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The worst flooding in decades has wreaked havoc in Kashmir, the disputed region between Pakistan and India, and one of the world’s most heavily militarized boarders. To date hundreds have lost their lives to the floods and landslides and thousands more remain stranded awaiting assistance. Responding to the flood is a top priority for both nations. Pakistani and Indian troops are diverting some of their attention away from on-going hostilities in order to focus on flood recovery.
However, the political realities outside the bounds of the flood waters will likely limit the extent of the goodwill shared between the nation’s leaders, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who have both offered flood relief assistance to their counterparts. (more…)
The Pakistani government’s Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) convened a seminar last Monday which reportedly ended in unanimous agreement that “climate change has become a national security threat.” The session was chaired by Pakistani Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence, who affirmed that the “Senate Standing Committee on Defence would include climate change as a threat in [the forthcoming] National Security Strategy.” The conference focused on the role of climate change in exacerbating water security issues, including flooding and scarcity (with water high on the “dispute” list with India), particularly given that roughly “60 percent of [Pakistan’s] water comes from glacial melt.” A speaker at the event also highlighted the contribution armed forces of both India and Pakistan are making to the melting of Siachen glacier in Kashmir, echoing warnings from the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke.