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Water security in Afghanistan, Pakistan stressed

Water security in Afghanistan, Pakistan stressed

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On
Feb 23, 2011 - 16:43

WASHINGTON (PANinfo-icon): There is an increasing risk of tension between South Asian neighbours Afghanistaninfo-icon and Pakistaninfo-icon over water availability, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has said.

In a report released on Tuesday, it said US assistance to the two countries should encompass comprehensive activities that encourage conflict management through regional water management.

"In Central and South Asia, particularly in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the impacts of water scarcity are fuelling dangerous tensions that will have repercussions for regional stability and US foreign policy objectives," said the report.

The report sheds light on drivers of water scarcity in Central and South Asia and provides recommendations for how the United States should strategically approach water-related issues, particularly in Afghanistan and Pakistan.   

"National security implications of this looming water shortage - directly caused or aggravated by agricultureinfo-icon demands, hydroelectric power generation and climate instability - will be felt all over the worldinfo-icon," the report said.

Recognising the critical role water plays in achieving US foreign policy goals, the United States provided approximately $46.8 million in assistance for water-related activities to Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2009.

The 28-page document asked the US to support mechanisms that integrate expertise on water management and resource allocation within the Afghan government. This will foster a process that engages Afghanistan and Pakistan on the management of the Kabulinfo-icon River Basin.

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