Pakistan regrets negative remarks by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs’ Spokesperson regarding a goodwill suggestion by the Prime Minister of Pakistan to share Pakistan’s successful experience in ameliorating impact of Covid-19 on the poorest sections of the society. Remarks by the MEA’s Spokesperson reflect an unprofessional attempt at point-scoring over a serious issue that involves lives of millions of poor people in the sub-continent, worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan’s suggestion was in the backdrop of a study by a reputable U.S. University that highlighted the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns on Indian households especially the poorest sections of the society and effectiveness of direct cash transfers and food to the poor families affected by lockdowns. International agencies have appreciated positive impact of the Government of Pakistan’s direct cash transfer of Rs. 120 billion to 10 million poor families in Pakistan in most transparent manner.

The Prime Minister’s offer at this challenging time of a global pandemic was in consonance with the initiative for sharing national experiences among SAARC member countries in dealing with the impact of Covid-19. If that intent was serious,then the MEA’s response to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s suggestion is inconsistent with the stated position of their own leadership.

The Government of Pakistan emphasises that the global pandemic is a common challenge demanding serious efforts and honest sharing of national experiences among countries while rising above petty point-scoring.

 

Islamabad

12 June 2020

249/2020
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