On a day when an Army major and three jawans laid down their lives in the line of duty during a reported infiltration bid from Pakistan’s side, former BJP ideologue and ex-aide of BJP veteran and former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, Sudheendra Kulkarni, has suggested that India should perform ‘padosi ka dharma’ (duty of a neighbour) and assist Pakistan which has plunged into an economic criss.
In an article titled ‘Pakistan’s Financial Crisis: India Should Be a Friend in Need’ carried in ‘The Quint’ on August 7, Kulkarni said that if India extends a “sincere” helping hand towards Pakistan, Islamabad may change its stand and return the favour despite the strained bi-lateral relationship.
With the US taking a stringent stance against Pakistan over the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout policy, New Delhi should help Islamabad in order to “assure” the newly elected Imran Khan-led government in the neighbouring country that India is there for help, Kulkarni said in his editorial piece. Kulkarni further claimed that if India does not support Pakistan, what was the need for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to congratulate Imran Khan on his poll win and talk about a “new era of relations with Pakistan” with Khan after the party’s victory in the recently-held general elections.
Why is Pakistan in trouble?
Pakistan is struggling to avert a currency crisis that has presented the new government with its biggest challenge. Many analysts and business leaders expect that another IMF bailout, the second in five years, will be needed to plug an external financing gap. Pakistan, which already has around $5 billion in loans from China and its banks to fund major infrastructure projects, had sought another $1 billion in loans to stabilize its plummeting foreign currency reserves. The $57 China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a series of port and rail improvements associated with China’s One Belt One Road infrastructure push, has led to massive imports of Chinese equipment and materials, swelling Pakistan’s current account deficit, accoridng to reuters report.
Kulkarni has suggested ways to assist Pakistan. He said that India can “easily offer” USD 4-5 billion to Islamabad on low-rates given its “healthy level of foreign exchange reserves.”
Why Kulkarni is wrong ::
While Kulkarni was pitching for India to extend a helping hand to Pakistan, a gunfight broke out between brave soldiers and infiltrators on Tuesday. Two of the eight infiltrators were gunned down. Four infiltrators managed to return to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, while two others were believed to have been injured and hiding in the dense forest around the region, officials were quoted as saying by PTI.
Last month, Kulkarni said dialogue is the only solution to solve the long-standing dispute with Pakistan, and normalising ties with the neighbouring country is key to India becoming a great nation. “We must state what is required for solving the problem with Pakistan…”
A few years back Kulkarni had hosted the book launch event of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri in Mumbai. A few alleged Shiv Sena activists smeared black ink on Kulkarni’s face. Recently, Kulkarni had said that Congress President Rahul Gandhi should become the Prime Minister of the country. “(Rahul) is young and he is an idealist. He is a man with compassion. No political leader in recent times had spoken the language of love, affection and compassion,” he had said.