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Neighbors Sri Lanka and Pakistan in crisis, India came forward to help

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Neighbors Sri Lanka and Pakistan in crisis, India came forward to help... know the advice of experts

Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka are heading towards ruin. It is common in both the countries that there is none other than China to spoil the habit by giving them loans. The ever-increasing prices of diesel-petrol in Pakistan, long queues outside grocery shops, street protests against the government all point towards the disastrous unrest that is going to affect Pakistan. Sri Lanka is already shrouded in chaos. The people who have been protesting for the last four months occupied the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday itself. Not only this, they also set fire to the private residence of the Prime Minister late in the evening on the same day. Politicians and wealthy businessmen are being targeted in the capital Colombo. In such a situation, the day is not far when such situations can be seen in Pakistan too.

‘India should help Pakistan and Sri Lanka’
Pakistan is also badly entangled in the debt trap. The situation is so bad that he has to take a new loan to pay off the old debt. Not only this, the Prime Minister of Pakistan has been traveling to the lending countries and demanding more deadlines to repay the installments. Meanwhile, journalists and politicians keeping a close eye on foreign policy Seshadri Chari Has suggested that India should come forward to help its two neighbors Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Seshadri Chari is a senior volunteer of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves depletedSeshadri Chari, in an article in the Deccan Herald, said that Pakistan is in talks for a $6 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to deal with its foreign exchange crisis. However, the IMF has placed certain conditions for Pakistan to grant the loan, including raising fuel and electricity rates and establishing a mechanism to guarantee an end to corruption. The Pakistani government has immediately complied with the first of these conditions but is confused about the second.

Corruption and debt engulfed Pakistan’s fleet
There are allegations that corruption is mixed in the blood of the politicians of Pakistan. Just a few months ago, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan had blamed the corrupt leaders of the past for the country’s ruin. Imran has alleged that the Sharif family and the Bhutto clan have looted Pakistan fiercely. Responding to this, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that during the Imran Khan era, an incompetent mob used to run the government. Maryam Nawaz herself has alleged that Imran Khan used to run a blackmailing racket.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka went bankrupt after falling into the trap of China
The reason for this situation in Pakistan and Sri Lanka is the excessive dependence on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. As soon as they joined this project, both these countries were badly caught in the debt trap of China. China had offered Pakistan to join the controversial Belt and Road Initiative in 2015. Then there was Nawaz Sharif’s government in Pakistan. In the greed of billions of dollars, Pakistan has become a pawn in China’s strategic gameplan of voluntarily grabbing large portions of Indian territory in PoK and building an all-weather road to Gwadar port for access to the Indian Ocean. However, given the corruption and bankruptcy of Pakistan, China has limited investment in CPEC.

India had extended a helping hand even earlier
This is not the first time that Pakistan has been caught in a deep economic crisis. A major crisis came when the US imposed sanctions on it in May 1998 in view of its nuclear tests. Even then the economy of Pakistan was in turmoil. Even though Pakistan managed to bail itself out of this difficulty, it came under the grip of the 2008 global financial crisis. In 2009, Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves were depleted. Then no friendly country of Pakistan came forward to help. It is claimed that the then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had then offered to deposit $500 million in Pakistan’s central bank.

‘India has to help its neighbours’
Seshadri Chari suggested in her article that given past experiences and the stagnation in India-Pakistan relations, New Delhi needs to carefully consider its moves. If India wants to respond to the economic crisis facing the region, it will have to help its neighbours. A bankrupt neighborhood will not only invite political instability and anarchy but will also push Pakistan further into the Chinese debt trap. Beijing is already preparing plans to widen BRICS membership, with Pakistan, Iran and Argentina eager to join.

India has both a challenge and an opportunity
China as the chairman of BRICS may try to include those countries of South Asia who have injected money into their economy through the New Development Bank. While the Indian economy may face the current adversity arising out of the Russo-Ukraine war, smaller South Asian economies may succumb to the pressure of China’s debt trap. The emerging situation, therefore, is both a challenge and an opportunity for New Delhi to write a new chapter in geopolitics and geoeconomics.

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