Exclusive interview with Pakistan Ambassador to China

By Gong Jie
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, January 7, 2010
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GJ: In the press conference on international environment, a Pakistani reporter said Pakistan was also overwhelmingly affected by climate change like other nations: The rivers in Pakistan have been nearly dry because of drought and dam construction. Because the dams have been holding back water, water shortage in the rivers has had a direct impact on people's daily lives. In terms of fighting climate change, what has the Pakistani government done? And how do the Pakistani people respond to it? As you know, the COP-15 conference [the 2009 U.N. Climate Change Conference] has just ended. What do you think about the result? Are you satisfied with the result?

MK: I would say considering what happened in Copenhagen, this is the best compromise under the circumstances. Some people are more ambitious about it, but you have to take into account political limitations. And there were political limitations. I think there was movement at Copenhagen. And we need to work toward the goals [that were] identified [in the] Copenhagen Accord. This struggle toward creating a better-equipped world to meet the challenges of climate change is not a one-round event – it's a process. We have to continue to engage each other. And I think that the world needs the leadership of China, other developing countries and the developed world to resolve these issues because climate change has influenced the entire globe. It [has far-reaching] consequences, not only for the present generation and for the succeeding generation, but for many more generations. So we have to be alert to do this.

So I would say coming to the first point of your question: in Pakistan, they have been affected by environmental degradation. Climate change has affected Pakistan, and the water in the rivers is not what it used to be. Our population has been increasing, although it [decreased] in the 20th century. It has been growing rapidly, and I would say now our population is going from 170 million to 180 million people, but the present growth will continue more or less, and then our population will increase rapidly by 2030. And it will become unmanageable in 2050. So what we need to do is eliminate poverty, and we have to manage our population. Also, we have to pay attention to the ethnic situation. And we have to make sure new industry on [the environment] changes. We have been working with China to store alternative resources and energy. We have alternative energy development [that] is in touch with many technologies in China. And we are now investing in solar energy and wind energy because these areas can reduce our reliance on oil even for our generation. We want to opt [for] more clean energy technology.

GJ: As the 2010 World Expo approaches, I know that Pakistan has registered with China to take part in it. What kind of Pakistani spirit has the government planned to show people all over the world?

MK: First, I want to say that we are proud to be part of the 2010 Shanghai Expo. We have a very good [location] – we are located just next to the Chinese museum, and we are very grateful to the Chinese government for giving us a very good chance. We have chosen a historic exhibition. We know that the theme of the Shanghai Expo is "Better city, better life." In addition to that theme, we have chosen a theme, harmony and diversity. As I am talking to you, we have different people and cultures in Pakistan, but we also have harmony among these cultures. That's what they want to display there. And we want to display both ancient and modern Pakistani culture. In the ancient part, we'll exhibit our religious cultures. And then we'll come to the modern part. We'll show you how Pakistani men and women continue to build industries of trade, business and education. So it could be a combination of ancient and modern. And we very welcome your visit.

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