RAWALPINDI: The government’s Vision 2025 also focuses on food, water and energy as these are the most important factors in a country’s development, said Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday.

He was speaking at the second day of an international conference on ‘Asia-Pacific Policy Dialogue on Water, Energy and Food Security for Poverty Alleviation in Dry Land Regions’ at the Pir Meher Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi.

Previous government did not pay attention on bringing improvements in these areas, the consequences of which the country is facing now, he said, Mr Iqbal added that the government will be launching the Diamir Basha Dam next year and was also working on projects for the establishment of other dams in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the northern areas in order to ensure the availability of water to future generations.

The minister said that various measured taken by the government including the drafting of economic policies has brought improvements in the economy.

Planning minister says govt will launch projects for establishing dams in KP, northern Pakistan

The incumbent government is focusing on the energy sector, he said, and that hopefully, the energy crisis will be overcome by 2018.

He said that after the completion of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the economy will improve, which will open a new era in the development of Pakistan.

He expressed hope that the conference will a provide a platform for researchers and scientists to share their researches and experiences and come up with recommendations for helping the government and policy makers in bringing improvements in the water, food and energy sectors.

The arid university Vice Chancellor, Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmed, said the university had started a number of projects for developing practical work stations for students to learn about self-employment, thereby making a positive contribution towards national development.

In the presence of the minister, the varsity also signed two memorandums of understanding (MoU) with the International Hydrologic Environmental Society (IHES) Korea and Oak’s CAF of Lahore.

Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmed, IHES Prof Soontak Lee and Chief Executive Oak Seo Jung signed the MoU’s on behalf of their respective organisations.

According to the MoU, the arid university and IHES agreed to collaborate on organising special volumes of journals, books and research in the areas of energy, water and food security.

Arid university and Oak’s CAF agreed to work together on development of agriculture, livestock, value addition and marketing activities. Both organisations will also together work with other research organisations in Pakistan and elsewhere.

The three-day conference is being hosted by arid university in collaboration with Unesco and with support from Japan Funds-in-Trust and Malaysia Finds-in-Trust.

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2016



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