“Just Like Pandavas Can’t Choose Their Relatives…”: In Pak with Jaishankar

"Just Like Pandavas Can't Choose Their Relatives...": In Pak with Jaishankar
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S Jaishankar also said that the Indus Waters Agreement is a technical matter. (Fillet)


Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said on Saturday that just as the Pandavas cannot choose their relatives, neither can India choose their geographical neighbors.

EAM S Jaishankar said, “This is a reality for us … Pandavas couldn’t choose relatives, neither could we choose our neighbors. Naturally, we hope common sense will prevail.” It will be nuclear power, it will be an asset or a liability.”

S Jaishankar was in Pune for his English book “The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World” translated into Marathi as ‘Bharat Marg’.

Marathi version of S Jaishankar’s book is published by Devendra Fadnavis, Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

When asked about the economic situation in Pakistan, S Jaishankar said he could not comment on what was going on in Pakistan.

The World Bank has cut Pakistan’s economic growth in half from 4 percent for the current fiscal year to 2 percent, saying Islamabad is facing growing economic challenges, The News International reported.

“Nevertheless, Pakistan faces increasing economic challenges and Sri Lanka remains in crisis. Improvements in living standards in all regions are expected to be slower than in 2010-19 in the half-decade to 2024,” the World Bank wrote in Global Economic Prospects. to report.

Pakistan’s economic situation is unstable with low foreign exchange reserves and large fiscal and current account deficits that are exacerbated by severe flooding.

About a third of the country’s land area was affected, damaging infrastructure and directly affecting about 15 percent of the population, The News International reported.

Also, with low foreign exchange reserves and increased government risk, Pakistan’s currency depreciated 14 percent between June and December, and the country risk premium increased by 15 percent over the same period.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government led by Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif agreed to fulfill all the conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the next review to begin early.

On January 24, Shehbaz Sharif said Pakistan’s ruling PDM alliance was ready to sacrifice “its political career for the sake of the country” by accepting the IMF’s “tight” conditions to revive its loan program.

Reports reveal that more than 9,000 containers are stranded in different ports of Pakistan, threatening to disrupt supply chains of essential goods. Inflation in the country rose to almost 30 percent. The country’s funds are dwindling and food prices are rising.

According to Islam Khabar, importers are unable to unload containers due to a shortage of dollars, while shipping companies are threatening to suspend their operations due to Pakistan’s failure to pay on time. This will negatively affect both imports and exports.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has only US$4.4 billion in forex reserves, which is barely enough for three weeks of imports, with the need to clean the containers and pending demands for more letters of credit in the US$1.5 billion range. $2 billion, according to the Islam Khabar report.

Businesses in Pakistan are at risk of closure due to disruption of supply chains as locally produced goods rely on imported raw materials. The textile industry in Pakistan is also in a critical position as it has lost its credibility and market share among international buyers.

There is a shortage of medicines in hospitals across the country, and commodities such as wheat, fertilizer and gasoline may soon become scarce.

Prime Minister Sharif has therefore asked people to conserve resources such as water, gas and electricity to help the government reduce the import bill, which has increased significantly in recent years.

S Jaishankar also said that the Indus Waters Agreement is a technical matter and the future course of action will depend on talks between India and Pakistan’s Indus Commissioners.

“This is a technical matter, the Indus Commissioners of both countries will talk about the Indus Water Agreement. Only then can we discuss our next steps.”

India notified Pakistan to amend the Indus Waters Agreement (IWT) of September 1960, after Islamabad’s actions adversely affected the terms of the agreement.

The notification was communicated through the relevant Indus Waters Commissioners on January 25, pursuant to Article XII (3) of the IWT.

The purpose of the notice of change is to provide Pakistan with an opportunity to enter intergovernmental negotiations within 90 days to correct the material breach of the IWT. This process will also update the IWT to include lessons learned over the past 62 years.

India has always been a responsible partner in the implementation of the IWT. However, Pakistan’s actions violated the provisions of the IWT and their implementation, forcing India to issue an appropriate notice to amend the IWT.

Drawing attention to the great change in India’s foreign policy, S Jaishankar said that the country’s influence has reached the Pacific Ocean by crossing the Indian Ocean.

Speaking at the publication ceremony of the book “Bharat Marg” written by S Jaishankar, S Jaishankar said, “Today’s India’s influence has crossed the Indian Ocean and reached the Pacific Ocean, so I’m talking about history, the great countries always think only of themselves, that’s theirs. It’s a defect in his DNA.”

(Other than the headline, this news was not edited by NDTV staff and aired from a syndicated feed.)

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