PESHAWAR: Highlighting the importance of water resources, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister (CM) Pervez Khattak has said that the water-related issues with the neighbouring countries proved that the experts were true in their claims that the future wars would be fought on water disputes.

The CM said this while addressing as chief guest at the concluding session of water conference arranged jointly by Hisaar Foundation and Asia Foundation at a local hotel in Peshawar. Besides the water experts from various public and private sector organisations, it was also addressed by KP Education Minister Muhammad Atif Khan, Peshawar University vice-chancellor, WSSP CEO, WAPDA North DG and other high-ranking officials who highlighted the issues relating to droughts, water and food problems, as well as underlined the need for a comprehensive ‘National Water Policy’.

The chief minister regretted that the rulers were totally ignorant and desensitized about the importance of water conservation. He said that the previous rulers had failed to take steps for ensuring the availability of water in the nook and corner of the country. “Water is the dominant source of life for nations and should have been an integral part of our internal and foreign policies,” he added.

He said that it must be the first priority of governments to educate and mobilise the people in cities and towns to protect the water resources and not to allow its wastage.  He, while appreciating the role of Hisaar Foundation and Asia Foundation for sincere efforts in formulating the national water policy and undertaking research work, assured that the provincial government would not only consider its recommendations seriously but would extend all possible support to it in future too.

Khattak also said that all the concerned departments, authorities and stakeholders were being instructed to adopt solid and practical measures for stopping wastage of water resources, protecting the water reservoirs and working for an increase in it. Similarly, the network of small dams was also being expended throughout the province, he added.

He also said that his provincial government had taken two major steps to increase water resources. Firstly, he said, stringent steps had been taken to check the wastage of water resources and secondly, solid measures had been adopted for maximum afforestation in the province, especially in the areas facing dry spells or waterlogging and salinity.

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