Locust continue to damage crops in Rajasthan Photo/ANI
Locust continue to damage crops in Rajasthan Photo/ANI

No response by Pakistan to India's offer on locust issue, technical meeting likely on June 18

ANI | Updated: Jun 10, 2020 17:45 IST

New Delhi [India], June 10 (ANI): As India braces up for further locust attacks with swarms continuing to cause damage to crops, Pakistan is yet to give a formal response on the request to hold discussions over the issue that affects both the countries. The technical level meeting is now likely to be held on June 18, informed diplomatic sources told ANI on Wednesday.
The Pakistan Foreign Office had said on June 5 that Pakistan and India are cooperating with each other to tackle the issue of desert locust under a forum administered by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
Pakistan and India are members of FAO's Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in South-West Asia (SWAC).
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui, in the weekly media briefing, had said that the ministerial meeting of the commission was held in March during which it was decided to reactivate communication between the member states on the locust situation and a Technical and Operational Coordination (ToC) team was formed to exchange information, enhance coordination at the border areas and increase synchronisation to combat desert locust outbreak in the region, Dawn reported.

She said Pakistan had been participating in the SWAC meeting on a weekly basis. She said cooperation in exchanging information in bordering areas of Pakistan and India was "fruitful", according to the report.
"We believe that the respective technical teams have been coordinating appropriately through FAO," she said.
Farooqui said that Pakistan "remains committed to cooperating with all SWAC member states, including India, in combating desert locust outbreak".
Pakistan and India are facing the worst locust attack in recent years. The desert locust is a species of locust, a swarming short-horned grasshopper and poses an unprecedented threat to food supply and livelihoods of millions of people.
Locust swarms from Pakistan entered Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh threatening standing crops. Rajasthan is the most affected state. (ANI)