India and Pakistan should work together on climate change: Pak FM Zardari
Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

Washington: It is time for India and Pakistan to work together on climate change, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said on Thursday, as he highlighted the impact of global warming that has caused unprecedented floods in his country.

Bilawal is in Washington DC for a series of bilateral meetings.

He told a group of Pakistani media that given the situation his country is in due to floods, “it’s time that both India and Pakistan work together on the issue of climate change”.

“One-third of our country is under water. One in seven people (is impacted by floods). If we are saying that to fight climate change, the US and China should work together. (We) should think about India and Pakistan working together on the issue of climate change,” Bilawal said.

Scientists and experts attribute this disastrous situation in Pakistan to the melting glaciers because of climate change. The United States has announced a massive USD 66 million humanitarian aid to the people of Pakistan.

In response to another question on reform in the UN Security Council, Bilawal reiterated Pakistan’s stand on opposing India’s bid for permanent membership in the global body’s organ.

“Pakistan is in favour of the abolition of the UN Security Council veto,” he said.

In his reference to neighbouring India, Bhutto said, “we don’t have that reciprocal partner over there.”

“2018-19 has made it impossible for us to engage (with India) for a whole host of reasons,” he said, adding that if there is any one area where the two nations can work together, that is climate change.

“Because, what we have experienced, I wouldn’t wish this upon my worst enemies,” he said.

The floods have killed over 1,600 people and displaced more than 33 million others in Pakistan.

The floods have left a third of the country submerged under water and caused estimated damage of nearly USD 30 billion.

Relations between India and Pakistan have been strained over the Kashmir issue and cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan. The ties between the two countries nosedived after India abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating the State into two Union Territories on August 5, 2019.

Following India’s decision, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian envoy. Trade ties between Pakistan and India have largely been frozen since then.

Also read | India wants relationship with China built on mutual respect: EAM

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