Lahore, Nov 22: Mounting tensions across the borders and strained bilateral relations apart, farm and livestock experts and lawmakers from Pakistan and India met in Dubai on Sunday for the fourth round of dialogue on sharing experiences, reported Dawn.
The Indo-Pak dialogue on this subject was initiated by PILDAT, a think tank that included Senator Mohsin Leghari, MPAs Mehmoodur Rashid and Jahanzaib Khan Khichi of PakistanTehreek-i-Insaaf, Qazi Adnan Fareed and Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan of PML-Nawaz, Vickas Hassan Mokal of PML-Quaid, Dr Amanullah and Dr Masood Rabbani of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore and agriculturist Hamid Malhi from Pakistan.
The Indian delegation included former Union Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar of the Congress, Haryana Assembly Speaker Kanwar Pal and Deputy Speaker Santosh Yadav of BJP, Haryana MLAs Lalit Nagar (Congress), Parminder Singh Dhull (Lok Dal),CNN-IBN Editor Jyoti Kamal, Indian Express Assistant Editor Man Aman Singh Chhina and Dr. M J Khan of the Indian Council of Food and Agriculture.
The Dawn reported that the dialogue had focused on effective farming and livestock rearing practices and policies. The teams stressed the need for greater interaction between the two neighbours and also felt the need to share experiences in order to evaluate and reform the policies and practices in the two neighbouring countries facing similar problems.
According to the report, the participants focused on the need to approach the farming policies and practices in a holistic manner to benefit the farmers and the consumers besides achieving food security. The main consideration of all the reforms should be benefit to the farmer.
They urged legislators from both countries to play a positive role through policy input and oversight mechanisms available to them.
The participants believed that water scarcity was a far graver threat to the two countries than either of them realised. They stressed the need for urgent policy and legislative focus on effective water conservation strategies.
Participants also focused on livestock development and highlighted, not just the need to learn from each other’s good practices, but also the need to interact frequently to avoid practices that could harm either country.
They believed that the two countries required active collaboration in areas, including vaccine research, exchange of data on disease monitoring and surveillance, experiences on breed development, animal welfare issues and opportunities in value addition for domestic as well as international markets.