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Afghan water could be political equipment: Think-tank says

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: A think-tank said Monday that Afghanistan water resources can be great equipment in the foreign politics, asking the government to manage the resources.

“Water diplomacy is very effective in the foreign policy. Unfortunately, our officials are unacquainted with this efficient policy,” said a natural resources and political expert Dr. Latif Nazari.

He said that industrial countries use industries and technologies to reach self-reliance.

Those countries that lack industries but have water resources use them as a great alternative.

Nazari said that some of region countries impose unexpected issues on Afghanistan, thus Afghanistan can use water resources as shark tool in foreign policy through better management.

He highlighted that economic, military and cultural policies had been used in foreign politics by different countries to reach their objectives, water management as a gold stream can be the new policy.

Millions of water square meters flow to the neighboring countries freely. Therefore, the government must concentrate on the resources and manage water throughout the country, he insisted.

“Water resource is an opportunity for Afghanistan, and the government should make strategies for water resources and get advantages.”

Head of Afghanistan Center for Strategic Studies Rafiullah Niazi said that “80 percent of Afghan people are engaged in agriculture, but 70 percent of Afghanistan water flow to abroad.”

He said that Afghanistan had enough water resources, but imports electricity from abroad.

Deputy Minister for Ministry of Energy and Water Abdul Basir Azimi said that “due to lack of resources, capacity and some other issues no water dam constructed in the past years except Salma dam.”

Afghanistan has 75 billion meter square water annually, which 2/3 part of this water flow to neighboring countries, he added.

He said that the government made a strategy for water resources and struggles to manage it.

Construction of water dam and management of water resources are on top agenda for Afghan government, he mentioned.

He said that “government hold steps to fund water dam projects through domestic resources and private sectors, if the donors show setback in the aspect.”

Government also made a commission to discuss trans-boundary water with countries and consider Afghanistan interest, he noted.

In some part of the country Afghanistan needs seriously to water, but in some other part it does not need the water, because there is no agriculture lands and residential house, thus this commission will work to manage water in a better manner to consider national interest, he underlined.

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