- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy
The Hindustan Times reports that Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States thinks that Indian military activity in the Himalayas may have contributed to his country’s recent catastrophic floods:
In an unusual remark, Pakistan’s Ambassador in Washington Hussain Haqqani has said that one of the reasons for recent devastating floods in his country could be human activity on the heavily-militarised Siachen glacier. Haqqani told the American lawmakers that snowmelt pattern on the glacier was changing over the past few years, because of intense military activities and scientists in his country were studying whether this was adding to warming factor leading to bizarre climatic changes. Besides, the activity on the glacier, Haqqani said other contributing reasons for unprecedented rains in his country could be greenhouse gas emissions.
I would imagine that the troops on Siachen are probably a drop in the bucket of the larger climate factors causing the floods, but Haqqani is probably right to worry about a connection between climate change and his country’s security.
Update: Haqqani has responded to FP, saying the remark was taken out of context:
"The Hindustan Times picked on half a sentence in a detailed briefing that focused on the possible relationship between climate disruption and Pakistan’s floods. I referred to militarization of the Siachen Glacier only in response to a question about glacier melting and only in the context of the possible connection between human activity and enhanced glacier melting."