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Energy Crisis and Food Security

Energy Crisis and Food Security

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Published by ehtasham_ali_1
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Published by: ehtasham_ali_1 on Aug 16, 2011
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01/10/2014

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EnergyCrisis
ani:t
FoodSecurity
DevisingaSocialCollapseinPakistan
ByFarzanaShah
In
modemhistory,
due
tovariousreasons,theeconomicpowerofanystatedefinesherstrengthandsovereignty.TheworldpowersaretoosensitiveabouttheirenergysecurityandfortheverysamereasonoptevenforthemostriskymodusoperandilikegoingtowarinacountrylikeAfghanistaninordertokeeptheenergysafeguardinplace.Afghanistanisneitheranenergyhubnordoesithouseanyportfortheexportofenergyresourcesoftheregionbutitsroleisofaconduitandaverycriticalone.Alltheenergycorridorspassthroughthiscountry.ThecenterofgravityoftheongoingGreatGameintheregionisalsorelatedtoenergyandenergycorridors.Theentirerestivescenariointheworldinvolvesmajorenergybattlesaswell.AfghanistanwasravagedbywarbecauseonemajorenergysectorgiantwasnotallowedtoexpandbythethenAfghangovernment.Allmajorglobalplayershavebeenvyingforthecontroloftheenergyresourcessincedecadesnow.Thishasplayedamajorroleintheireconomicandmilitarydevelopmentaswell.EconomiccollapsewasamajorcausefortheRussiandemiseasshehadnoaccesstomajorenergycorridors.Recently,theUShasindulgedinaprolongedandcostlywartosecuretheenergyresourcesalongwithcapturingallthecorridorsforthetransportationoftheseresources.TheEnergydepartmentistheintegralpartoftheUSstrategicplanninginstitutes.Chinaisthesecondmoststrategicallyactiveplayerintheenergyarena.TosecureherenergycorridorsthroughtheIndianOcean,Chinaispursuingalongtermstrategyofbuildingnavalportsandbasesintheregiononthefriendlycountries
I
coastallines.TheChineseenergyneedswouldincreasewiththepassageoftimeasitsindustrialcomplexisstillexpanding.EnergyisthebasicrequirementforthisgiantmanufacturinghouseofAsiawithapopulationofoveronebillion.Indiaisamongthegrowingeconomiesoftheworldandthethirdmostactiveplayerinthisgameaswell.TheIndianlongtermeconomicpolicyisextremelyaggressivebothattheregionalandglobalaxes;derivedbyafanaticalideaofbecomingoneofthemajorglobalpowerplayers,sheiscompetingwiththedevelopingcountriesandtheestablishedeconomies
 
oftheregionsimultaneously.Indiahastoprovideenergytoherentirepopulacealongwithkeepingitsindustrialgrowthontrack.Therefore,shecannotaffordtomeetthesemassivedemandsthroughimportedenergy.FeedingonebillionpeopleisanotherissueforIndiaandbeinganagro-basedcountry,waterrequirementsarealsoontherisewithincreaseinpopulation.
RegionalTrends:
Asthegeostrategicdevelopmentsinthispartoftheworldarecompletelyunpredictablesoeveryregionalplayerisbusyinplanningtoexploitthedomesticenergypotentialtoitsmaximum.Importingforeignoilandgasisalsoamongmajortrendstokeeptheeconomicgrowthmomentumgoing.IndiaandChinaaremajorregionalcompetitorsintheenergysectorandbothareleadingtheregionalprogressanddevelopmentraceaswell.Theonlyreasonthattheyaresustainingitistheconsistentinvestmentintheenergyinfrastructurealongwithrobustlongtermenergypolicies.Chinahasbeensustaininga10%growthratesincethelastthreedecadeswhichhasturneditintotheworld'sthirdlargesteconomyaftertheUSandJapan.Hydroenergyisthemosteconomicalmeansforgettingcleanenergy.India,China,AfghanistanandBangladeshareworkingceaselesslytoharnessthisresource.TheChineseareleadingtheraceofhydropowerproductionaswell.HowaggressivetheChineseareintheirhydroenergyambitionscanbegaugedbyasimplefactthatthetotalinstalledcapacityofpowergenerationisaround20,000MW.Thisincludesbothhydroandnon-hydelmeans;inChina,3-gorgesdamalonehasacapacityofproducing22,500MW.Itistheworld'slargesthydropowerproject.Chinaisalsointheprocessofconstructingotherlargehydropowerplants.Sixoutoftheworld's20largesthydropowerplantsarelocatedinChinaalready.Indiaisalsobuildinghydropowerplantsontheeveryriverintheircountry.Indianwaterandenergypoliciesdemonstratehowwaterandenergywouldplayamajorroleinthefuturegeopoliticalandgeostrategicreshapingoftheregion.Apartfromcompletinghydroprojectsforhereconomicneeds,Indianshavecome
 
