PM Modi might bail out debt-laden Pakistan: Ex-R&AW chief Dulat
Former Research and Analysis Wing R&AW chief Amarjit Singh Dulat, in an interview with PTI, said he feels PM Narendra Modi may lend a helping hand to Pakistan later this year and even "bail out" the cash-strapped neighbor. Pakistan—which is in the midst of an economic crisis exacerbated by last year's devastating flood and the Russia-Ukraine crisis—has foreign debts amounting to about $100 billion.
Why does this story matter?
- Dulat's remarks come against the backdrop of reports that Pakistan's $350B economy has slipped dangerously close to a debt default in recent months. It is also facing a dollar squeeze, putting its external stability to the test.
- As per Bloomberg, Pakistan may also experience inflation above 30% for the first time, making it desperate for assistance. It recently received a $700M loan from China.
My hunch is Modi will bail out Pakistan: Dulat
"In this year, my hunch is Modi ji will bail out Pakistan. No inside information, but it is my hunch," Dulat said. Furthermore, he said, "We need to keep our neighbors engaged," noting that allies like the United States are far away, but "neighbors are nearer." As the R&AW chief, Dulat is thought to have led numerous deep penetration intelligence operations into Pakistan.
MEA made no indication it would assist Pakistan
However, India has made no indication that it will assist Pakistan anytime soon. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar recently said that India will consider public sentiment before deciding whether to assist Pakistan, adding that no country can rise from adversity if its main industry is "terrorism." Notably, countries such as China, the United States, and the United Arab Emirates have offered assistance.
Punjab nor Kashmir can be governed from Delhi: Dulat
Meanwhile, Dulat also addressed the topic of Sikh extremism in light of the separatist Amritpal Singh incident, where armed supporters of the pro-Khalistan preacher recently attacked officers in Amritsar's Ajnala on Thursday after his aide Lovepreet "Toofan" Singh was arrested. "I am of the firm belief that neither Punjab nor Kashmir can be governed from Delhi. People are resentful of it," Dulat said.
Pakistan unveiled cost-cutting measures of nearly $764 million
In light of the ongoing financial crisis in Pakistan, the world's fifth most populous country announced cost-cutting measures totaling nearly $764 million. The government has also prohibited ministers from staying in five-star hotels or traveling in business class abroad. As part of the cost-cutting measures, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif stated that the government had prohibited the purchase of luxury items and automobiles until 2024.