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South Asia must not remain ‘prisoner of past’, says Pakistan’s National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq

The two-day conference is aimed at offering young parliamentarians' a narrative in the run-up to the Saarc Summit Pakistan is to host in November, 2016

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SAARC Logo. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

August 16, 2016: In the wake of violence in the Kashmir Valley and amid rising tensions between India and Pakistan; Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Pakistan’s National Assembly Speaker said on Tuesday that South Asia should not remain a “prisoner of the past”.

“South Asia must not remain a ‘prisoner of the past’ but it should radiate fresh ideas and aspirations of our combined future,” Radio Pakistan quoted Sadiq as saying.

He was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the First South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Young Parliamentarians’ Conference in Islamabad on Tuesday.

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Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo of Biju Janata Dal of Odisha, Devji Patel of Bharatiya Janata Party and Alok Tiwari of Samajwadi Party are attending the first such meeting.

Deo and Patel are members of the Lok Sabha while Tiwari is from the Rajya Sabha.

The two-day conference is aimed at offering young parliamentarians’ a narrative in the run-up to the Saarc Summit Pakistan is to host in November.

Sadiq’s comments come in the wake of violence in Jammu and Kashmir that has left at least 65 people dead in the aftermath of the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

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In his Independence Day speech on Tuesday, Prime Minister Modi came out openly in support of “freedom” of Balochistan and the Kashmir under Pakistani control.

PM Modi addressing the nation on Independence Day, Wikimedia Commons
PM Modi addressing the nation on Independence Day, Wikimedia Commons

Sadiq said that South Asia must not remain a “prisoner of the past” but it should radiate fresh ideas and aspirations of our combined future.

He said that statesmanship demanded that we confront our issues judiciously and address them honestly with an aim to solve them sincerely.

“He outlined that shared cultures and histories of the region, and developing economies could provide ample opportunities to work together to address common challenges,” Radio Pakistan reported.

He highlighted that the goal of holding this conference was to build bridges between the future leaders of South Asia on a platform that supports continued engagement and cooperation. (IANS)

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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.

Also Read: Beware! Sipping Hot Tea Raises Risk of Esophageal Cancer

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)