
The foreign minister mentioned that Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced plans to help the people of Tharparkar. However, he regretted that the Sindh government was creating hurdles when it comes to implementing these projects.
He further said that Pakistan, once a water-abundant country, is now impacted by issues like climate change, and faces a shortage of other essential commodities.
He stressed that the importance of climate-smart agriculture and food security remains vital for the country.
He thanked the German NGO and the German Embassy for raising awareness about these issues in Tharparkar, where the people suffered a food shortage, a high infant mortality rate, and deaths due to snakebites.
In Tharparkar, he mentioned that 50% of the area's population comprised of Hindus, who were lawful citizens of the country.
“Therefore, we must ensure their safety and provide them with basic facilities,” he added.
Pakistan is one of the countries most severely affected by climate change. Average temperatures have already risen by almost 0.37°C since 1980.
The Global Hunger Index ranks Pakistan in 88th place indicating serious hunger levels. Thirty-seven percent of the population is estimated to be food insecure.