Hostilities against Pakistan: India blocks UN funds for glacial flood project

Published: October 15, 2016
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“Despite inadequate technical resources, the ministry managed to prepare the GLOF project for submitting to the GCF board last year,” the MoCC Deputy Director of Media and Communication Mohammad Saleem Shaikh said. PHOTO: APP

“Despite inadequate technical resources, the ministry managed to prepare the GLOF project for submitting to the GCF board last year,” the MoCC Deputy Director of Media and Communication Mohammad Saleem Shaikh said. PHOTO: APP

ISLAMABAD: India’s continuing opposition against Pakistan at various international forums has claimed another victim after it torpedoed a $35 million Pakistani proposal to protect communities in the northern areas of the country which are vulnerable to floods from overflowing glacial lakes, officials said on Friday.

The Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) had submitted a $35 million project in the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) mechanism to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.

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The project was aimed at addressing the mounting risk of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs) in Pakistan’s northern areas where average temperatures continue to rise and cause glaciers to melt at a much faster rate. It was among a list of projects lined up for GCF’s consideration at its fourth board meeting.

It was discussed at the fourteenth meeting of the GCF’s board held in Songdo, South Korea from October 12 to 14.

India, one of the board members of the body representing the Asia-Pacific region along with China and Saudi Arabia, opposed the project.

According to MoCC sources, India’s representative Dinesh Sharma — a special secretary in India’s finance ministry — called the Pakistani project ‘flawed’.

Sharma told Indian daily Business Standard that the proposed project contained  technical flaws. Aware of the hostile environment between the two neighbouring countries, Sharma was quick to say that nothing else should be inferred from their opposition.

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However, the Business Standard quoted two other board members expressing their disappointment. “Here (at climate negotiations) we don’t represent just our individual national interests, but we work as a group to protect developing country interests. India could have put more conditions but let it move ahead. Unfortunately, it is not budging.”

The MoCC sources said that when Pakistan’s proposals came up for discussion at the board, India raised objections against it, pointing out that the project’s success was predicated on there being no glacial outbursts during the five years of the project. However, given the history of frequent GLOFs in the region, this was unlikely.

“… the project is fundamentally shaky and our (GCF’s) reputation will be at risk,” India said.

The paper further said that surprised at the Indian rejection, the board asked if Sharma would be willing to consult with experts on the proposal to see if there was any way to amend it or resolve the impasse.

“I can’t think of any conditions on which it can be passed. Just to show that I don’t have a closed mind I can hear them but there is very low probability of learning something or adding something,” Sharma had replied.

At a closed door meeting later in the day between developing country board members also failed to convince India to change its stance.

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The board could not clear any project on Wednesday and postponed the decision.

However, one official of MoCC claimed that Pakistan’s project had been approved by the GCF. But when contacted, a subordinate of the MoCC Director General Environment Irfan Tariq said that the DG was not in a position to comment on the issue at the moment and asked to be contacted next week.

“Despite inadequate technical resources, the ministry managed to prepare the GLOF project for submitting to the GCF board last year,” the MoCC Deputy Director of Media and Communication Mohammad Saleem Shaikh told The Express Tribune.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Allah Hafiz
    Oct 15, 2016 - 9:50AM

    This is not too much money for a country like pakistan…there world best finance minister will recover from somewhereRecommend

  • Jawad U Rahman
    Oct 15, 2016 - 10:05AM

    If this is not terrorism, what is? Deliberately targetting and causing death and harm to civiliansRecommend

  • kamak
    Oct 15, 2016 - 10:21AM

    Why to worry, it’s peanut for China.They will fund.Recommend

  • wb
    Oct 15, 2016 - 10:28AM

    India has clearly said this is purely on merit basis. So, why attach hostilities to this unnecessarily?

    Did “India Srilanka Pakistan Russia” order you to attach this with the ongoing hostilities?!Recommend

  • AD
    Oct 15, 2016 - 10:32AM

    @kamak:
    Yeah! So proud. Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Oct 15, 2016 - 10:36AM

    Not to worry, stonewalling by India at the multilateral level will do nothing to prevent Pakistan from getting that assistance unilaterally or from a group of countries with a more mature and objective perspective of the facts. That said, a bunch of future vetoes from our friends will no doubt come in handy to return the compliment.Recommend

  • OSD
    Oct 15, 2016 - 10:53AM

    The pettiness of Indians knows no bounds.Recommend

  • Zen
    Oct 15, 2016 - 11:00AM

    India is a poor country with millions to feed. Use these funds on them.Recommend

  • Raw is War
    Oct 15, 2016 - 11:06AM

    even if the fund is received, it will line up the pockets of some corrupt politicians. Then the debt burden will increase. India is actually helping you.Recommend

  • Raj
    Oct 15, 2016 - 12:55PM

    Good going by India and Pakistan should ask China to fund. Please forward all your requests for funding only to China.Recommend

  • B
    Oct 15, 2016 - 1:09PM

    I don’t get this. They have millions of Dollars to send 22 politicians all the world for Kashmir but have no money for their own people.Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqui
    Oct 15, 2016 - 5:36PM

    Pakistan should put the economy in front and stop patronizing elements that are ruining the nation.Recommend

  • Rehman
    Oct 15, 2016 - 7:16PM

    India will never be our friend. That is why we should seek a close friendship with China, to counter the Indian hegemony. Hopefully, with Chinese support, we will finally be able to defeat India.Recommend

  • JSM
    Oct 16, 2016 - 4:58AM

    Nothing new. Why have you forgotten the fate of funding of F16 fighters.Recommend

  • auginpk
    Oct 16, 2016 - 5:27AM

    If proposal is not upto the mark what will the committe can do.Recommend

  • SuperNeo
    Oct 16, 2016 - 7:43AM

    99 % of pakis are not Even aware of thi UN funds for glacial flood project.
    This money would have use for terrorists training camp s.
    Good india blocked it. Recommend

  • JSM
    Oct 16, 2016 - 8:35AM

    @Rehman:

    I agree we are enemies and so we should behave like enemies. India also blocked funding for F16’s. Recommend

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