While Pakistan grapples with an economic crisis that threatens life as many citizens know it, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has implied that India will take a backseat in providing relief to its neighbouring nation, the first time India has responded to the issue there.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Jaishankar said that India’s relationship with Pakistan today is not one where we can be “relevant directly” in bailing Pakistan from its financial troubles.
The nation is suffering from record high inflation, crippling debt, currency depreciation and near bankruptcy. However, that’s not all as Pakistan is also embroiled in political crisis and citizens have faced significant power and energy shortages. Referring to all this, Jaishankar believes that Pakistan is answerable for its own disintegration.
“I think Pakistan’s future is largely determined by Pakistan’s actions and by Pakistan’s choices,” Jaishankar said. “Nobody reaches a difficult situation suddenly and without cause.”
The minister added that India would be unable to play a role in aiding its neighbouring nation and that “it is for them to find a way out.”
Jaishankar in his interview referred to India’s assistance to Sri Lanka during their economic crisis and explained that the two nations shared a “very different relationship.”
While India is willing to provide assistance to its neighbours during times of crisis, the case isn’t the same with Pakistan as it is with nations like Sri Lanka.
“With Sri Lanka still there is a lot of goodwill in this country. There’s naturally a neighbour’s concerns and worry but there is also a feeling that, look, we have to help them to get through this,” Jaishankar said. “Tomorrow if something happens to some other neighbour, that would be the case as well. But you know what the sentiment in this country is about Pakistan.”
In May 2022, India had committed more than $3 billion to debt-ridden Sri Lanka in loans, credit lines and credit swipes as the island nation navigated the worst economic crisis it had faced since independence.