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Exclusive: Pakistan skips Indo-Pak meet to tackle locust attack 



Officers of both countries were to meet at Munnabao-Khokraoar border post, but Pakistan yet again refused to cooperate on an issue that has already caused huge losses to farmers on both sides.

Swarms of locust fly over a village in India. (Photo: PTI)

Pakistan on Thursday skipped a crucial meeting with India to tackle recent locust attacks that led to extensive crop damage in both countries.

Officers of both countries were to meet at Munnabao-Khokraoar border post, but Pakistan yet again refused to cooperate on an issue that has already caused huge losses to farmers on both sides.

Even though a meeting was scheduled for today, sources said Pakistan did not formally communicate its response to India.

Amid all this, a fresh warning was issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of more locust attacks in June along both sides of the Indo-Pakistan border.

India had earlier offered Pakistan and Iran help to formulate a coordinated approach to fight the desert locust swarms.

While Tehran responded to India’s offer to supply pesticide and carry out desert locust control operations in Sistan-Balochistan and South Khorasan provinces, Pakistan continues to remain silent on the matter.

It may be noted that India had offered to facilitate the supply of pesticide Malathion to Pakistan.

The institutionalised mechanism of Locust Warning Organization (LWO) could be energised for such cooperation which will mitigate the effect of locusts attack in India.

While there has been no bilateral cooperation to fight this menace, both countries have participated in meetings under a forum administered by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

India, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan are part of FAO’s Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in South-West Asia (SWAC), which is one of the oldest of the three regional commissions within the global locust early warning and prevention system.

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