India-Pak to talk on Siachen pollution

GreaterKashmir – New Delhi, Feb 6: India and Pakistan are going to take up the issue of environmental degradation of the sensitive Siachin glacier at a meeting in Islamabad soon.

 Helicopter Siachen
 Informing this to newspersons here, Pakistan’s Minister for Environment, Local Government and Rural Development Syed Wajid Husain Bukhari said the meeting, which would be a sort of regional workshop, would be attended by other affected

SAARC nations like Nepal.
 Siachen Glacier, which is near the world’s second highest mountain K2 in the Karakoram range, is an endangered ecosystem, a situation caused by militarisation in the region.
 Bukhari, who is in the Indian capital to take part in the Delhi Sustainable Summit, said the workshop would be attended by a number of experts too and it would discuss the various complexities of the situation.
 He said that though no dates had been decided, the meeting would be held within a couple of months.
 Studies say that apart from militarisation, the Siachen glacier was also polluted by human waste which does not decompose easily at such high altitudes. Besides, there was chemical contamination due to the presence of armies.
 Bukhari said glaciers were vital for maintaining water supply in the rivers of the sub-continent.
 He said the climate change was going to hit hard countries like Pakistan, and the government was coming out with measures to address the problems that impacted on environment.
 Replying to a question in this connection, he said his country was looking into nuclear energy options in its efforts to usher in a low carbon economy, though at present the share of nuclear power in his country’s energy mix was negligible.
 He said his country was also going in for massive afforestation to reduce carbon emission.
 ‘‘We have decided to plant 86 million trees, and have created a task force on environment to speed up the implementation of related policies,’’ said Bukhari.
 He said Pakistan has come out with a number of proposals for cooperation with India in the field of environment which he would disclose during his address at Delhi Sustainable Summit.