External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday said India cannot choose its geographical neighbors just as the Pandavas cannot choose their relatives.
“This is a reality for us…Pandavas could not choose relatives, we cannot choose our neighbours. Of course we hope for the best without winning,” said EAM S Jaishankar, “a neighboring and rogue nation (Pakistan). It will happen to have nuclear power, active or inactive. will be a commitment.”
S Jaishankar was in Pune for the launch of his English book India’s Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World, translated into Marathi as Bharat Marg.
The Marathi version of S Jaishankar’s book was released by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Answering a question about Pakistan’s economic situation, S Jaishankar said he could not comment on what was happening in Pakistan.
The World Bank has cut Pakistan’s economic growth in half from 4 percent to 2 percent for the current fiscal year, saying Islamabad faces growing economic challenges, The News International reported.
“However, Pakistan faces increasing economic challenges and Sri Lanka remains in crisis. In all regions, improvements in living standards are expected to be slower in the half decade to 2024 than in 2010-19,” reads the World Bank’s Global Economic Outlook. report
Pakistan’s economic situation is precarious with low foreign exchange reserves and large fiscal and current account deficits worsened by severe floods.
About a third of the country’s land area has been affected, damaging infrastructure and directly affecting about 15 percent of the population, The News International reported.
Moreover, with low foreign exchange reserves and increased sovereign risk, Pakistan saw its currency depreciate by 14 percent between June and December and its country risk premium increase by 15 percentage points over the same period.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has agreed to meet all conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an early resumption of the next review.
Shehbaz Sharif said on January 24 that Pakistan’s ruling PDM alliance was ready to sacrifice his “political career for the sake of the country” by accepting “tough” terms from the IMF to revive the loan program.
Reports suggest that more than 9,000 containers are stuck at various seaports in Pakistan, threatening to disrupt the supply chain of essential goods. Inflation in the country has risen to almost 30 percent. The country’s funds are decreasing, food prices are increasing.
According to Islam Khabar, importers are unable to clear containers due to a shortage of dollars, while shipping companies are threatening to stop operating in Pakistan due to the country’s failure to make payments on time. This will have a negative impact on both imports and exports.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has only USD 4.4 billion in foreign exchange reserves, enough for three weeks of imports, with estimated needs for clearing containers and pending requests to open more letters of credit in the USD 1.5 billion range. It is US dollars, according to Islam Khabar.
Businesses in Pakistan are at risk of closure due to supply chain disruptions, as locally manufactured goods rely on imported raw materials. The textile industry in Pakistan is also in critical condition as it has lost credibility and market share among international buyers.
There is a shortage of medicine in the country’s hospitals, and there may soon be a shortage of goods such as wheat, fertilizer, and gasoline.
Prime Minister Sharif has also asked people to conserve resources such as water, gas and electricity to help the government reduce import bills, which have increased significantly in recent years.
S Jaishankar also said that the Indus Waters Treaty is a technical matter and the future course of action will depend on the negotiations between the Indian Commissioners of India and Pakistan.
“This is a technical matter, the Indian Commissioners of both countries will talk about the Indus Water Treaty. Only then can we discuss our next steps,” he said.
After Islamabad’s actions adversely affected the provisions of the treaty, India notified Pakistan in September 1960 to amend the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT).
The notification was delivered on January 25 through the respective Commissioners of Indus Waters under Article XII (3) of the IWT.
The purpose of the notification for amendment is to allow Pakistan to initiate intergovernmental negotiations within 90 days to remedy a significant violation of the IWT. This process will also update the IWT to incorporate lessons learned over the past 62 years.
India has always been a responsible partner in the implementation of the IWT. However, Pakistan’s actions interfered with the provisions of the IWT and their implementation, forcing India to issue an appropriate notification to amend the IWT.
Highlighting a sea change in India’s foreign policy, S Jaishankar said the country’s influence has reached beyond the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.
Speaking at the launch of Bharat Marg, written by S Jaishankar, he said, “India’s influence has now gone beyond the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, so I am talking about history, great powers always think only of themselves, it is a flaw in their DNA.” .”
(Other than the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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