India and Pakistan have been at verbal and military war for a long time now and the animosity includes not accepting any help from each other too.
During the current COVID-19 crisis, the hit to the economy has been massive.
India has an estimated 30-40 million people losing jobs by the end of 2020. Approximately 85% of Indians have experienced a reduction in income. Migrant workers are stranded homeless, moneyless in big cities. Startups and businesses are getting hit and shutting down in many places. Crop and vegetable supply to markets have also suffered. It has truly been a chaos in India. During this trying times, Pakistan, through a series of tweets offered to help neighbor India, which India promptly refused.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan Tweeted on Thursday “Acc to this report, 34% of households across India will not be able to survive for more than a week without add (sic) assistance. I am ready to offer help & share our successful cash transfer prog, lauded internationally for its reach & transparency, with India.”
Although this proposal of sharing technology to provide monetary help to the poor may seem kind, the underlying criticism was clearly detected by India.
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Anurag Srivastava replied to the tweet by saying that the economic relief fund offered by the Central to the citizens is bigger than Pakistan’s GDP and that India would never seek help from a country drowning in debts. The official statement by Anurag Srivastava was, “Pakistan would do well to recall that they have a debt problem which covers 90% of their GDP. As far as India goes, our stimulus package is as large as the GDP of Pakistan.”
Imran Khan in his tweet also bragged about distributing 120 billion to over 10 million families in 9 weeks in Pakistan to help with the poverty during the COVID-19 crisis. Imran Khan mentioned the plight of migrant workers and poorer strata of India suffering in India too, while offering “help” to India. Considering the past incidents everyone could detect the demeaning tone behind the concern.
India and Pakistan have fought 3 battles altogether and the occasional display of warfare continues along the border, mainly revolving around the occupation of Kashmir.
Keeping aside the history and criticizing each other, the fact that India is going through a tough time due to lockdown is indeed a truth. Like any other country across the globe, the economy of India has suffered a major blow and no one can deny that.
Indian Government has promised an Economic Relief Fund of Rs.20,000 crore to aid failing businesses, to help the poverty-stricken and to boost the dying economy.
India is currently fourth in the list of countries majorly hit by COVID-19 and records 298K cases. Deaths due to the disease has risen to 8,498.