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Unfortunate: India slams Pakistan for refusal to join meeting to discuss locust menace

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MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said: “We thought it was important in the wake of the threat posed by desert locusts and we even proposed to Pakistan for coordinated locust control operations…We find it unfortunate that Pakistan maintains its reticent attitude even when its own people face a threat of food security.”

FAO, in its recent report, warned of more locust attacks in June. (File photo from AP)

Pakistan refused to join a technical-level meeting with India to discuss the issue of locust menace, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday, slamming Islamabad for showing “reticent attitude” even when its own people face a threat of food security.

MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that in May India had taken the initiative of giving a call for intensifying contacts between locust warning organisations of the two countries. These contacts have been taking place over the last 60 years, he said.

“We thought it was important in the wake of the threat posed by desert locusts and we even proposed to Pakistan for coordinated locust control operations. We also proposed that we can facilitate the supply of pesticides for locust control operations,” the spokesperson said.

India has already delivered 20,000 litres of pesticide to Iran for desert locust operations, Srivastava said.

“As per available information, Pakistani side has refused to join this [technical level] meeting and this meeting was proposed to be held today,” he said.

“We find it unfortunate that Pakistan maintains its reticent attitude even when its own people face a threat of food security,” he added.

India had proposed to Pakistan and Iran for a coordinated approach in dealing with the alarming threat of fast-increasing desert locusts in the region.

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