ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson has regretted the negative remarks by the official of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs regarding a goodwill suggestion by Prime Minister Imran Khan to share Pakistan’s successful experience in ameliorating the impact of the pandemic on the poorest sections of the society.
Foreign Office spokesperson, Aisha Farooqui said in a statement today, “Remarks by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs’ spokesperson reflect an unprofessional bid at point-scoring over a grave issue that involves lives of millions of poor people in the sub-continent, worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak.”
The spokesperson said the prime minister’s suggestion was in the backdrop of a study by a reputable American university that highlighted the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns on Indian households.
She said the suggestion especially the poorest sections of the society and effectiveness of direct cash transfers and food to the poor families affected by lockdowns.
The international agencies had appreciated the positive impact of the Government of Pakistan’s direct cash transfer of Rs. 120 billion to 10 million poor families in Pakistan in the most transparent manner, the statement read.
The PM’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,” she remarked.
The spokesperson said the Government of Pakistan urged 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.