“They must fix their plans, decisions in favour of people,” Jaishankar on Pakistan economic crisis

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday advised Pakistan to “fix their
plans and decisions in the favour of people.”

During the media interaction at the inaugural session of the Asia Economic
Dialogue 2023 in Pune today, he said, “The country must fix its social and
political issues. If I plan any scheme or decision for a country, I must think about
the people’s perspective too. What they want, they (Pakistan) must think about
this. If any country facing a deep economic crisis, not pointing only Pakistan but,
other countries too. They must fix their plans and decisions in the favour of
people.” Notably, Pakistan’s economy is in shambles and the country is holding virtual
talks on the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) in order to
strike the staff-level agreement.

During Wednesday’s meeting, IMF insisted on tightening the monetary policy,
while the Pakistside informed the lender about the steps taken so far, sources told
Geo News.

“The Pakistani officials also briefed them on the external financing from the
friendly countries including USD 700 million from a Chinese bank and USD 1.2
billion from UAE.”

The sources said that Pakistan also presented a strategy to meet the foreign
exchange reserves target by June.

Meanwhile, Jaishankar also highlighted the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, the state
of the world and India’s G20 Presidency at the event.

“If I were to pick three big issues in the forefront of my thoughts, one I would
actually reflect on our neighbourhood, partly because we are in the
neighbourhood, 3 of us,” said Jaishankar.

The Inaugural Session of the Dialogue was a conversation between Jaishankar,
Lyonpo Namgay Tshering, Bhutan Finance Minister, and Ibrahim Ameer, Maldives
Finance Minister.

The Asia Economic Dialogue (AED) is the Ministry’s annual flagship event on
Geoeconomics, co-hosted in collaboration with Pune International Centre.
The 7th edition of the AED is being held from 23-25 February 2023 in Pune. The
principal theme for the Dialogue is ‘Asia and the Emerging World Order’. The
Dialogue will also discuss themes such as Global Growth Prospects; How the
Global South Will Shape the G20 Agenda; the Metaverse: Understanding the
Future; and Meeting Climate Targets: The Road Ahead, added the Ministry of
External Affairs press release.

Speaking on the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, Jaishankar said, “We have an
approach since 2014 called ‘Neighbourhood First’ Policy. The neighbourhood
itself saw a sea change. I am not sure, it’s something people in our country fully
understand and appreciate. I think the neighbourhood perhaps does more than
we ourselves do. To me the ‘Neighbourhood First’ will be one big, I will say
concern, focus and thought.”

On the state of the world, Jaishankar underscored the importance of the 3Cs.

“The second would be the state of the world, I think the three Cs is a very snappy
summing up the problems which are Covid, conflict and climate. The climate is
increasingly an operational problem, not just an existential one because we can
see, already the climate is creating disruptions to the routine operations of the
global economy. It’s not obvious enough to say I have got 3Cs problem, you got
to have the solution and I think the solution is also a kind of 3Cs solution which is
that somewhere there has to be a degree of creativity, a sense of caution about
this world we are entering into and finally, I think that the world today is suffering
from credibility issue. So to me, there are 3Cs as a problem, there are probably
3Cs as some kind of solution,” said Jaishankar.

Speaking about India’s G20 Presidency, he said, “The third is the G20
Presidency, it’s a significant responsibility at a very critical moment and I think
there are a lot of expectations from India. We too must look at the world, see how
we can use it to enhance global awareness which is very important for India if it is
to develop the mindset of a rising power.

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