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Indo-Pak NSAs meet in Bangkok, issue joint statement

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New Delhi: In a significant development, the National Security Advisers (NSAs) of India and Pakistan met in Thailand’s capital Bangkok on Sunday. This comes days after the prime ministers of two countries held a brief discussion on the sidelines of the United Nations climate change conference in Paris.

The NSAs, following their meeting, issued a joint statement in this regard, stating that the discussions were held in a candid, cordial and constructive atmosphere.

“Pursuant to the meetings of the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan in Paris, the National Security Advisers, accompanied by the Foreign Secretaries met in Bangkok today,” the statement read.

“Discussions were held in a candid, cordial and constructive atmosphere. They were guided by the vision of the two leaders of a prosperous and peaceful south Asia.

“Discussions covered peace and security, terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir, and other issues including tranquility along the LoC. It was agreed to carry forward the constructive engagement.”

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Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah welcomed the meeting between two NSAs in Bangkok in a series of tweets.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif had had a brief interaction on the sidelines of the United Nations climate change conference in Paris, days after the latter said that Islamabad was ready for an unconditional dialogue with India to resolve all unsorted issues.

Sharif said, Pakistan wanted sustainable peace and therefore his country was ready to hold talks with India without any preconditions.

However, Nawaz Sharif expressed solidarity with the separatists groups of Kashmir. He even pledged to support them in their endeavors.

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Report Claims, As Many As 1 Billion Indians Live in Areas of Water Scarcity

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater -- 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater -- 12 per cent of the global total.

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Global groundwater depletion - where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally - increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India's rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period. Pixabay

As many as one billion people in India live in areas of physical water scarcity, of which 600 million are in areas of high to extreme water stress, according to a new report.

Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid.

This number is expected to go up to five billion by 2050, said the report titled “Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019”, released to mark World Water Day on March 22.

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Pure water droplet. Pixabay

Physical water scarcity is getting worse, exacerbated by growing demand on water resources and and by climate and population changes.

By 2040 it is predicted that 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress – including 15 in the Middle East, most of Northern Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Spain. Many – including India, China, Southern Africa, USA and Australia – will face high water stress.

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Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid. Pixabay

Global groundwater depletion – where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally – increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India’s rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period.

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The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater — 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater — 12 per cent of the global total.

The WaterAid report warned that food and clothing imported by wealthy Western countries are making it harder for many poor and marginalised communities to get a daily clean water supply as high-income countries buy products with considerable “water footprints” – the amount of water used in production — from water-scarce countries. (IANS)