upwithaviciousplantousewaterasastrategicweaponagainstPakistanbyexploitingtheIWT.IndianwateraggressionhasfarreachingstrategicimplicationsforPakistan.Ithasaddedawholenewdimensiontoanalreadytenseandvolatileenvironmentoftheregion.Boththecountriesarealreadyatwarwitheachotheronthelegalanddiplomaticaxesoverthisissue.KeepinginviewthepaceofconstructionoftheIndianhydroprojectsonPakistanirivers,itisevidentthataphysicalengagementisnottoofaraswellonthismatter.
ButIndiaisnottheonlyfactorincausingtheprevailingwaterscarcityinPakistan.Poorplanning,non-visionaryleadershipandforeignmeddlinginthiscriticalareahavealsoplayedadecisiveroleinexacerbatingtheproblem.
PakistanandEnergy
&
WaterSecurity:
FordevelopingcountrieslikeChina,India,PakistanandBangladeshitisdifficulttofulfilltheirenergyneedsthroughlocalresourcesduetovariousfactorswhichincludeawholerangeofissuesfromtechnicalchallengestopoliticalpreferences.ButexceptPakistan,everyotherregionalplayerispursuingthepolicyinordertoovercomethesechallenges.TherearemultiplefactorshinderingPakistanfromharnessingitsnaturalenergy,waterandfoodsecuritypotential.Themajoronesare:
Noenergysecurityplan:
ItisthenadirofPakistanipolicymakersthattheyseemstillobliviousofthefactthatenergyandwatersecuritymustbeanessentialpartoftheoverallnationalsecurityplan.Allthesubsequentproblemsinthisareaarethebyproductofthisgrosspolicyfailure.Absenceofanyurgencytotakecorrectivemeasuresisalsoaworrisomeaspect.Thisisaneraofquietwarsfoughtonnon-militaryaxis.Water,energyandfoodhaveemergedasthenewdynamicsofsecuritywhichneedtobeincorporatedintoanystrategicplanning.ConventionalwisdomofwarfareisbecomingextinctnowandIslamabadwillhavetoembracenewparadigmsofnationalsecurityandsocialstabilitywhichrevolvearoundthesenewsecuritydynamics.Sofar,thisisamissinglinkinPakistan'slongtermsecurityplanning.
Poorplanning
&
mismanagement:
Pakistan'slargestwaterreservoirandhydropowerplantwasbuiltsome35yearsago.Notasinglehighorevenmediumcapacityhydropowerplanthasbeenbuiltsincethen.NeitheranynewwaterreservoirwasbuiltafterTarbela.PoliticalinterestswerepreferredatthecostofPakistaniinterestsbythepoliticalandmilitaryregimesinIslamabad.Pakistanhasampleamountofnaturalresourcestocatertonationalfood,waterandpowersecuritybutabsenceofavisionaryleadershipispreventingtheexploitationoftheseresources.Itisapainfulfactthatacountryisimportingrentalpowerhouseswhilehavingthepotentialtoproduce40,000MWofthecheapestandcleanestelectricitybyIndusalone.Notbuildinganynewreservoirhasdevastatedthefoodsecurityofthecountryaswell.Withanexponentiallyfastgrowingpopulation,Pakistanhasfailedtokeepthelandcultivationrateinsyncwiththenationalrequirementandthedangeroffoodscarcityisbecomingquiteconspicuous.Watersecuritysituationisbleakerthanthefoodandenergycrisis.ThepercapitawateravailabilityistouchinganalltimelowandthisperiloustrendwouldcontinueunlessPakistanadoptssomeradicalwatershedmanagementpolicy.
WaterterrorismofIndia:
IndiaismakingsurethatshegetsabsolutecontroloverPakistaniriversbyexploitingtheIWTprovisions.
ItsstrategyistobuildsmalldamsandreservoirsdownstreamtoeachotheronthesameriverwhilekeepingtheirdesignparameterswithintheprovisionsofIWTsothatanyPakistanimovetostoptheconstructionofthesedamscanbeprevented.
IndiaisgoingtohavetotalandcompletecontroloverPakistan'sWesternriversinordertocreatedroughtsorfloodswiththeentireIndusbasinasthetarget.TheIndianpolicymakershaveexpressedtheirsatisfactionoverthisstrategytorenderPakistanabarrenland.Unfortunately,IslamabadistryingtogaugethedamagewhileIndiaisbusyincompletingthedamsandreservoirsonPakistanirivers.

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